The first game from Pune-based studio Nodding Heads Games is now on Kickstarter. Raji: An Ancient Epic, about which we already covered twice, is an isometric 3D puzzle-platformer that narrates the story of the Gods and the Demons. Set in an Ancient India, the game revolves around the life of Raji, a young girl in the far corners of Jaipur, Rajasthan, who is chosen by the Gods to save the world from the cruel evil. Along with their Kickstarter Campaign, Nodding Heads released a ‘Kickstarter Demo’ of the game for users to try and live the experience of Ancient India, which will also help its supporters know what they’re pleading for.
The Charm of the Game
All the charm of the game begins with the chan-chan sound of her Payal (anklet) that echoed all around my headphone domes. To begin with, the demo features the exact opening sequence as of its gameplay trailer. The game starts with Raji rising from an unconscious state under a Chattri (the structure) featuring a mesmerising environment and a soothing vocal music playing in the background.
In all the previews, sneak peeks, trailers and promos, one thing that was consistent was the game’s combat. Indulging yourself in an ancient era with a Trishul (trident) and thunderous powers gifted by the Gods is everything Raji’s combat is about. For the first one and a half minutes Raji is seemingly curious about the world, slow and calm and most importantly, she’s unarmed. Soon a horde of Gadasuras (mace-wielding demons) appear from nowhere, and that’s when the Gods send the mighty Trishul. She picks it up and the game begins.
As of the demo, we get to see three types of demons. The first and basic one is Gadasura, second is Tezabsura (acid-spilling demon) and the boss-type demon, is the advanced Gadasura that charges towards you and bashes the ground continuously for more than a few times.
At the beginning, the combat felt absolutely ridiculous and extremely hard to coop up with. Every time I tried hitting one of the Gadasuras, Raji would just turn her face towards me either as if she’s shy of the demons or as she’s just not interested in fights. It was later that I found out I’m supposed to point the mouse cursor over the demons for Raji to attack them. (facepalm)
Raji’s attacks, combos, dodges and throws are so well choreographed that it feels as if she’s a trained fighter. Is she? We don’t know yet. The combat has its own originality. However, after a few fight sequences and killing quite a good amount of demons, it starts getting repetitive which kinda pulled me out of the magical world. And in just a few minutes, I found myself thinking of something else rather than the game even though when my fingers were doing their job.
Environment and Feel
Every time you slay a demon, you get health orbs, that regenerates Raji’s health and favour orbs, which can be used to upgrade and unlock new skills and powers. The demo features just one cutscene where Raji obtains the ‘Q’ (Power Attack) ability from Goddess Durga. It deals a fair amount of damage to the enemies if cast well.
Also, we get to see one of the Mandala puzzles in the demo where you need to match the colours of the Rangoli to unlock the next levels. It was quite fun rotating the wheels and matching the colours.
The demo doesn’t feature any kind of story connections and it ends abruptly without any credits. Once you’re done slaying a dozen of demons, you’ll find yourself in a high tower that leads to an optical path towards the entire city of Jaipur, as if the scene says ‘The real story lies there.’ The environment is spellbinding and it lays a perfect framework for an ancient-based game.
I have been following Raji: An Ancient Epic for a quite a long time now and I know enough about it to call myself one of its biggest fans. I was eagerly waiting to get my hands on a copy of Raji for long when Nodding Heads surprised me with the Kickstarter Demo. The demo was great!. Although it had some anomalies, bugs and a few this and thats, it still met my expectations. Do support the game on Kickstarter and plead any amount you can to boost the development process.
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