Children of Zodiarcs Image
Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 15 Ratings

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  • Summary: A story-driven, tactical RPG set in the fantasy realm of Lumus — a world divided by wealth and poverty. Assume control of Nahmi and her fellow outcasts, utilizing a brand new deck and dice based combat system to strike a blow to the noble Lords’ and Ladies’ unquenchable thirst for profit.

Trailer

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Children of Zodiarcs - Launch Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Sep 8, 2017
    90
    Despite the sometimes unbalanced challenge it presents, Children of Zodiarcs is a brilliant tribute to tactical RPGs of old, with the tabletop elements adding a fresh and engaging twist to the beloved genre. [Oct 2017, p.95]
  2. 85
    Children of Zodiarcs is a great example of passion and innovation. A kickstarter that succeeded in funding and rewarded everyone in the process. A great example of what a studio can achieve when the right people behind it.
  3. Aug 4, 2017
    85
    Children of Zodiarcs is a charming little tale that fits very comfortably in the Venn diagram between tactical RPG’s and games of luck.
  4. 80
    Children of Zodiarcs is a bargain at $17.99, and has plenty of content to sink your teeth into.
  5. Jul 21, 2017
    80
    This is a very good game, with interesting ideas and great execution. It's fun, challenging and deep, so we can't really ask much more.
  6. Aug 3, 2017
    70
    As a story, Children of Zodiarcs is a little lacking, but if you don’t mind some grinding the mix of combat, card and dice system is a delight. Although some characters are less useful than others, the fights are enough to pull you through if a tactical RPG is what you are looking for.
  7. Jul 24, 2017
    69
    Children of Zodiarcs is a noble effort at a fresh take on classic turn-based SRPGs. Although it doesn't quite live up to many of its genre predecessors, there is a solid enough foundation to satisfy strategy RPG fans looking for a new game to add to their collection.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 7
  2. Negative: 4 out of 7
  1. Sep 8, 2019
    10
    This is a fantastic turn-based combat game. In addition to card deck building, you also do dice deck building. Then when you play a card, youThis is a fantastic turn-based combat game. In addition to card deck building, you also do dice deck building. Then when you play a card, you roll dice to see how effective or if any special bonuses can be added. Great characters and a surprisingly emotional story as well! There's nothing I would change about this game, which is why I gave it such a high rating! Expand
  2. Oct 4, 2017
    8
    This is a niche game, and they tend to be subjected to poor User Reviews. However, strategy role-players just happen to be my favoriteThis is a niche game, and they tend to be subjected to poor User Reviews. However, strategy role-players just happen to be my favorite category. I am a huge fan of the genre. I started with Shining Force on the Sega Genesis, and have been playing every SRPG I can get my hands on since then. With that being said, even I was hesitant to spend the money on this title after reading some of these reviews. The complaints (unfinished game, long fights, impossible odds), had me legitimately concerned. I’m glad I decided to take a chance on it – Children of Zodiarcs turned out to be quite fun with some addictive layers of strategy. It is definitely not for everyone, though.

    The game borrows elements from previous SRPGs and collectible card games like Magic the Gathering. On the surface, the game has the look of a stripped down variant that takes place on a grid style battlefield. I felt the small party size (three) and the absence of finding new weapons and armor a bit lacking. There are no items (potions, healing herbs, etc.) to speak of. Instead, you unlock new cards for each of your characters, and find new dice for them to equip.

    The game really deviates itself from the standard with its cards and dice mechanics. Instead of picking from a list of abilities, what your character can do in a turn is determined by the available cards in hand. This action is then modified by rolling the dice. Depending on which symbols turn up, your character will be awarded certain things like bonus damage and bonus healing. There are even symbols for drawing more cards and taking an extra action. I found myself vested in each roll, because you are allowed to choose up to two dice to reroll once per round. This is a pleasant change from the redundancy of pixelated dice rolling than can be found in other games. I was forced to prioritize my reroll options by what my character needed most at any given time. Should I go for max damage, or do I need more cards? Should I try to squeeze out another action, or get the symbols required to activate a secondary ability on the card I just played? Sometimes I needed three or four of these things to happen at once, so that I can turn the tide of the battle, or just continue to stay afloat. When I was able to engineer such a feat, it was quite satisfying.

    Of course, the dice doesn’t allows go in your favor, and sometimes you will not get rolls or the cards that are needed to win. I can see how this randomness can be off putting to some. The key is maximizing your odds by equipping the best suited cards and dice (each character can equip different dice to a certain amount of slots). Even taking these precautions doesn’t always guarantee victory. You will be responsible for constructing the decks, so there will be trial and error while you figure out which cards work best, and which dice compliment them. The lengths of the battles are indeed long, but this is nothing new to the genre. If you aren’t fighting a battle, what else are you going to do in the game? It is not like you will unlock a first person shooter portion of the game once you knock out all these ‘silly turned based fights’. If you are like me, the grid based combat drew you to the game in the first place. As far as the game being impossible due to overwhelming odds, I can see that being the case if you are under leveled, but that’s what the skirmishes are for. Beefing up my squad in this manner didn’t feel like a grind to me. I was excited to see what new card I would get after leveling up. Sometimes, characters are awarded new dice after a battle, though I have yet to figure out what mechanic this is tied to, if any. The EXP awarded during skirmishes is sufficient (even better for elite skirmishes) especially if you are pushing each character to do as much as possible each turn. EXP is awarded for every action (playing a card), not just dealing the killing blow. I realize that I am in the minority of folks that enjoy this aspect of the game, but I certainly wouldn’t call it broken.

    As I mentioned, only three characters in the party does seem lacking. Not because it is too hard, but since the cards are character/class specific, and seeing some more variety would be great. It has a solid foundation, and the possibilities to improve are certainly there for a second installment. I would love to see four or five characters to a party tied into FFTs job system, or something similar. Being able to unlock new classes and new abilities along with the current ones would certainly add to the replay value.

    That being said, Children of Zodiarcs holds up pretty darn well in its current form. As I stated, it is a niche game, and it certainly won’t win over any new fans to the genre (like FF7 did for JRPGs). However, if strategy role playing games have always been your thing, then you owe it to yourself to give it a shot.
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  3. Sep 28, 2019
    7
    This is one of the more original and enjoyable strategy games I've played on the PS4. While there are some areas that could be improved upon,This is one of the more original and enjoyable strategy games I've played on the PS4. While there are some areas that could be improved upon, what this game does, it does well. Expand
  4. Sep 22, 2017
    4
    This game had a lot of cool features going for it but for the most part it feels unfinished. Did the developers give up? Not a well balanced,This game had a lot of cool features going for it but for the most part it feels unfinished. Did the developers give up? Not a well balanced, enjoyable game at all. Would STRONGLY not recommend. Expand
  5. Aug 12, 2017
    4
    The game has several interesting elements that are pretty fun. Using cards drawn from a deck as your abilities and dice rolls to augment theThe game has several interesting elements that are pretty fun. Using cards drawn from a deck as your abilities and dice rolls to augment the abilities is a fun idea. However the execution is just extremely poor. At first the battles are fun, but as you progress it becomes more and more of a chore to play. The battles are either easy and last WAY too long, or they are far too difficult with no reasonable way to overcome them. The easy battles have your 3 party members FAR outnumbered by weak enemies that always seem just barely out of reach from killing with one hit, while a healer comes in behind and heals up to full. Its just plain annoying, its not fun. The difficult battles, again have way too many enemy units against your 3, and just simply overwhelm you. I tried to go grind and get stronger like you normally may do in this situation, but again, the battles last far too long, are not fun, and the experience gain is so low it would take multiple of these battles to get even a single level.

    3 player controlled characters isn't enough. You are often put up against a ton of enemies with just three characters. So far my only strategy is just using whatever my highest attack card is. I rarely need to heal and rarely use any of the support cards. I haven't found any of the normal battle particularly difficult, but I also don't see how they could make them any more difficult with only 3 characters and no real opportunity to make interesting strategies. I believe even one more character would help tremendously here, with a bit more varied abilities across them.

    Somewhat mentioned in my first point, but it really needs a "speed up" button to quickly get through enemies turns. With most maps having a lot of enemy units, it gets really old watching them go through their turn completely.

    Apart from gameplay, the story is good but not great. Its nothing new but its not boring either. Its interesting enough to break up battle after battle. The game doesn't feel buggy, i haven't ran into any crashes, poor framerate, or any other annoyances either. So they have done a good job making everything pretty solid.

    I do believe there is a real chance here to make a much improved game as a follow up. Its a great start at something I haven't played before (at least, i've not experienced all the gameplay elements packaged into a single game before). Correcting the issues I mentioned above, adding more playable characters, more varied strategies in battle, and more varied abilities would give an easily improved follow up.

    Oh and also, I would love to see a card crafting system. Keep the cards that are unlocked via leveling, however add in booster packs you can obtain through various methods as another way to obtain interesting and rare cards as well as provide cards to turn into material to craft new cards (or maybe even dice).
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  6. Sep 4, 2017
    4
    Complete disappointment. I had high hopes for this game, seeing the Square-Enix brand and the fact that it looked like something similar toComplete disappointment. I had high hopes for this game, seeing the Square-Enix brand and the fact that it looked like something similar to Final Fantasy Tactics.

    At first, you really enjoy it; the graphics and characters are charming and the mechanics seem fresh and interesting. But this lasts for about an hour or so; by the time you reach mission 5 or 6 there is a difficulty spike that shows how broken and messy this game really is...

    From that point on you can grind for levels but it makes little difference, since the enemies always overwhelm you with numbers, bad game design and all sorts of bullsh*t. You are always in disadvantage; it's always your small party against waves and waves of enemies, sometimes on maps that you have to escape in other to beat the level, which becomes virtually impossible, without getting completely trashed with new enemies that pop after 2 turns.

    This game got me angry and frustrated; and not because of the difficulty spike. I have no problem with challenge, if the game gives you fair opportunities to turn things around. This game does not offer the opportunities. It's a very cheap, messy and broken game that I regret buying without reading more reviews.

    THIS GAME DOES NOT DESERVE YOUR MONEY.
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  7. Jul 31, 2017
    3
    I had high hopes for this game. I'm disappointed to say the least.

    Art style, music, controls are good. The story is so-so. I found myself
    I had high hopes for this game. I'm disappointed to say the least.

    Art style, music, controls are good. The story is so-so. I found myself just skipping the cut scenes to get to the battle. The combat though is where the game really lets you down. Standard TRPG fair even with the added flair of cards and dice. I always found myself retreating though because I had the wrong cards or suffered a bad dice roll. Constantly on the defensive. With only 3 people on your squad its hard to formulate any effective strategy. Every map you are outnumbered 3 - 1 if not more. There is no skill/card to remove status ailments. There is no skill/card to revive a fallen team mate either. So if somebody on your team dies... too bad. If you are stuck with something like bind or bleed... better learn to enjoy it.

    The maps are bland and small and you are constantly surrounded and dead in no time. The only real tactic you have is the 'backstab'. But your opponent is going for the same move.

    I also found myself fighting the camera. It kept zooming in automatically when the opposition was making a move or taking some action. I don't care! Why are you zooming in? You also fight the map just to try to get a clear view of things as buildings and other objects are in your way.

    In the end... not what I was hoping for. The right pieces are there for something fun but it never comes together in a way that is enjoyable and satisfying.
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