Well, the game’s Kickstarter snuck up on us, and we wanted to highlight what we liked best about it:
Raji An Ancient Epic is an action adventure game set in ancient India. Raji, a young girl is chosen by the gods to fight against the demonic invasion of the human realm. Her destiny is to rescue her younger brother and face the demon lord Mahabalasura
Before we go any further, we should say that there is a demo available which you can download now on Steam or on Indie DB, so there’s no excuse not to give the game a try. I did and I can safely say I was wonderfully surprised:
There have been few games, let alone games in such an early state, with an environment as breathtakingly beautiful as the world you journey through in Raji. From the frist moments of the game, I was swept up in the crumbling ruins and lush vegetation around me. Raji’s art style and aesthetic direction is phenomenal, and we’ve only seen a small sliver of what could be in store.
All of the environments in Raji have been inspired by the architecture and art of the medieval era of Rajasthan. They’ve also, astonishingly, all been hand painted. The team have used several pieces of software, a considerable amount of dedication and countless hours to bring this world to life and it really pays off.
Another element that helps to immerse you in this world in the music. The soundtrack in Raji is a fusion of traditional Rajasthani Folk music and Carnatic Indian music, with a bit of a Western touch from sound designer Linus Tzelos. Tzelos went through 3 months of musical training with Rajasthani master musicians, and spent timing playing music for the locals of the area, so I’ve got a lot of respect for the time and effort being put in here to get this right.
The gameplay in Raji is clearly the part of the game in need of the most development. While the world and characters of the game feel vibrant and rich, the gameplay feels very standard. That’s not to say it’s bad; it’s not. It just pales beside the aesthetics of the game.
Mechanically, Raji is a brawler. In the demo you’re given one weapon and two upgrade paths, but shown that there are at least three other weapons you’ll have access to. You’ve got quick and heavy attacks, finishers, and a couple of abilities, one active and one passive. While there wasn’t a ton of variety in the gameplay at this point, Raji does do one thing I’ve seen few other games do: it makes a little girl seem like a total action hero.
As Raji darted about the battlefield, executed demons and dodged out of the way of charging foes, I couldn’t help but cheer for her. You can sense her determination: She’s committed to kicking whatever demon’s but she has to to rescue her brother Golu. I’m not sure what combination of character design, animation and sound design crafted this sense that i was picking up from Raji, but for goodness sake; DO NOT CHANGE THIS.
Raji: An Ancient Epic has good, lovingly crafted bones. The gameplay needs some work, but there’s a fantastic, beautiful foundation and world that’s been created I’m eager to get the chance to explore more.
Raji’s funding period ends today, December 12th. At the time of publication, they have raised £64,899 of their goal of £120,000, or about 54% funded, so they can use every bit of help you can muster. if you’d like to learn more about the game, or contribute to their funding, head here.
*Disclaimer: The Author has not backed the game discussed in this article on Kickstarter as of the time of publication. 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.*