Here's a narrative sci-fi adventure about exploring a (literally) broken world

A new narrative sci-fi adventure RPG called Sky of Tides will release later this year, having players explore a world called Numen where a looming war threatens to upend protagonist Rin's life. It's an atmospheric, isometric viewpoint world that seems to rely on both the tropes of classic isometric RPGs and the language of branching visual novels.

To me, though, Sky of Tides looks a bit like a visual novel got real high on Disco Elysium. Which is pretty welcome—I'm interested in seeing if the gameplay formula pioneered by Disco Elysium carries something interesting forward when divorced from its wildly original setting.

You'll play as Rin D'Lorah, the daughter of a missing researcher who discovers a conspiracy. She'll then go on an adventure to find her father and meet all kinds of weird people across the broken planetoids that were once the world Numen. It's more than anything a narrative game, an adventure, but Rin's statistics, the path of the story, and the world around her are affected by your dialogue choices.

Most interesting to me are the RPG mechanics involved, which seem akin to something between skill-use RPGs with that dash of Disco Elysium: "Dialogue choices you make reflect in your Character Stats which go towards unlocking further dialogue options and unique customization items. Increase your intelligence, humor, courage, compassion, and luck, but be wary of what you say, the people you meet along the way aren’t afraid to talk back," say the devs.

Lofty Sky Entertainment previously worked on a hybrid action game and comic called  Shuyan Saga, where 3D fighter scenes were interspersed with storytelling in comic panels. I never saw it on release in 2017, but it was pretty well-received by those who played it.

You can find Sky of Tides on Steam, where it will release later this year.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.