Miasma Chronicles review – breaking the grind – a refreshing approach to turn-based tactics

In a world shattered by a terrifying force called the Miasma, join Elvis, a young man with an extraordinary glove that can manipulate this destructive power. Left behind by his vanished mother, the glove and his robotic companion Diggs, whom he considers a brother, become Elvis’s allies in a dystopian journey. As they explore the wilderness, they may uncover answers that have the potential to change not only their own lives but also the lives of those around them.

Miasma Chronicles, the latest creation from The Bearded Ladies, the studio known for Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, immerses players in a thrilling turn-based tactical game inspired by tabletop role-playing games.

Without giving away too much, it’s important to highlight the game’s captivating story and characters. While it’s a game driven by narrative, the overall plot follows a mostly linear path with optional side quests. The extent of exploration lies in meticulously scouring each area for resources and items. On the positive side, the narrative is engaging and well-presented, so introducing multiple paths and open-world elements might dilute its impact rather than enhance it. However, although the initial exploration feels satisfying due to the visually stunning environments, it eventually becomes repetitive and mundane: fight, scavenge, loot, leave, and repeat. In a time when expansive open-world games like Elden Ring reign supreme, the linear approach of Miasma Chronicles may feel unimpressive and monotonous. One minor disappointment lies in the limited replayability factor after completing the game, especially for those who have finished all side quests.

Despite the missed opportunity for more discovery and exploration, Miasma Chronicles’ focus on turn-based tactical combat hits the mark. It evokes memories of games like Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, X-COM, and even Mario + Rabbids, yet it introduces unique elements that set it apart from the crowd. The standout feature is Elvis’s glove, which allows him to manipulate the Miasma, providing diverse powers. The game seamlessly integrates stealth mechanics into combat as well.

Most combat actions rely on probabilities, such as hitting and critical hits, which are influenced by terrain, the environment, and character positioning. This is where the game truly excels, yet it also induces frustration. The heavy reliance on randomness means that a battle can go from being extremely easy to nearly impossible if you experience a string of missed hits. You might find yourself replaying the same battle multiple times to win and make progress.

Although it’s not strictly classified as an RPG, the game offers an ability tree, character progression, and experience points. Everything is highly customizable, from guns to the Miasma Glove, and you can switch your ability tree at any time to explore the tactics that suit you best. These features contribute to incredibly varied combat that never feels repetitive. Each battle feels unique, demanding a different approach, which is enhanced by evolving characters and extensive customization. The turn-based combat in this game is simply outstanding and becomes even better as the game unfolds. Notably, there is no need for excessive grinding as battles are never repeated, enemies don’t respawn, and if you desire additional progress, the side quests offer a boost.

The controls and gameplay function exceptionally well, whether you’re playing on a PC with a keyboard and mouse or a console with a gamepad. The game’s difficulty can be adjusted, and at the “normal” level, it strikes a good balance, offering enough challenge for players familiar with the genre while remaining accessible and maintaining a focus on gameplay and narrative. The game features visually stunning environments that immerse players in a post-apocalyptic setting, enhancing the overall atmosphere and making exploration a visually engaging experience.

Tabletop Editor


Miasma Chronicles

Review Guidelines

In the post-apocalyptic world of Miasma Chronicles, players embark on a gripping journey with Elvis, a young man possessing a unique glove that can control the devastating Miasma. Developed by The Bearded Ladies, known for Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, this turn-based tactical game offers a captivating story and memorable characters, though it follows a mostly linear narrative. While the exploration aspect may feel repetitive, the game truly shines in its intense combat, featuring Elvis's glove and strategic elements inspired by games like X-COM. With customization options, evolving characters, and no need for grinding, Miasma Chronicles delivers an accessible and engaging experience for players seeking a balance of gameplay and narrative.

Mindful Phill

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