Zen Studios has crafted a delightful first-person dungeon crawler with Operencia: The Stolen Sun, giving strong nods to classic games such as Wizardry while also putting its own modern spin on things. This is a gorgeous looking game that places as much emphasis on its Central European folklore-inspired story as it does on exploring cursed castles and ominous tombs.
After an action packed prologue, you’ll create a character and set off into the world to investigate a strange reoccurring dream. It won’t take long until you meet new friends and get wrapped up in a quest to find the missing sun god, whose disappearance has left the world in an everlasting gloom. Each of the thirteen grid-based maps that you'll explore are well designed with plenty of traps to avoid and clever puzzles to solve. There are also many secrets to uncover, but you’ll have to wait until you find certain artefacts later in the game before you can discover them all. Finding new potion recipes is a particular joy as you’ll then be given a riddle to solve before you’re able to brew it.
You’re not wandering these maps alone, however. There are monsters visibly roaming around and bumping into them will start a turn-based battle. All your characters have plenty of unique skills, but cooldowns and limited energy means you won’t be able to just spam your strongest attacks or healing spells. Occasionally battles can feel a little drawn out; some enemies are able to resurrect, or have high resistances to your attacks.
Where the game really shines is in its entertaining writing and story-telling. While there are plenty of dark and sombre story points, your lovable companions will constantly lift the mood with light-hearted banter or their tales of folklore told around the warmth of a campfire.