Tales of Maj’Eyal is a roguelike RPG, featuring tactical turn-based combat and advanced character building. Play as one of many unique races and classes in the lore-filled world of Eyal, exploring random dungeons, facing challenging battles, and developing characters with your own tailored mix of abilities and powers.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (19 reviews) - 94% of the 19 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (1,656 reviews) - 94% of the 1,656 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 31, 2012

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Buy Tales of Maj'Eyal Volumes I - III

Includes 3 items: Tales of Maj'Eyal, Tales of Maj'Eyal - Ashes of Urh'Rok, Tales of Maj'Eyal - Embers of Rage

 

Recent updates View all (38)

June 14

Tales of Maj'Eyal 1.4.8 aka "Of Redemption" is released!

My minions, I am happy and proud to give you Tales of Maj'Eyal 1.4.7 ! See http://te4.org/

Enjoy and have fun in Eyal!

Release highlights:

  • Some bugfixes

Expanded changelist:
  • Fixed the Item's Vault crash. Sorry..
  • Unexisting particles (because of removed addon/..) will not prevent loading (should help with some world.teaw issues)
  • Oozewalk correctly only removes detrimental effects
  • Fixed offhand mindstar from not using the talent's damage multiplier

Have fun!

10 comments Read more

June 13

Tales of Maj'Eyal 1.4.7 aka "Of Perception" is released!

My minions, I am happy and proud to give you Tales of Maj'Eyal 1.4.7 ! See http://te4.org/

Enjoy and have fun in Eyal!

Release highlights:

  • Some bugfixes

Expanded changelist:
  • Updated Ring of the War Master and the Murderblade to correctly boost berserker talents
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes made alt daikara 4 or sludgenest 1 (and probably some others) fail to generate
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes made exiting subvaults bug out
  • Fixed a bug preventing adventurers from restarting from premades in the infinite dungeon
  • Updated OpenAL dll for windows to a new version, should prevent some windows10 crashes
  • Disabled greater-crypt abnd trickvault vaults (the ones with the levers/tricks that sometimes bork) until they can be remade in a way that cant trap players forever
  • Fixed Dominant Will to correctly fade away
  • Phase Door and Teleport respect teleport immunity
  • Fixed The Cage (Embers of Rage) from working only once
  • Fix random freeze/random stop at high run speed
  • Tinkered items can not be vaulted anymore


Have fun!

12 comments Read more

Reviews

“If you didn’t download TOME immediately then please do so now, unless you’re at work, in which case it’s acceptable to wait until your lunch break. Take your lunch break immediately.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

“Tales of Maj’Eyal (TOME) seems to be a roguelike that refuses to have the shortcomings that are taken for granted in the genre.”
Dorkadia

“Even within a single class, there’s a lot of depth and tactical nuance to discover.”
Indiestatik

About This Game

Tales of Maj’Eyal is a roguelike RPG, featuring tactical turn-based combat and advanced character building. Play as one of many unique races and classes in the lore-filled world of Eyal, exploring random dungeons, facing challenging battles, and developing characters with your own tailored mix of abilities and powers.
With a modern graphical and customisable interface, intuitive mouse control, streamlined mechanics and deep, challenging combat, online stats and character sheets, Tales of Maj’Eyal offers engaging roguelike gameplay for the 21st century.

Key features:
  • Focus on randomly generated tactical battles
  • Rich set of very unique classes
  • Unlocks & achievements progression
  • Rich world with its own history which slowly reveal during the game
  • No consumables, no grinding
  • Turn based: think before you act!
  • Simple, easy to use interface
  • Easy modding support with Workshop integration

Buyers will get all the extra features that normal donators get. You can test for free on te4.org

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Any OpenGL capable
    • Storage: 512 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2+
    • Storage: 512 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX 10.9
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Any OpenGL capable
    • Storage: 512 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: OSX 10.9
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2+
    • Storage: 512 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Any OpenGL capable
    • Storage: 512 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2+
    • Storage: 512 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (19 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (1,656 reviews)
Recently Posted
kawaiimaster420
22.6 hrs
Posted: August 25
one of my favorite games i own

I got this game because my freind recomended it this it the first roughlike game i have ever played and i freaking love it get this game if you like rouglikes or if you like good games at all
Helpful? Yes No Funny
UBERS
86.8 hrs
Posted: August 25
Good luck achievement hunters...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
cksiu
928.5 hrs
Posted: August 24
A friend came over to my house and played this game, I saw him die over and over for an hour or so and I laughed at him.

Then I realised I was just like him, about a thousand gameplay hours ago.

Where did the time go? No idea, but I am still learning new things after playing the game this much.

This is not a game for everybody, but don't let the oldschool roguelike reputation scare you. You will grow to love death after submitting to her ten thousand times.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
noizeknight
41.2 hrs
Posted: August 21
love the game (addictive) but cannot get it to play recently because of some LUA error when i try to start a new game. have not got any support on a fix so i won't pay for more dlC till then sorry.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Loringue
13.5 hrs
Posted: August 20
Tales of Maj'Eyal is a roguelike in its best possible form. Assuming you're familiar with roguelikes, ToME's main draw is its combat. Whereas games like Angband, Nethack and the like have a lot of focus on navigating the dungeons and managing your items, ToME sets itself apart from other RLs through its tactical approach to combat.

In ToME, every class is absolutely LOADED with skills and abilities. Passive perks, active spells, buffs and the like. There's a class for everyone and a lot of fun to be had with them, and combined with the races you've got a lot of potential for characters. You could play a Berserker and cut people down through your BLOODLUST, an Alchemist who crafts potions and bombs on the fly to tear apart a crowd, or a Paradox Mage and change the perspective through the manipulation of spacetime itself. Each class has tons of abilities and skill trees, and you can invest into specific types of abilities (say I wanted to focus on grappling instead of one-handed skills) to suit your tastes or your needs for that situation. Combat is a matter of knowing when to use your abilities and resource management. Using an ability puts it on a cooldown and uses up a certain percentage of a turn. Some abilities don't take any time at all, some may use up your entire turn. Each one has a different range, a different effect and a different cost. Summoning skeletons, controlling minds, throwing enemies across the room, and stopping time are among the many abilities you can learn within the game.

Ability costs are an important element. Early classes such as Mages and Warriors may use mana, which is about as straightforward as it gets. The more advanced professions may use alternative resources such as Hate, which is built by attacking and being attacked - or Paradox, which can be used freely, but the more it's used, the higher the chance for you to be affected by random effects such as teleporting and spell backfire. Learning how to effectively manage these resources is half of the challenge, and as you get stronger and fight tougher enemies you'll need every bit of your wits and patience if you want to make it out alive. As with other roguelikes, there's of course plenty of equipment and items to find, and it ranges from armor and weapons with random stats to powerful, unique items that may have a little more behind them.

While it's not central to the game in any way, there actually is quite a bit of information on the world you're in. You'll find little lore pages scattered around the world which tell you just a little bit more about Maj'Eyal. For anyone who doesn't care, the game doesn't force this on you in any way, but for those who want a little extra, it's there!

The game actually has a wonderful presentation given the genre. The little tiles for the characters and maps look quite nice and I can totally tell what I'm looking at! The music is nothing to write home about but it's all good stuff and fits the environments well, making my dungeon crawls quite the enjoyable romp. The HUD and info are all pretty clear and easy to understand, and as you get more skills the hotbar expands so you've got everything in one place. You can play the entire thing with mouse, keyboard, or with both, which is nice. It's always nice to keep your options open and luckily there's a lot of em.

Interestingly, there's also online servers. You can store your characters online and keep items in a cloud vault to transfer them between characters. If you access your profile online it'll show all your characters and everything, which is a neat touch. There's a global chat too and the community is very friendly, which is great! If you die, your death is also broadcasted to the entire server, so you have extra pressure! It's a needless feature, but a great one nonetheless.

Key Points
+ Roguelike combat is indeed challenging and tactical
+ Solid music that really helps with the atmosphere
+ Classes are all fun to play and interesting
+ Optional lore pages do great in providing players extra incentive and fleshing out the world
+ Comprehensible and easy to use UI
+ Serverside saves!

Get If
- You LOVE roguelikes
- Smashing goblins with energy blasts you rewound through time and blasting foes with your blood sounds like your cup of tea
- You LOOOOVE roguelikes
- You're looking for something combat-centric

Final Verdict
A must-play, and it's cheap as dirt too. There's a free version on the website but if you can, support the dev and buy it on Steam. You get neat perks and stuff for it, and the replay value as is typical for roguelikes, is practically infinite.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Hanso
1,027.9 hrs
Posted: August 18
I've put over 1,000 hours into this game and I've beaten it twice. I need help, professional counciling. If you want a life avoid it.

Forget graphics, forget flashy effects, forget triple AAA budget - this is 100% gameplay, unforgiving, no hand holding, no mercy just game play.

The learning curve is light, play is incredibly deep, and then depending on your chosen character and race, massively different approach and tactics needed every time. There is so much variety and orginality, you can't help but start multiple campaigns never finshing before wanting to see how that other combo works.

Just when you are over it, every avenue explored, another !%$#%!#$ campaign is launched.... arrrgghhhh

Buy it, club together, join the TOME anoymous program





Helpful? Yes No Funny
Thordlar The Mystic
357.2 hrs
Posted: August 17
You want this game. Trust me, you do.

Not convinced? Alright. Before I get into anything, you don't even have to take my word for it. Go to the te4 website and play the game for free. Yes, the full game, minus donator features which are in no way necessary. But you'll want to donate anyway, because it's that good of a game. (Trust me)

Are you a fan of Roguelikes? What are you doing? How have you not played this yet? For shame.

Not a fan or never really played traditional roguelikes? Well then...
I bought this game in December of 2014. I've played well over 300 hours since then and still play it regularly. How many games do you own can you honestly say you play regularly two years after buying it?

And I still haven't nearly seen everything. I've beaten the game *once* on normal roguelike in that time. Yes, it's a difficult game.

I see a number of reviews complaining that the combat is simplistic and that you either steamroll over things or die. Well, if you approach something that you can't steamroll over as if you can and don't attack strategically, ya, it's going to kill you. The world is dangerous and death is around every corner. Be prepared.
There will be scenarios where you can't be prepared and you will experience 'cheap' deaths. Such is the nature of roguelikes. Anything can happen. Just roll a new character and let the fun begin again. You'll get used to doing that.

If you're not someone who's attracted by the idea of permanant death, don't worry, there are options for multiple, or even infinite in the donator/steam version, lives. That combined with many difficulty levels, you'll surely be able to find the difficulty that's right for you.

Trust me. If you like roguelikes, fantasy, stratagy, turnbased combat, adventuring, death, worldsaving, kitties, angry orcs, god-slaying cephalopods, more death, achievements, vacuums that suck up your free time, or fun, you'll like this game. Trust me. It's got all of these in plenty.

*Still* not convinced? Ok, like I said, go try it for *free* from te4.org.

Or you can trust me. You won't regret it. It's a fantastic game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Salvia Hardon
326.9 hrs
Posted: August 15
Hundreds upon hundreds of hours of roguelike content.

ToME4 distinguishes itself from other roguelikes by having classes with massive skill lists to increase the number of tactical options in combat. Even the warrior classes typically spend more time deciding which skill to use rather than just hacking away.

But the genre isn't for everyone. Lots of people will run into deaths that they felt were completely unfair and not recognize that there were things they should've done with their equipment setup hours earlier in the run. ToME is really bad at teaching people what they did wrong, I'll give it that.

So, if you're new to the genre, I highly recommend you download the almost entirely feature complete free version from te4.org
Helpful? Yes No Funny
KrudlerTheHorse
7.4 hrs
Posted: August 14
I gave it a shot, I really gave it a shot. I figured that a game with such a high rating must have something going for it that I wasn't seeing and that I needed to keep giving it "just a bit more time".

I think I got about 3-4 hours in before I realized that no amount of "more time" would ever reveal to me what others are seeing in this game.

For me I found it boring, frustrating and mostly luck-based. I really never felt challenged as a player or felt that I was required to truly evaluate what my next move was going to be. It seemed to be: Either face-roll whatever was in front of me OR kite enemies to a choke-point and then do the obvious attack/skill/whatever. Continue until you die from circumstances beyond your control.

It presents as a deep strategy game but I can honestly say I felt no strategy beyond absolute basics was ever required for the time I played.

There appears to be a lot of customization in the characters/classes/skills/etc but when it all comes out in terms of gameplay it felt quite shallow. How can a game feel so shallow when there is so much apparent "depth" to the character customization? I have no idea, but this game found the formula IMO.

My other big complaint is the UI (user interface) which I found using to be a greater challenge than playing the actual game.

Why won't my character move every 2nd click? How do I close this window? Why does this window close when I click OFF it, and this other window requires me to click ON it to close? Why is there rollover text that needs scrolling, yet when I move the mouse over to scroll it different rollover replaces it before I get there? Thank goodness I quit drinking because I would have gone rage city while I was still living in the bottle.

The UI- and I want to make it clear I am not talking about the graphics which are a different story - is very bad, very difficult to use, and feels dashed together haphazardly with little regard to how users need and expect information to be presented. I praise the dev for ATTEMPTING to include font/UI scaling options which more games need. However, adjusting any of the setting made the visual presentation quite atrocious and broke the UI in non-trivial ways. Resolution settings turned out to be a joke too... anything other than full-screen native resolution made the layout of the UI go berserk.

I don't care that much about graphics, I don't care that much for story, I don't care too much about deep customization. What I care about is good gameplay, solid craftsmanship, and clean & intuitive interface - I did not find any of those here.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Nicocat
364.7 hrs
Posted: August 13
I made a boss kill himself with his own instakill death laser.

10/10 would buy again.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
357.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
You want this game. Trust me, you do.

Not convinced? Alright. Before I get into anything, you don't even have to take my word for it. Go to the te4 website and play the game for free. Yes, the full game, minus donator features which are in no way necessary. But you'll want to donate anyway, because it's that good of a game. (Trust me)

Are you a fan of Roguelikes? What are you doing? How have you not played this yet? For shame.

Not a fan or never really played traditional roguelikes? Well then...
I bought this game in December of 2014. I've played well over 300 hours since then and still play it regularly. How many games do you own can you honestly say you play regularly two years after buying it?

And I still haven't nearly seen everything. I've beaten the game *once* on normal roguelike in that time. Yes, it's a difficult game.

I see a number of reviews complaining that the combat is simplistic and that you either steamroll over things or die. Well, if you approach something that you can't steamroll over as if you can and don't attack strategically, ya, it's going to kill you. The world is dangerous and death is around every corner. Be prepared.
There will be scenarios where you can't be prepared and you will experience 'cheap' deaths. Such is the nature of roguelikes. Anything can happen. Just roll a new character and let the fun begin again. You'll get used to doing that.

If you're not someone who's attracted by the idea of permanant death, don't worry, there are options for multiple, or even infinite in the donator/steam version, lives. That combined with many difficulty levels, you'll surely be able to find the difficulty that's right for you.

Trust me. If you like roguelikes, fantasy, stratagy, turnbased combat, adventuring, death, worldsaving, kitties, angry orcs, god-slaying cephalopods, more death, achievements, vacuums that suck up your free time, or fun, you'll like this game. Trust me. It's got all of these in plenty.

*Still* not convinced? Ok, like I said, go try it for *free* from te4.org.

Or you can trust me. You won't regret it. It's a fantastic game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
13.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 20
Tales of Maj'Eyal is a roguelike in its best possible form. Assuming you're familiar with roguelikes, ToME's main draw is its combat. Whereas games like Angband, Nethack and the like have a lot of focus on navigating the dungeons and managing your items, ToME sets itself apart from other RLs through its tactical approach to combat.

In ToME, every class is absolutely LOADED with skills and abilities. Passive perks, active spells, buffs and the like. There's a class for everyone and a lot of fun to be had with them, and combined with the races you've got a lot of potential for characters. You could play a Berserker and cut people down through your BLOODLUST, an Alchemist who crafts potions and bombs on the fly to tear apart a crowd, or a Paradox Mage and change the perspective through the manipulation of spacetime itself. Each class has tons of abilities and skill trees, and you can invest into specific types of abilities (say I wanted to focus on grappling instead of one-handed skills) to suit your tastes or your needs for that situation. Combat is a matter of knowing when to use your abilities and resource management. Using an ability puts it on a cooldown and uses up a certain percentage of a turn. Some abilities don't take any time at all, some may use up your entire turn. Each one has a different range, a different effect and a different cost. Summoning skeletons, controlling minds, throwing enemies across the room, and stopping time are among the many abilities you can learn within the game.

Ability costs are an important element. Early classes such as Mages and Warriors may use mana, which is about as straightforward as it gets. The more advanced professions may use alternative resources such as Hate, which is built by attacking and being attacked - or Paradox, which can be used freely, but the more it's used, the higher the chance for you to be affected by random effects such as teleporting and spell backfire. Learning how to effectively manage these resources is half of the challenge, and as you get stronger and fight tougher enemies you'll need every bit of your wits and patience if you want to make it out alive. As with other roguelikes, there's of course plenty of equipment and items to find, and it ranges from armor and weapons with random stats to powerful, unique items that may have a little more behind them.

While it's not central to the game in any way, there actually is quite a bit of information on the world you're in. You'll find little lore pages scattered around the world which tell you just a little bit more about Maj'Eyal. For anyone who doesn't care, the game doesn't force this on you in any way, but for those who want a little extra, it's there!

The game actually has a wonderful presentation given the genre. The little tiles for the characters and maps look quite nice and I can totally tell what I'm looking at! The music is nothing to write home about but it's all good stuff and fits the environments well, making my dungeon crawls quite the enjoyable romp. The HUD and info are all pretty clear and easy to understand, and as you get more skills the hotbar expands so you've got everything in one place. You can play the entire thing with mouse, keyboard, or with both, which is nice. It's always nice to keep your options open and luckily there's a lot of em.

Interestingly, there's also online servers. You can store your characters online and keep items in a cloud vault to transfer them between characters. If you access your profile online it'll show all your characters and everything, which is a neat touch. There's a global chat too and the community is very friendly, which is great! If you die, your death is also broadcasted to the entire server, so you have extra pressure! It's a needless feature, but a great one nonetheless.

Key Points
+ Roguelike combat is indeed challenging and tactical
+ Solid music that really helps with the atmosphere
+ Classes are all fun to play and interesting
+ Optional lore pages do great in providing players extra incentive and fleshing out the world
+ Comprehensible and easy to use UI
+ Serverside saves!

Get If
- You LOVE roguelikes
- Smashing goblins with energy blasts you rewound through time and blasting foes with your blood sounds like your cup of tea
- You LOOOOVE roguelikes
- You're looking for something combat-centric

Final Verdict
A must-play, and it's cheap as dirt too. There's a free version on the website but if you can, support the dev and buy it on Steam. You get neat perks and stuff for it, and the replay value as is typical for roguelikes, is practically infinite.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
364.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 13
I made a boss kill himself with his own instakill death laser.

10/10 would buy again.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1,027.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 18
I've put over 1,000 hours into this game and I've beaten it twice. I need help, professional counciling. If you want a life avoid it.

Forget graphics, forget flashy effects, forget triple AAA budget - this is 100% gameplay, unforgiving, no hand holding, no mercy just game play.

The learning curve is light, play is incredibly deep, and then depending on your chosen character and race, massively different approach and tactics needed every time. There is so much variety and orginality, you can't help but start multiple campaigns never finshing before wanting to see how that other combo works.

Just when you are over it, every avenue explored, another !%$#%!#$ campaign is launched.... arrrgghhhh

Buy it, club together, join the TOME anoymous program





Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
928.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 24
A friend came over to my house and played this game, I saw him die over and over for an hour or so and I laughed at him.

Then I realised I was just like him, about a thousand gameplay hours ago.

Where did the time go? No idea, but I am still learning new things after playing the game this much.

This is not a game for everybody, but don't let the oldschool roguelike reputation scare you. You will grow to love death after submitting to her ten thousand times.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
439 of 451 people (97%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
Recommended
956.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 7, 2014
I don't play rogue-likes.

That was my starting point with ToME(4), aka Tales of Maj'Eyal. I'm not really a fan of the genre, though I am a fan of tactical RPGs. It was only after some interesting comments on another game forum (Grim Dawn, great game, look it up) that I decided to give ToME a try.

Unlike some other rogue-likes, ToME gives you the option to play softcore. There are varying difficulty levels in addition to different degrees of 'rogue-like-ness' (multiple lives; from 1 to infinite). The classes vary from basic and simple (Bulwark, Rogue, Archmage, etc) to surprisingly unique (Mindslayer, Oozemancer, Solipsist, etc). The unlock system can be a pain, but it does encourage you to progress through the game, explore and play various archetypes.

The lore is great; the world has been excellently crafted (imo). While it doesn't read like a AAA novel, the depth of the backstory is pretty astonishing considering it's been done primarily by one man (props Darkgod).

When it comes to the gameplay, everything is surprisingly newbie-friendly (for a rogue-like). The UI is simple and easy, the controls are variable (keyboard and/or mouse, re-bindable) and the overly-complex item usage often found in the genre has been notably streamlined.

The graphics are solid. Now, take that with a grain of salt; this is a 2d game of tiles and sprites. If you're anticipating something like Dragon Age, you're going to be disappointed. I know that I was unpleasantly surprised. That being said, it has definitely grown on me and it certainly gives enough information on what's happening.

All that being said, this IS a roguelike. You WILL walk around a corner/open a door/open a chest and get exploded. Careful, cautious play is highly encouraged.

Overall, if you find yourself wanting to try out a roguelike but finding they are a little too 'hardcore' for you, give ToME a try. It's the only roguelike that I have found myself returning to, time after time.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
255 of 262 people (97%) found this review helpful
14 people found this review funny
Recommended
2,329.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 18, 2015
I've never written a steam review before but TOME is so good that I have to chime in with my 2c. This is the first rogue-like game that I've ever played and I was extremely skeptical of the genre before giving TOME a try but I can honestly say that TOME is the best game that I've played in a very, very long time, and as a D&D nerd who grew up in the 80's, this game hits so many of the right notes from an RPG perspective that I have simply not been able to put it down since the summer sale and I've only played 2 out of the like 30 classes.

The replay value is through the roof and the challenge is out of this world difficult, but like Dark Souls, it mostly feels very fair and does become more manageable as you get better at the game. I can't believe I only paid something like 2$ for this game as it is worth the price of a full AAA title easily. In fact, if I was a developer who had slaved away on a mediocre AAA title this game would make me seriously re-evaluate my life choices. As far as I can tell, this game was developed by one dude, and stands head and shoulders above so many titles that took 100+ people to create that it should serve as an inspiration to hobby game developers everywhere. I can't believe how good this game is, you have to buy it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
214 of 222 people (96%) found this review helpful
25 people found this review funny
Recommended
398.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 30, 2015
Well...how to start.

First, now that I have a few games under my belt and have a least started some of the overall learning curve (there is a lot of information to digest in this game), I would like to say BRAVO to the developer. This game is for any old school RPG'er that misses great mechanics and gameplay. I cannot stress enough how engaging this game is. Anyway, I will list some of the goods and bads of the game.

The Good

  • The developer, DarkGod, is very attentive to the boards and genuinely is interested in his customers. This is a positive that is almost nonexistent is most software. (Especially indy stuff.)
  • The choice of characters/classes is vast. Yes, you have to play to unlock all of them. That is part of the fun.
  • Character development is very customizable and detailed. For me this is a plus, for some this is the source of extreme confusion.
  • The UI is very friendly. Although, like a lot of the game, it does have a somewhat inclined learning curve. I have been playing for 60 odd hours and I am still finding ways to use it and new things I didn't know it could do with it.
  • The workshop support is tremendous. You can customize this game to suit your needs.
  • This is a Rogue Like game that has difficulty settings from casual to hard core. If you want, you CAN play with unlimited lives. Or, if you fancy a good challenge, you can play 1 life on crazy difficulty. The choice is yours. (I read a few reviews complaining that they died too quick. So set it on easy and learn to play; it is that simple.)
  • Tremendous amount of trophies. One ninth of them are very gettable for anyone. (The trophes are copied nine times for different levels of play. And, yes, if you do higher level trophies they will get all the same trophies below them. You just have to do a little dance to have it happen. If an old fart like me can figure it out (I read posts) then I imagine most people can do the same.)
  • The story is not bad at all. Far more engaging than most much more expensive games. If you think it is boring and unimaginative you probably haven't actually read and/or played through much of it.

The Bad

  • No, this game is not perfect. The biggest drawback, from some people's view, is the graphics. They are very yesterday, yesteryear, last decade possibly. (For me this is not that big of a deal, I will gladly trade eye-candy for good gameplay.)
  • I have experienced some game lag in different parts of the game. Not sure what causes them, but they are surely there. I have never had it crash, but I have had to wait 30-90 seconds for it to come out of an apparent mini-freeze.
  • This game can be unflinchingly mean and nasty at higher levels. For some this is a deal breaker. For me it is a lot of fun. So do with that what you want. (I have read many blog/posts about people rage quitting and never playing again. For those people...never play Magic the Gathering, you will end up hating life and your friends.)
  • The UI is very friendly. Although, like a lot of the game, it does have a somewhat inclined learning curve. Yes, I know this was listed in my "Goods," but it is most definitely a negative for a lot of people.
  • Kind of gets in the way of life if you get into it. It is a "just one more turn/zone/thingy type game that will overtake your life if you let it.

That is all that I can think of off the top of my head. I have an old head. (And, most of the other parts as well.) So, in closing, get the game. It is too cheap and well made to not have it in your library. If this is formatted incorrectly, I humbly apologize for my oldness and lack of modern techno-goodness; it has been years since I "formatted" anything and I imagine quite rusty.

***Sits back and waits to get troll-fired***
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210 of 223 people (94%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
589.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 4, 2015
[posted this initially on the 3rd but reviews were broken at that time.]

I'll start this by telling you that I've been playing TOME since it was Tales of Middle Earth. That's right, originally it was based on Tolkien's work and was an offshoot of a long lineage of games directly related to Rogue, via Moria and then Angband. There was a middle variant in there at some point called Pernband.

Some back story:
At some point DarkGod (the main dev) decided to rewrite the client because the old angband client was full of spaghetti code and it became untenable. So came t-engine. Tome was then written as a module of T-engine (all made by DarkGod for no $$ I might add.)

In Tome 3 there were Jedi!!! and other fun ideas but it was chaotic. Tome 3 was a mess, (Tome 4 was much cleaner.) But it was still pretty opaque as Roguelikes go. I would tinker with it, have fun with lost souls etc and then get bored. So I went the way of many players got involved in other games only came back periodically when I got a yen for playing with Lightsabers again. At some point, I noticed Tome 4 was progressing and downloaded and everything was different.

Gone were most of the touches of the Angband and Tolkien worlds. You can still see a few here and there but TOME had become Tales Of Maj Eyal with an original story and a total reworking of the graphics and mechanics. On and off Ive done some beta testing (though my forums account from then was deleted more than once so I guess being inactive on the forums is a good way to get culled.)

At some point I managed a couple of end games. I won once and once I sacrificed my guy (I still don't know why that doesn't count as a win...)

Every time I came back more and more stuff was added and then I saw that they had finally made the leap to Steam. I wanted to buy it immediately because I believe in the game and the devs and why not support them? But I was reticent with all the other games I have and also had to wait for money to pay for it anyway.

I probably should not have waited but I did and when I did finally get the steam version I was not disappointed with either the basic game or the DLC (which I had no previous knowledge of.)

Divergent note that tangentially relates to this review:
Bob Dylan has said on songwriting that if you can't change a song, if you can't mess with the words or change the arrangements it is dead and you should bury it. That is a paraphrase because I don't have the exact quote on hand. But this is how I feel about games. TOME is a living game, always changing.

Many pay to play games are not. They merely make some stuff they took out initially available for DLCs when the wells run dry. TOME is not like those games. TOME is developed by a caring group of dedicated players and programmers who are making an epic play experience.

Yes epic. You have a ton of races and classes which unlock as you play. Sometimes the unlock is just something you were going to do anyway but sometimes in true RPG fashion you have to investigate and figure out some puzzle or quest to get the unlock you want. And you can unlock them in something like 9 different modes. The game offers 50 levels of experience in whatever build combo you choose. As you learn more about classes and races you find yourself getting deeper into the decision making process and you realize you have many more choices than you will quickly be able to play with. This could take a long time. As is without any further changes. And the game changes from game to game so you may not always get an event or area you thought you might. And different play styles create vastly different approaches and in-game storylines.

There was a lot of discussion when Maj'Eyal became the world of the game about how terribly difficult the game was (is) so now there are multiple modes for discovering the game. The most rewarding depends on your personality and proclivities as a gamer. You can play with Easy and Exploration and virtually never risk death, or you can unlock, insanity and madness modes and play only in true Roguelike fashion (1 life, though there are items you can find to hedge that bet.) Or you could play as I do on Normal with Adventurous. To each player their own. This is an innovation I wish more devs would think about. Multiple play modes for multiple types of players means more fun for everyone.

The game has a few pit falls. It is deep so it is not hard to get into trouble if you are tired, hungry or bored. Don't do that. Play when you are fresh and excited and keep it that way. You won't complete it in a day. (The main quest line takes a minimum of 10 hours I think if you skip everything else and I highly recomend you don't do that.)

You may also find that the game lore is hard to penetrate. This is partially due to writing style and partially because who wants to read so much of it? Yes you should read the lore the first time you encounter it at the very least. You may or may not glean valuable clues from it but if you need to you can go back to it later. Once you have unlocked certain features you will be able to access ALL of the lore you've ever seen as a player.

You may notice that I am not giving a lot of specifics here because part of the fun of this game is playing it unspoiled. You can of course look stuff up or ask for spoilers if you aren't into all that.

I will say the sound effects while fairly professional are not my cup of tea. I am not really a game sounds kind of player though. I typically turn sound off in games I play and I only checked them out in TOME out of curiousity. You might find them entertaining. Apparently, also there is music. Something I didn't check out. (I am an older guy with a very staid taste in music. If it isn't Classic Rock. Folk, Blues or Soul from the 60s-70s then it probably isn't on my mp3 player. Though I do enjoy more varied styles, when I am gaming that's mainly what I listen to.)

I write all this mainly to enthuse about how much I am enjoying playing TOME again and want you to know it is worth every penny to buy it on steam. The community addons alone make the game extremely customizable.

Gandolfo in game chat, Winter Wolf on Steam.
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149 of 158 people (94%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
Recommended
173.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2015
If you're already a roguelike fan, chances are you've played this game - and probably enjoyed it. So for the purposes of this review I'm going to assume you're had little to no experience with traditional roguelikes, and perhaps some experience with "Roguelites" such as Binding of Isaac, FTL, Rogue Legacy, Risk of Rain, or Spelunky (not an exhaustive list). These games share some similarities with more traditional roguelikes in that they feature procedural level generation, perma-death and often have steep difficulty curves... but are blended with other genres such as platformer or top-down action. Tales of Maj'Eyal is, however, a more traditional roguelike due to the way you control your character.

Turn-based games are typically seen as boring and time-consuming for obvious reasons, but in ToME (and in many other traditional roguelikes) everything is literally instantaneous. You can take turns as quickly as you want, you can move your character and issue commands as fast as you and your computer can process. There is no waiting for fancy character animations to finish playing. Enemies move as you move, so you don't need to wait for them to take a turn. In fact, something I love about ToME is that there is essentially no 'grinding'. You level up, you find items, you go through the game in a mostly linear fashion (although you can choose which order you do dungeons in), but around every corner awaits the possibility of death. Whether you are level 1 or maxed out, there is a potential for you to die if you make a mistake.

ToME is a tactical strategy game at heart. Very few deaths will happen because of bad luck, most of them will be a result of mistakes (usually a series of them). This is made possible because there is a plethora of escape options and vision scouting abilities, ensuring that luck plays no part in your experience. As you play you will encounter 'rare' monsters which have a wider range of abilities than most, often requiring you to play very carefully and think out every move you make. Excluding your primary damage-dealing abilities, nearly every ability your character has is for a unique purpose: faster movement, teleports, swapping positions, stunning, healing, shielding, evading, removing effects, and so on. Character positioning and knowing when and how to use your skills is the key to sucess in this game.

The basic gameplay is solid due to the strategy elements, but the variety of character customization and items you can find is where the real excitement comes from. There's quite a lot of different classes and races to choose from, many of which have very unique playstyles. Each character's passive and active abilities can be leveled up point-by-point so you can customize exactly what they're capable of, and you cannot max out everything so you must decide what works best for you. As you progress into the game, you'll find items with a huge list of modifiers and special traits. You will constantly be comparing two items and thinking about which is better, especially weapons. How much base damage a weapon deals is rarely the deciding factor in whether or not you will use it, as each individual item can have dozens of different effects and stat changes you to consider. The level of customization depth adds an incredible amount of replay value to the game.

The game's aesthetics, however, are not great. I mean the graphics are decent... for a roguelike, a genre that is often associated with graphics consisting of colored ascii characters and nothing else. But I won't beat around the bush on this one: the graphics look pretty bad when compared to almost anything else. And I don't just mean low quality, I mean the art style is terrible. Generic uninspired fantasy crap. The screen is often cluttered with ugly doodads and bulky objects, enemy sprites look ridiculous, I honestly feel most people will take one look at the game and go "This game looks like trash. I am not playing that." - and I don't blame you. I just hope you can look past the terrible aesthetics to find the beautiful game within. You know, inner beauty.

Above all, ToME is free. You can download the full base game from their website, and if you enjoy it you can purchase a copy of it on steam (or throw the developer a direct donation). The game is consistently updated, has full mod support, and has an website that tracks all of your character data and allows you to look up other players to compare. Although the base game is free, ToME has a couple of DLC 'expansion packs' that are only available for purchase, but these are HUGE content packs for people who love the base game and want more stuff to tinker with.

I recommend this game to anyone who has enough patience to get past the learning curve.
Rating: A
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