Children of Morta, also published by 11 Bit Studios, presents a similarly top-down action-RPG with rogue-lite elements, retro-inspired pixel art, and immersive art direction and animation. But, like with Moonlighter before it, Children of Morta takes a different approach. The similar setup of failing, upgrading, retrying, and replaying dungeons, slowly growing in power thanks to upgrades is here, but in the guise of a story-driven party-based RPG. With combat and character progression that feels more in line with Blizzard's Diablo than it does Moonlighter's riff on classic The Legend of Zelda.
It is strange to talk about pacing and bloat and a slow-moving plot when the turn-based battles are built on a foundation of ‘taking your time to make the right move’. But in adding so much and painting on such a large canvas, it’s hard not to eventually feel a little lost or stuck in Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
So, if you like lateral thinking, great [branching] storytelling and excellent voice-acting, and can look past a drab, repetitive sheen that is less gameplay heavy and more set-dressing, you’ll still find a gem in this H.P. Lovecraft love letter to the sea, left in an old bottle to wash up on your shore.