Siralim is an Isometric RPG in where we take on the role of a king. In the realm of Siralim a king is not one of leadership or royalty, instead they are pretty much guardians that protect the realm. As such you will not be commanding anybody, setting taxes or anything else one would associate with a king. Your duty is to travel to other randomly generated realms and kill its inhabitants for the fun of it or to capture their souls. Once you capture three souls of the same monster type you will be able to go back to your castle and summon your very own loyal minion from fusing the three souls together. I’m pretty sure we are the villains of this game but due to it having absolutely no story it is open to interpretation. Starting off you can choose one of several mage types that have different abilities and can be changed for a different class later on with a few resources. The gameplay is split into two parts, the exploration and the combat phase. While exploring you will have an overhead view of you and your party and are able to search for treasures, resources or gambling dwarfs. Bumping into an enemy will trigger the combat phase which is in first person and plays like a turn based dungeon crawler.
Every monster has their own quirks to them such as being able to revive from death, gaining attack power each time it is hit or sacrificing some of its own life to attack. It does make each monster feel unique though there is not much fun to be found in the combat regardless. Each monster can only attack, defend or provoke an enemy meaning the only strategy is which enemy you should attack first. Most of your time will be spent mashing the attack prompt without bothering to read what is going on in the battle since there is not much you can do about it anyways. Your monsters have no skills, positioning doesn’t matter in the slightest and there is nothing more to fighting than a simple attack. Our mage is an off screen support character that can cast some spells granted he has the mana to do things like heal or attack enemies. In order to use magic you will need to equip a scroll with a limited number of uses meaning that you cannot rely on your mage as a source of varying up the combat since you may need the spells later on. Combat really gets tedious fast and fighting is a very common thing in this game. There are some flaws to the battle UI such as not showing how much mana a spell would use and displaying what in the world the status effects do or even if an enemy is inflicted with one or not.
Leveling up your creatures does not feel fun at all since the only information they give you is that your creature has leveled up which doesn’t really mean anything since they will not learn new skills or be any different than when they were at level 1. When your mage levels up it is a bit more interesting since you will earn royalty points which allow you to increase attack, mana or a various amount of other things such as bigger rewards when completing duties. Even that lacks any sense of excitement or fun since most of your skills will only be augmented by 1% making for a tedious grind and dedication to one skill in order to notice even the slightest effect. There are artifacts that can be either made or found that will have a noticeable effect in defense or offense on the monster you choose to equip it with. Artifacts level up the more they fight with them but it falls in the same problem as the monsters in that they fail to tell you how it’s any better only other than it being a higher level. There are a metric ton of consumables in this game that you can take before battle in order to gain more experience, defense or allowing you to attack first. Pretty much everything leads back to the lousy combat unfortunately. It is rather hard to stay motivated when every reward, trinket and consumable you are fighting to get does not change the formula of mashing the attack prompt until you’ve won or have died.
If one of your monsters is killed in battle it is no big deal, everyone will be at full health with no status effects crippling them once you have either won the battle or fled. It kind of cheapens fights and makes them even more boring since every fight will have you be at your strongest. There is no tension as you fight more and more, meaning that preparations are not really needed, you just step in a dungeon and grind away. After battle you are given resources which in turn can be used to research more realms to explore, blacksmiths, enchanters and many other services for your castle. Once you purchase your selected research you must kill enemies until you got enough life-force to complete it. Realms contain a few differences such as different effects during battle like freezing or enemies reviving, different music and different themed sprites for treasure & resources. What realm you are thrown into is purely random. You can summon a two way portal to go back to your castle any time and return where you left off but if you turn off the game or die that portal will disappear and you will start in realm 1 again.
This game is not pretty by any means but it gets the job done and it is pretty cool to be followed around by a conga line of summoned monsters. There are a ton of monsters to collect and you even have a stable to keep them all in. It is pretty satisfying collecting a bunch of unique monsters. Despite not personally enjoying this game I can definitely see the appeal of being a death mage king followed by a horde of minions. This is definitely the slow burning type of game where it will take you a ton of time to do anything but there is always something to do. Whether that is a good thing comes to personal preference. The amount of content on here is quite massive but very stretched out. Tons of different monsters with a few quirks but in the end all there is to combat is to press the attack button until one of you dies, tons of different realms but little difference between them, tons of missions but no substance to them as they are usually kill X amount of monster or collect X amount of items. One of the selling points of Siralim is that it’s truly an endless game and one that will offer you countless hours if you manage to get past or even enjoy the combat. If you are one to enjoy collecting all the feathers in Assassin’s Creed or the type that collects all of the Pokemon this game will surely entertain you for a good while.
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