Believe it or not, I love games that have a “book/novel” feel to them. It’s always cool seeing a game incorporate elements of classic written storytelling, like the kind you’d find in an old-school novel or fairy-tale. Soul Sacrifice is one such game that comes to mind when this subject is brought up, with it being a game that combined book-style storytelling with action-based gameplay. However, there was another game with a similar premise.
I’m talking about “Stories: The Path of Destines”, a rather obscure Indie game released on Steam in 2016. Stories was created by Spearhead Games, the same developers behind the underrated puzzle game known as “Tiny Brains”. Stories told the tale of an anthropomorphic fox named “Reynardo”. In a world of similar bipedal animals, Reynardo has always tried his best to live life his way.
During his temporary retirement from his zany adventures, Reynardo is roped into trying to save a youth in a war-zone. The youth ends up being killed, which leads into Reynardo coming into possession of a magic book. From there, Reynardo sets out on a quest to topple the evil raven empire and free the kingdom.
The game is like a choose-your-own adventure book, in the way that most endings will lead Reynardo to an early grave. However, Reynardo can use the book to travel back in time and access its knowledge in order to figure out a way for him to both survive and save the kingdom.
The game’s real draw isn’t the story however, but rather it’s combat. Stories plays like most dungeon crawlers, but with an emphasis on dodging and strategy. You can’t just barrel into a room and slaughter bird-men effortlessly, you need to get both your timing and strategy right. If you don’t, then Reynardo will be sent to an early grave. Luckily, death in this game is a slap on the wrist, so dying and having to restart from a checkpoint isn’t so bad.
The game also has an intricate skill upgrade system, along with several weapons that can be enhanced using ore. Despite starting off as a simple game, Stories quickly blossoms into a rich and amazing action RPG. Sure, parts of the game’s opening are slow, and the lack of bosses is rather disappointing.
That doesn’t change the fact that the game is a hoot, and is one of the few action RPGs with a solid and interesting story throughout. Each story gives you a new and unique ending, one that distances itself greatly from the others. When I get the chance to play more of this game, I’ll be sure to give it a proper review. For now, I’ll just say that this is one of the best action RPGs I’ve played in a while!