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Mixing Final Fantasy and deckbuilders, one beloved RPG just hit 1.0

Recently released out of Steam Early Access, a new RPG and deckbuilder feels like a crossover between Balatro and classic Final Fantasy.

Chrono Ark Steam RPG game: A young woman from RPG game Chrono Ark

With Balatro being the current flavour of the month indie game for its unique roguelike deckbuilder gameplay, it’s an ideal time for other games in the genre to step up and put themselves forward. After a lengthy period in Steam Early Access, Chrono Ark has finally released, putting its own spin on the genre by combining it with the story and gameplay of a story-based singleplayer RPG, in the vein of classic Final Fantasy.

Chrono Ark puts you in the shoes of Lucy, the recently anointed Girl of Prophecy (it’s an RPG game, just run with it) who must gather an investigation team to save a barren world from the monsters and darkness that has befallen it. To achieve this, four members of the team act as Lucy’s fellow party members, with up to 20 companions available to traverse the landscape and take part in turn-based battles.

To make the combat unique, Chrono Ark includes two primary systems. The first is an ‘action timer’, which is an ever-present timer during battles that dictates when enemies will attack while you may be choosing cards, adding an important sense of urgency.

The other is, of course, the randomized cards themselves assigned to each party member, which makes each battle a new experience affected by the cards you’ve managed to find across the overworld during your run. They allow for counter attacks, short-term buffs and nerfs, or offensive status effects like putting curses on enemies.

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The game also stands out by being much more in-depth with its story than many roguelikes, acting almost as a visual novel with detailed conversations between characters, and an overarching plot that even ties toegther with the looping run mechanic, so all the various roguelike elements become part of the game’s canon.

Chrono Ark is available for just $19.78/£15.74 on Steam as part of its launch sale, so don’t miss out on this unique RPG while its cheap. It’s already amassed 90% positive reviews from players during its early access period. If you want to try it for yourself, just head here.

For more like this, keep the randomised loops going with our list of the best roguelike games, or check out our list of the best indie games for more unique games from smaller developers.

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