By Chris Picone, 16 May 2023
What I like most about Remnants of the Rift is that it's a bit quirky; the art style, the gameplay, everything. As a veteran of the genre, I found it rather refreshing.
The characters and cutscenes in particular remind me of Soyuzmultfilm - except French, maybe? The actual game creatures and board look more like those traditionally found in tight turn-based tactical games except with an quality that I can only describe as surreal. There's no real explanation about the creatures so they're just some kinda weird (digital, maybe?) aliens with strange abilities, and the landscapes are similarly strange, with strange patterns and shapes and obstacles that don't match any kind of familiar terrain.
It's a tactical game, first and foremost, with grid-based movement, but it's a weird hybrid of time- and turn-based that makes it play quite uniquely. That is to say that it plays like a turn-based tactical, but there are no action points; all movements and attacks are triggered by timers. It just doesn't feel like it, so you'll probably find yourself moving into position and trying to attack an enemy only to find the cooldown on your weapon hasn't reset yet. It takes some getting used to but it's a cool system that encourages you to utilise all of your weapons and abilities. And you need to, because you'll frequently find yourself outnumbered and outgunned. To make things even tricker, while you not only have to keep yourself alive but also have to protect towers, so you need to think and act quickly. This leads to some cool combat situations where you might dash through a weak enemy, shoot another from behind, drop a mine where the tele-bombing enemy's about to land, then dash out again. It's fun. Between each level you get to choose your rewards to power up as you go and, as it's a roguelike you also get to take some loot home for more permanent upgrades so you can delve deeper. There's also a story to drag you along and even factions as you get further in.
Remnants of the Rift is a strange but well-delivered tactical game that has a lot to offer and anyone interested in tight turn-based tactical games should enjoy it. In particular, I found its quirkiness and the interesting combination of turn- and time-based quite stimulating.