It took me less than a day from having found out about Balrum until I actually bought the game on Steam. I spent at least an hour gathering information about it and read some reviews. Both negative and positive.
I started up the game - which runs in windows mode only - and created a new game. The character process is quite straighforward and fits one page. By using the background story you decide to answer a few questions which gives you your starting skills.
|Character creation. All in one opage.|
I wanted them all so it was quite difficult to decide which to start with. Should I take farming since the game relies so heavily on eating and drinking ? Cooking ? No that sounds too lame. Camping in the woods with Surviving ? Sounds good to me. I also ended up picking magic abilities before archery or swordplay and finally choosed hunting before alchemy or smelting.
Lastly you spend some points to increase the five attributes in the game which are Vitality, Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence and Wisdom. They all affect important gameplay features like health, mana, mana regeneration, damage and so on. I put all except one point into intelligence (to get more mana) and wisdom (to regenerate mana more quickly). The last one was put in vitality. Now I was ready to start.
|Starting just outside my grandpa´s house.|
I learned from my grandpa no new about the fire except that it was not started near the torches so it seems it was by purpose. I had to talk to other people in the village about this. And ask everyone about the Pack family that supposedly had left for no reason and with no information left behind. By walking around and talking I soon aquired several small tasks that people would like help with.
You have three parameters to observe that are crucial to survival. Your rest, food and thirst meters. If food or water levels reach 0 you immediately take health damage. It does not take long until you will die from it. That has been one of the big critics of this game but fortunately just one day after launch the developers released a patch that 1) paused the consumption of food/water while you where in dialogues or shopping mode and 2) allowed a checkbox at start to be selected for slower consumption rate. Unfortunately that was after I already had started up my character.
So far I enjoy the game very much. It reminds me of Eschalon but while Eschalons graphics where cleaner, Balrums graphics is more detailed and alive and everything moves in realtime except the turnbased combats. The price is also very attractive. The weakest part of its game so far is the dialogues and texts. They are simple and straightforwad with no excellence shining through in it s writing. I leave my comments about the mainstory for a later post since I have hardly started it.
|Exploring some of the underground caves I have found full of fireball traps|