We first ran into AVARIAvs the day before PAX East 2017 at Playcrafting’s PREGAMERS event. Tucked in a corner was this game that, unlike any other game on display, had a surreal backstory that promised an epic amount of world building, characters that boggled your imagination and a unique take on competitive games that can be best described as “Final Fantasy meets Street Fighter.”
In AVARIAvs, choose a party of 3 heroes to battle against an opponent’s party. During battle, opposing players choose their actions simultaneously and then witness the mayhem of their decisions. Combat rages on until one winner reigns victorious by decimating their opponent’s HP to zero.
The Heroes in AVARIAvs are split up into four powerful classes: Eoni, ManaSoldier, Servo, and Mage.Each class brings a different flavor to your party, with advantages that can lead you to victory if used strategically.
While the art style and aesthetics of AVARIAvs have me very excited, I don’t want to focus on them first, because AVARIAvs is very much a game about gameplay. Taking that classic JRPG turn based style of combat and group curation, and making that work within a competitive setting is no small feat. Having played the game at multiple stages, I can safely say that the Juncture Media team have done a fantastic job of making this a fair and balanced game, while setting things up so that your choices in both group makeup and skill use matter.
One of the biggest selling points of the combat in AVARIAvs is actually it’s UI and how easy it is to use. The wonderfully well laid out Radial Menus spread through the entire game are instantly understandable and easy to navigate. Sure, different heroes have different abilities and their are certain special cases, but the Radial Menus make everything easy to manage and sift through so you aren’t spending your time in menu after menu.
While the typical strategy of group composition will undoubtedly arise, the Focus system also adds a fresh element of risk and reward to the game. Each of the three heroes in your party gains focus from turn to turn, and they can use this focus to increase the power of their abilities and skills. However, if you let a character’s focus build to Level 5, you’ll unlock the ability to Focusburn, and unleash an immensely powerful attack or ability. These are big, spectacular, show-stopping attacks that make you feel like letting out a yell, but just focusing on getting enough focus to pull these off could cost you, as you’ll have to pass up leveling up your standard abilities.
The best part of the focus system is that it gives you the ability to customize your party in each battle, adapting to the situation at hand. This flexibility, combined with the 16 different heroes, numerous different skills available, and 2000 unique party combinations possible means AVARIAvs is giving you plenty of options to play around with and perfect.
AVARIAvs is also presenting a wonderfully original and surreal sci-fi/fantasy world to get immersed in. On the world of AVARIA, emotions hold particular weight and power. Eoni were AVARIA’s firsts sentient creatures; spiritual, intelligent and immortal. Well, immortal until one of them discovered emotions, and thus transformed into the first Hume, magical creatures whose emotional outburst might have more fundamentally explosive effects than we are use to. Though they lived in harmony for some time, the Eoni ruling over the Hume while giving them guidance, the tables are now set to be turned.
AVARIAvs is set to have Online 1v1 PvP, Offline 1v1 splitscreen PvP, a single player campaign.
Currently it is planned to retail for $19.99 on Windows and Mac, with the idea of releasing on consoles and iOS both on the table as possible, though not confirmed in any way.
At time of publication, AVARIAvs has raised $7,433 of its $29,000 goal, with the funding period running to February 15. If you’d like to learn more about the different classes and abilities, or what reward tiers are available, head to the Kickstarter Page.
*Disclaimer: The Author has not backed the game discussed in this article on Kickstarter as of 1/22/18. All opinions are the authors own, and the objectivity of the piece may be influenced by any of the authors own biases as stated in the article or in this disclaimer.*