January 26th, 2012 | By Alex Bokan
MicroTale is an indie game being developed by Jenito Games. As of now, it’s still in beta, with no full release scheduled. In my fairly limited time with the game, I’ve been left with a mostly positive outlook.
At first glance, it is easy to see the similarities between MicroTale and Terraria. They both have building and free world elements found in Minecraft and both feature a side scrolling, two dimensional world where you control a character within it. If you’ve ever played Terraria or Minecraft, you’ll at least know that creativity is the goal. Having said that, MicroTale takes some liberties with the design to make the game quite unique.
For starters, the presence of a controllable character feels far less important. By that, I mean in order to mine or build all you do is move your cursor over a tile and click. Your character has absolutely nothing to do with the actual mining and building process.
Instead, your character is used mainly to limit your movement and progression. What you see on your screen is based on whether or not you can get your character there. In other words, it still retains that exploration element found in Terraria while giving you much more building freedom.
One of the bigger changes Minecraft and Terraria veterans will notice is that nearly every resource you mine will turn into cash. While there are a handful of other resources in the game, they are only used for a few items like airships. Considering you can create stackable cash farms fairly easily, MicroTale leans away from a mining emphasis, instead focusing on letting you build and create effortlessly. It even includes a color menu to let you customize your creations, as well as a Prefab mechanic that lets you create personal templates of your own choosing.
The most welcome element that differentiates itself from Terraria is the tutorial. In Terraria, the game simply drops you into a world to fend for yourself. While allowing players to familiarize themselves with the game world in their own way isn’t a bad thing, a tutorial can make a big difference to new players. The tutorial is currently optional and consists purely of text that you can access at any point. I, for one, certainly benefited from the guidance MicroTale’s tutorial offered. That being said, the tutorial could be improved with better writing and typo fixes, both of which the developer is aware of.
Thus far, the battles are an interesting affair. They grant you ‘Teknika’ which seem to act much like magic. Otherwise, your only defence against randomly generated enemies is your main attack. This attack generally consists of you clicking once on your enemy while within a certain distance. Your character then continuously lobs a sword at them. It’s simple – perhaps too simple.
Probably the coolest feature is the inclusion of creatable airships. You choose the shape and size, then attach the appropriate features to create the aircraft. One wheel, enough engines and fuel cells to lift the particular size and weight of the aircraft. It’s completely controllable in the air, and can simply devastate anything it runs into.
As of now, I’ve progressed little into the actual game. Instead, I spent multiple hours simply building and playing around with the mechanics. While, on the surface, the game certainly has many aspects that can draw similarities to Terraria, it also does enough different to warrant a look. It’s not perfect, but MicroTale is looking to be a worthy addition to the recent surge of creativity-based games.
You can find out more information on MicroTale on the official website, where the beta can be downloaded.