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An Age Old Masterpiece. Or Just Short of Being One.

  • Frogge
  • 02/04/2019 01:05 PM

The Age of Deliverance by extravaluemenu
Length: ~2 hours

Years ago, back when I wasn't even on rmn, I came across a little game on gamejolt called The Age of Deliverance. It was hidden obscurely among a gazillion others, but the iconic thumbnail image immediately got me interested. "This is god. I will end your world soon. Be ready." Liking the cartoony look of the screenshots, I decided I had nothing to lose from giving this a spin. That day, this game immediately became one of my favorite rpg maker games within the span of the first 30 minutes. Sadly, that's also about as far as I initially got with it. I was absolutely loving everything about the game, but then I got stuck and could not find a walkthrough for the dear life of me, so I ended up having to drop this after looking around for a good while. Years later, here I am. I've been wanting to pick this back up for a long time now and see if it really was as good as I remembered, and if the rest of the game would hold up.

Also, please excuse me if this review is a bit messy. My brother's playing fortnite in the room over, screaming like a madman at his friends, and I had to put on some music at full volume to drown out his stupid voice, but in turn it's also making hard to hear my own thoughts.

Sadly, The Age of Deliverance insantly starts off with problems I did not consider in my initial playthrough. It's got a very strongly worded intro that immediately lets you know that this isn't going to be like every other rpg maker game you've played. The chaos of the end is described in excruciating detail, in a good way. But my problem is that the exposition dump could have waited a little while, at least until you got out of the house or met Sara. There's little mystery upon beginning the game when everything is explained to you straight off the bat. The good news is that this does not ruin the experience because it does not at all take long before the mystery picks right back up.

Out of every mystery games I've played, The Age of Deliverance perhaps has one of the best. It rises gradually perfectly, first leaving you wondering how the world actually ended, then introducing the angels, leaving you wondering what their purpose is, and even adding in some tension when the cult shows up. I feel that the cult, sadly, went severely underused in this game for how much it actually amplified the tension in the one scene that it actually appeared in before the ending. I'd have enjoyed more of them, and not just a nightmare sequence. I suppose it would not exactly fit in the plot, which I'll get to later, but I wish the developer could have found a way to squeeze them in more. With some slight rewriting of the ending, I feel like it would have easily been possible.


The writing in The Age of Deliverance is consistently excellent for the most part. While I'm not a huge fan of how quickly the game explains things to you, leaving no space for the mystery to be even better than it already is, I still think this is one of the most well written rpg maker products I've played. My expectations were subverted near constantly, leaving me unable to predict what would be happening next.

For example, when Sara was pregnant, I initially suspected that she actually wasn't, and her symptoms were actually those of the same disease that killed his father, which is why the game alludes to her not being able to complete the journey with you. My other expectation was near the end, where I expected John to find a gun upon unlocking his bedside dresser, and for the angels to reveal that Sara was only another angel who was there to help John come to terms with himself and finally pass onto the afterlife like everyone else. I will be honest in that I kind of would have liked that better than the actual ending.

The ending was easily the most disappointing part of the game for me. Up until that point, the build up has been excellent. Then the game decides to pull the most cliche twist on you (or at least one of the most cliche, at least it's better than "you were dead all along!"), revealing that it's all a sort of parallel dimension experiment conducted by the main character (all of these games have a tendency to never actually explain how the dimension/time travelling actually works, because I've rarely ever seen a game actually use these concepts for anything other than providing a cheap explanation of the events) conducted, travellng through a wormhole to a world where he decided to pull a pranks for shits and giggles but accidentally ended up getting everyone killed. Oops.

Now the ending isn't all bad, some of the concepts dealt with here, I actually really like. It deals with how loneliness can corrupt a person, and love can fix them. It deals with how fragile the world truly is, and how likely we are to go murdering each other without a single shred of evidence. It deals with how actions can have drastic consequences on a global scale, even if it was all meant to be a joke. And these are all explored pretty well throughout the game. The game manages to do something not a lot of games manage to do - it delivers an important message. The Age of Deliverance is a rare experience that you can leave feeling like you gained something from it.

And unrelated, but naming the main character John is some top notch foreshadowing for when it turns out that it's actually a fake name. You know, John Doe and everything. I feel ashamed for not seeing that one coming.

The writing for the characters is very believeable, and their conversations never felt particularly stupid. Even the cheesy romance moments that usually make me shiver in disgust were actually pretty well written in this case. Sara and John are both likeable characters that don't present themselves as perfect, annoying mary sues, and have a lot of great exchanges.

Also, I would be lying if I said I wasn't hit pretty hard in the gut. The ending is genuinely very heartfelt. While I did not cry or tear up or anything, I can definetly see that happening to some people, and it would feel justified to me. A lot of the time I feel weird when people cry at a game, it feels weird to me considering any scene of somebody dying in a sad way generally seems to tick people off enough, but this is a case where I can understand why you would actually cry.

Speaking of crying, you know what really helps? The music. While I usually just quickly go over music in most of my reviews saying I didn't particularly care for any of it, and while The Age of Deliverance is a similar case for the most part, this is one of the first times I've ever turned up the music during a game's ending because I liked it so much. The specific ending I'm talking about is the Sara ending, where the soft guitar really enhances the gut punch a whole lot more and helps it go from a decent ending to a beautiful one. The rest of the game's soundtrack is a bit weird, as it ranges from soft, solitudinal, creepy melodies to some very out of place rock? I don't think the rock music's bad by any music, but the softer tunes you hear add a whole lot more to the atmosphere as you walk alone during the end of the world than the headbangers do.

And now we present Frogge does pixel art.

And since we're on the topic of the game's presentation, let's talk about the graphics, because lemme tell you, they're cute as heck. I'm generally not a huge fan of larger, 32x32 pixel art as much as I am of 16x16 pixel art resizes to be larger, but The Age of Deliverance genuinely looks pretty great for the most part. The tilesets and character sprites are probably the highlight here, and the different poses such as sitting on a chair or holding a doll are a really nice touch too. I had some very minor issues here, though. While the face graphics for John and Sara are pretty decent, I feel that the rest of the art doesn't always measure up. Some of the angels look great, while others look pretty subpar. Cassius probably has my favorite design in the entire game, but even he has some weird stretching on his sprite, as well as the fact that he looks kind of inconsistent with the rest of the angels, considering he's like a photoshopped mashup of a bunch of photorealistic images while almost all other angels are digital drawings. Other minor complaints here would be that the text never really seems to reach the end of the message window, which can get a little annoying, and also that the windowskin itself feels very out of place among everyhing else that looks cartoony. A change in font could have really gone a long way too.

The mapping is another place that has some issues. While there's some truly excellent maps here (the entire town looks absolutely amazing from the outside), a lot of the interior maps that try to be kind of surreal and freaky in particular, especially near the end, really don't fit in. However, I still like The Age of Deliverance's graphical style a lot, despite the fact that it could use touchups here and there.

Ah yes, the classic maze you would find on the top floor of every town hall. A standart for all of them, really.

Moving on, the last thing to talk about is the gameplay, which also comes with some minor issues. Most of what you'll be doing is going around collecting items, occasionally solving puzzles in between. The usual adventure game stuff. Perfectly fine in concept, but one or two things here and there might be a bit annoying to most players. For one, it's easy to get lost sometimes with no idea as to where you should go next. This was the reason I initially dropped the game in the first place, so I would say maybe this is the biggest flaw of the game out of them all. The puzzles are ridiculously easy, to the point that most of them feel more like padding than anything. In fact, I would say that the final third of the game has a big padding issue in general. The entire hardware shop bit feels completely unnecessary, and at that point I just wanted to get through it and see the ending already. The white maze section in particular adds literally nothing to the game and should not have been there at all.

The angels really don't post much of a threat either. I like the concept behind them in that every angel has a sort of specific action you have to perform on them to get through, but there's only like four different types of angels you will come across. I basically learned how to get past all of them the first time they showed up, and never after that did I run into a single angel that managed to send me back. There's also not much strategy to figuring out what will save you from them, so you just gotta trial and error your way through until you memorize what defeats each angel. I know the game wants to discourage you from running into them, but it doesn't do a very goob job of doing so considering it's extremely easy to get through them.

While the game is very well polished for the most part, there was one very minor thing I came across in that after getting most keys, Cas is supposed to show up outside and send you back, but he never really did. Sara said something like "damn" or "oh not again" every time, and I figured Cas probably did send us back considering you usually wake up in bed right afterwards, but he never actually showed up outside, making things a bit more confusing. Other than that, The Age of Deliverance is a very well crafted, polished product. You can really tell the developer knew what they were doing and is pretty good with the engine.

The Age of Deliverance has its fair share of issues, but honestly, I think it's still well worth the play. Most issues here are minor things, and there isn't anything in particular to ruin the experience. I know most of this review has been focusing on the game's flaws over the positives, but this game still sets a great standart for other rpg maker games to follow. It's creative, well written, visually pleasing to look, has good music, and easily measures up to my nostalgia for it. Just like my last review of Homage, while my rating for this may have dropped from a good 5 stars to a 4.5, The Age of Deliverance is still an amazing experience that I highly recommend to anyone looking for a more mature mystery rpg maker experience.

I give the age of deliverance four and a half angels out of five.

What? You know I had to!