The Chronicles of Espiria was created for the 2018 IGMC. This review will focus on the competition version and as such, I won't be giving it an official score, though I will be adding my own personal score at the end.
The presentation is pretty great - the game is in 3D and pseudo-3D, made in Smile Builder, a relatively new engine. The game looks quite fresh and interesting, bar a few small areas. The visuals are reminiscent of PlayStation 1 and 2 era jRPGs.
The plot and characterisation is a bit on the bland side, likely due to the fact that this was made within a month and time constraints cause a lot of rush. The game follows a young man who crashes on a planet below the technological level of his home. He saves a girl from a monster and is told that he must be the hero from a prophecy about a saviour who comes from the stars. Yeah, it's a bit dry but cliches are cliches because they work as a good hook, and this does the job well enough despite the lack of more interesting characters and time to explore the world and interact with NPCs that have a bit more depth to them.
The gameplay consists of jRPG battles and learning skills over time by collecting items to spend on them. The shard items, you get from killing enemies, and each is a different colour, which corresponds to a different type of skill/element. You then spend those shards to learn a skill in the skill tree. Sometimes you'll get an extra ability when you complete a skill tree, too, which is a nice addition and encourages the player to aim to finish a tree before moving to the next one.
Overall, the sound, gameplay and charm the game exudes makes it a fun game to play despite the faults in the story. There's not as much there as there could be yet, but what is there is pretty darn good. I'd give the game an easy 3.5-4 stars.
Thanks for the generous review! =P There's a lot of new stuff coming to the game, most importantly, updating the plot and character interactions. I appreciate you taking the time to write this out, I hope to maybe see you return to play an updated version, but that might be a while XD. Take care!