Balrum is an old-school, hybrid turn-based, open world RPG with deep tactical combat. Explore a huge living fantasy world with dozens of side quests next to an epic main quest. Grow your own crops, build your home, and craft your own custom items.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (181 reviews) - 76% of the 181 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 29, 2016

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy Balrum


Recent updates View all (19)

May 30


Hello there everyone!

Version 1.12 is here. It fixes a few issues and adds a new config.xml switch for Linux users.

-The "crystal golem's cave" puzzle is now resettable with a switch near their cave.
-Linux users can now disable the forced window mode startup. Please see the config.xml (DisableFullscreenStartupOnLinux)

-On rare occasions the French translation mod was selected automatically by the engine but the text remained English.

Thank you for your support!

Balcony Team

17 comments Read more

April 28


Hello there everyone!

Version 1.1 is here with fixes and translation support! From now on you will be able to play the game with unofficial community made translation mods.

Please note that these translations are not official translations. They are community made translation mods.

There is a Steam Discussion about the available community translations. We will update that Discussion with new translations as they become available.

At the moment we received a link to the French translation:

We know about a Russian translation but we haven't received a link to the files.
If you create a new translation please send us a link to it so we can add it to the available translations list. (our email:

How to install translation mods:
Extract the downloaded translation files. Copy all files into the appropriate files/dialogs/* folder.
If you did everything correctly the folder you just copied files in should look similar to the files/dialogs/en folder.

Launch the game and you should be able to select the new language at the Main Menu. (lower right corner)

-Honey and Milk won't allow you to exceed the maximum amount of hunger.
-When creating Ancient Linen armours the selectable icons are now fixed!

For translators:
The “after_release.xml” file has changed.

A huge thank you for our great community for their hard work! Thank you very much guys!

Have a nice day!

Balcony Team

16 comments Read more

About This Game

Balrum is an old-school, hybrid turn-based, open world indie RPG with deep tactical combat. Explore a huge living fantasy world with dozens of side quests next to an epic main quest. In addition to traditional RPG features Balrum has deep crafting which allows the player to craft their own custom items. Balrum also features farming your own crops, building your home, and survival mechanics complemented by the game's main features. In Balrum you will have a faithful animal companion as your pet. Your pet is fully controllable and adds greatly to the complexity of the combat.

The player takes control of a young man whose peaceful life is suddenly interrupted by events which will change his life forever.


  • Real-Time world with Turn-Based Combat
  • A huge Open World with dozens of Dungeons to explore
  • Spend your learning points to create a pure class or a hybrid class
  • Dozens of Side Quests and an Epic Main Quest
  • Three separate paths leading to the end
  • Building
  • Farming
  • Tame various animals to be your loyal Companion
  • Deep Crafting System which allows you to create custom items
  • Day/Night Cycle with Weather Effects
  • Survival Mechanics


It's twenty years after your village fled the kingdom and took refuge in Darkwood. You always knew that these woods hold dark secrets but now you start to feel it's evil on your own skin. Horrible things are happening. You discover fragments of the woods dark history and come to the conclusion that you have to leave your home. You know in your heart that once you step out of the protection of the place where you grown up, nothing will be the same. You have to face a world that's in chaos. A world without laws. Nevertheless you feel something else too. You feel freedom. A completely new world awaits you to explore it, but the feeling quickly turns into guilt. There are people in Darkwood who are counting on your help. You are their last hope.

NOTE: Thank you to all our backers on Kickstarter for making this game possible.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10
    • Processor: Single Core 1.6Ghz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon X1650 / NVIDIA GeForce 8200 / Intel GMA 950, or equivalent
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL Compatible Sound Card
    • Additional Notes: OpenGL 1.4 compatible
    • OS: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10
    • Processor: Single Core 2.4Ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4650 / GeForce 8600 GT / Intel HD 3000, or equivalent
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL Compatible Sound Card
    • Additional Notes: OpenGL 3.0 compatible
    • OS: OS X 10.7 or later
    • Processor: Dual Core Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 1.4 compatible
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL Compatible Sound Card
    • OS: OS X 10.7 or later
    • Processor: Dual Core Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0 compatible
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL Compatible Sound Card
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or later (64bit)
    • Processor: Single Core 1.3Ghz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon X1650 / NVIDIA GeForce 8400 / Intel GMA 950, or equivalent
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL Compatible Sound Card
    • Additional Notes: OpenGL 1.4 compatible
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or later (64bit)
    • Processor: Single Core 2.4Ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4650 / GeForce 8600 GT / Intel HD 3000, or equivalent
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL Compatible Sound Card
    • Additional Notes: OpenGL 3.0 compatible
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mostly Positive (181 reviews)
Review Type

Purchase Type


Display As:

(what is this?)
123 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 5 people (40%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
My only issue with this game is I dont have the free time to dedicate to it. Nice indie game with great depth.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
148 of 179 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
44.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 18
I wish I could recommend this game, but it has too many flaws in important RPG departments, while being a nice game in other things. Balrum feels more like a sandbox with a RPG badly tacked on than a true RPG.

I must say that the game is very beautiful for an indie RPG. It reminds me (and a lot of other people) of Eschalon, and that's a high praise! Weather effects, day/night cycle, weapon and armour sprites - everything is done very well.

Another plus is an extensive crafting system. You can craft a lot of things, from food to potions, from shovels to weapon and armour, and you can also construct buildings (albeit only in special Safe Place, where there are no enemies, and indeed no other NPCs at all).

So far, so good. But now, the negative.

First, combat is very boring. With only one character (and his pet) and lack of tactical options, it usually just means spamming melee attacks or spells until enemy is dead, with occasional healing in between.

Mages, surprisingly, have it even worse than warriors here. Magic is not very powerful, and does not GROW powerful even at high levels. In a direct confrontation with a common wolf, a mage has a good chance to be killed. So he often relies on casting Damage Over Time spells, and then running in circles, while enemy slowly dies. This is so wrong and bad, that I just don't know what to say. Even bosses are defeated in the same manner.

Character development is boring. The only thing you chose when gaining a level is a one-point improvement for one of primary attributes. But levelling is quite slow, so you'll never build up big attribute values from it. Most of strength or intellect will come from items, so finding a new, better item is often more thrilling than a level up (and happens more often!).

Slow levelling also means you have to be VERY frugal with skills you learn. I think the constraints here are a bit too tight. To be able to wear the best items in the end game, you have to put a lot of points into attribute training, and so have little left to learn less-useful crafting skills.

Crafting is not very useful, at least for a mage. Although alchemy saved me in the final battle, so there is that. But for the most of the game, I haven't used it much.

Economy is not quite broken, but after a while there is too much loot and not enough things to spend money on.

Lastly, the plot... It's not explained very well. Where did the Rebels came from in such force, for example? Quest texts are nothing special, and the whole thing is nearly linear, meaning you won't be able to make any choices that affect the story, like supporting a faction etc. Quests are mostly of "go-there-kill-that-bring-this" variety, but there are a few simply puzzles here and there (mostly, they contain good items, and not plot-critical points).

In the end, I think that this game took too much from Eschalon. Eschalon itself wasn't such a good RPG in the first place, and this game copies nearly all bad thing from it (boring combat, linearity etc.). It's only saving grace is complex crafting system, but even it can't save this game from mediocrity.

I could not recommend it to everybody, but maybe if you like crafting very much, you should take a look at it. Though it's not Minecraft :)

Ah, yes. Also, be prepared for a LOT of walking. Slow walking. Game world is big, and fast-travel points are few and far between. Be sure to grab a special brick from desert ruins, which, when used, speeds you up considerably for a dozen turns (or brew a lot of Speed potions!).
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
129 of 166 people (78%) found this review helpful
91 people found this review funny
58.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 1
Been watching this game progress for about a year. Booted it up, started a character on Master difficulty. Died so many times that I... insert Dark Souls meme joke here.

YMMV, but Master difficulty t'aint fer thee faint o' haart, laddy!

I've only played ~10 hours, but I feel like that's enough time to get a good impression of the game and leave a review for those of you who are still on the fence. If you like CRPGs...

BUY IT NOW!!! It's more than worth the price. It's a bit like Eschalon, for those of you who've played that game, but Balrum is expanded and improved in just about every way. It's a touch o' the old Ultima Online about it, too. Just a touch. And it's a good touch. Not a bad touch.

I'm rather eager to get back to playing, so LET'S DO THIS THING:

Brutal, rewarding difficulty? Check. See inserted Dark Souls meme above. (My last death was to a giant praying mantis that prayed away my mana, poisoned me with its horrifying pincers, and healed itself when I finally had it down to a sliver of health. I died to poison as I ran for shelter, sobbing.)

Varied, multidimensional crafting? Check. I can't even. The crafting is strong with this one.

Free-form base building? Check. Build a house, build a fortress, build an orchard, build a farm, build a pigpen, build a spiderpen. DON'T LEAVE THE GATE OPEN ON THE SPIDERPEN FOR THE LOVE OF web web web venom venom death

Customizable pet? Check. I'm currently running with a giant shadow-magic-wielding rat named Boggles. And that praying mantis monstrosity I was telling you about? Also tameable. The world shall fear my giant green bug... as soon as my skill-level is high enough to tame giant green bugs.

Stats? Check. I almost came to tears over stat distribution. The game is neither kind nor generous, but I must have Stockholm syndrome, because I don't even car.

Skills? Check. More in-depth than the stats, I felt. Most skills have at least two significant effects, and sometimes three or four. And again, the game does not hand out "learning points" often, so they really matter. Ranks in the Survival skill don't just let you heal more HP at the tents you build, they also let you cure ailments like broken bones, increase the light radius of your torch, slow Fatigue/Hunger/Thirst growth rates, and give you a double digit % chance to avoid death whenever you hit 0 hp.

Varied spells, combat and utility? I think so! (I just came across a teleportation spell that I hope to use mischievously. Combat spells are most certainly varied. I've been using one that creates crystalline walls to great effect.)

Factions? Check, the system is there and the character sheet has a faction affiliation section, but I'm not far enough to have actually... affiliated.

M-to-the-ASSIVE world to explore? Check. You have no idea. I've barely mapped out ¼ of the first map, and that's not including dungeons, chests I couldn't open, beasts and the locations they guarded that I couldn't tackle yet, etc.

Secrets and treasures and quests in every nook and cranny as far as the eye can see?

Brutal, immersive survival elements? Balrum is to Minecraft as Saw is to Teletubbies.
Or maybe I should reverse that?
Teletubbies are pretty scary.
Balrum is to Minecraft as Teletubbies are to Danny Devito.



I mean Check.

Dying of dehydration? Find a well, eat a watermelon, collect falling rainwater (if it's raining, newb) and fill your cantine, or heck, collect swampy puddle water in a bucket if you're desperate. (Pray it doesn't have maggots in it.)

Dying of starvation? Hunt deer, chop down a tree, build a campfire with the wood, cook the meat on the spot, eat the meat. Or shoot a newborn fawn with a fireball, skip the campfire stage, and eat fire-ball-grilled baby-meat with half the effort. Then find an outhouse. (Outhouse for roleplaying purposes only. Assembly required, pooping optional.)

Oh, and one time I found a bug in my character's backpack eating all the apples I'd just picked. I squashed the little bugger (lol) with my bare hands. Don't touch my apples. ACTUAL THING THAT HAPPENED IN THE GAME SERIOUSLY.

I've not run into any major bugs so far. (Except the one in my backpack.) The game has a classy, retro look that I absolutely dig.

It's a really good CRPG. There's less choices in dialogue than there should be, (at least in the first main area, which I'm still in,) the writing can be a bit too info-dumpy, and I have yet to find any Necromantic skeleton-army-animating spells, but apart from that, it's a real gem.

TL;DR: For the current price of thirteen-ish USD, Balrum is a criminal steal.

Oh, robbing people blind and getting away with it? Check.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
100 of 126 people (79%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
19.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 6
If Balrum was released 15 years ago, today it would stand for the best RPG of all times, a definition of RPG!
Children, don't let retro graphic turn you away from this game, with building, deep crafting and survival system this is by far most complete RPG game I ever played.

At start it a bit reminds of Arcanum... won't reveal much nuff said :)
But If you ever wanted an RPG where you can do what ever you want and interact with every single object in game, this is it!

Altough graphic is in retro/old style textures are great! Also with good sound effects and music melt togethere we have one awesome game here .

Let's be honest it still needs more polishing with rendering, and giving it a final touch, but still it is definitely worth buying at current stage. The ammount of fun time Balrum can give you it's insane ^^

If you are looking for survival/crafting/rpg game look no further, just click Add to Cart above this review XD
Highly recommended!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
110 of 159 people (69%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 29
Okay... look at the preview video, look at the old school original Diablo top down style graphics. Make sure you are cool with that before considering purchasing this game even for another moment...

Good? Now imagine you starting off in an all too familiar RPG back story... we've heard this same sort of story many times before and as you start the game and read the dialogue, you'll swear it's deja vu again. ..You were a kid and your parents died to some horrible death, something so bad that even dear old grandfather can't bear to tell you anything about it. Something awful happened is all that you know and your grandfather raised you well as other nearby people of the NPC type taught you some basic skills such as basic carpentry, a little bit of alchemy, etc. Twenty years later, you now wake up with dear old granfather just a little older, but still much superior to you with ten times your starting HP and MP etc and theres rumors of someone with a torch trying to burn your granddfather and your wooden house down and they burned down the house completely of a nearby family.

And that is where you start. You'll get to wander around exploring the town and visiting all the NPC people, choosing what to say and what tasks you'd like to complete. The great thing here is that every quest feels like it has a real purpose, none of the "go kill 10 wolves" or "go collect 10 butterfly sacs" garbage that drive so many of us RPG fans bonkers. It's refreshing to have quests that actually feel like they serve a purpose.. things like chopping down trees in a forest and buying nails from another NPC to repair a burnt down wall of a house or fixing another npcs crop field fence.

Be careful as well in this game.. Don't think you can just walk in people's house and start snooping through their chests and taking whatever you like because doing so in their line of sight will them off and have them attacking you until either you or them dies. I love that.

So let's talk about the UI... it's a little awkward to get used to for sure and will take time. For example sending in your pet (yes you can have pets you command and who serve you) ... but sending your pet to attack an enemy require you left clicking the target foe. But for you to attack, you need to choose your attack and then right click on the same foe. ..That's just one example of how the UI can be almost overwhelmingly confusing when you begin. But soon, you'll get the hang of it and feel much more comfy with the game that definitely doesn't hold your hand.

My biggest gripe early on is the hunger and thirst survival mechanics of the game. I chose the normal difficulty and haven't tried the easy mode yet but... at this early point into the game (4 hours), the thirst and hunger is almost annoying because it feels like every 30 seconds, you have to drink or eat. Fail to notice these chat messages or icons in the upper right of your screen, you in no time flat you'll be near death from damage taken from "invisible pain" due to hunger or thirst. The solution? Easy once you figure out to stock plenty of food on you and hydrate and eat to 150% of both thirst & hunger each morning when you wake up.

The hybrid turn based mechanic is one I really like. It means that every NPC (including enemies) move and do their thing and time moves if you stand still or if you are working to complete tasks.. it's a real time game, except once you engage or once an enemy engages you into the games combat. Once you are in combat, whether your choice or not, it's all a slower, much more strategic life-or-death turn based battle where any wrong move could be the difference between you surviving ot dying and re-loading the game from your last save point.

There's also a rune your grandfather gives you early in the game that you'll want to put in your hot bar immediately. I didn't even notice it until 4 hours in, and it allows you to click it anytime to be whisked away to a safe facet of your existence where the map looks the same, but no other npcs including enemies exist. It's your safe haven, and when you first go there, there is a huge empty prarie the size of the small town all your own.. a place you can build your dream home and escape to any time you wish. There, you are given a nice starting supply of resources to help get you started building whatever home you want, and pressing the B key (for Build) opens up a generous build menu where you can build your dream home, place furniture, trees, shrubs, chests, etc. This safe zone is an awesome feature that I absolutely love and to me is something that takes this game over-the-top.

While this game has it's steep learning curve and interesting UI to get used to, it offers a depth rarely seen in even the most hyped triple-A RPG games. This is certainly not a review where I've played the full game and can tell you exactly how much depth it has, but at four hours in, I feel like someone here on earth looking up into the sky at all the stars thinking OMG WOW. It feels like I haven't even scratched 1% of this games offerings at 4 hours in. There are tons of ingredients everywhere for crafting and alchemy, more then you can shake a stick at. There are dozens of dungeons I haven't even begun to explore. There is a safe zone area I've only started to build my house on. And there are so many strange creatures I've stayed away from seen peering at me from the thick woods beyond the town. When I get killed by two spiders near the town or a bear on the edge of town, I can't even begin to think of battling whatever evils exist in the depths of the woods or all of those dungeons yet. And THAT is a feeling that leaves you in awe as you are learning the ropes and UI of this game and completing all the many tasks and quests available at the start.

There is no doubt in my mind that this game will be up for "RPG of the year" on many peoples lists to choose the best-of-the-best from once 2016 is over. It's refreshing to see, especially at this games surprisingly lose price point. Many people will compare this game to Diablo or Diablo 2 looking at the graphics, but I have played both of those games long ago, and from my early game time in Balrum, this game may not be an action RPG like Diablo or throw quite so much crazy loot out, but it looks to have a depth that far surpasses both Diablo and Diablo 2. It does have a steep learning curve, and a strange UI that takes getting used to, but I think this game is one that any true RPG fan shouldn't miss!

Once I complete this game, I'll come back and give it a proper review, and share how many hours I spent beating it. Until then, here is my scoring just based on what I've experienced so far...

Value (Worth 40 points max) : 40, no doubt about it, this game delivers crazy over-the-top value and likely hundreds of hours of gameplay for it's small asking price.

Fun (Worth 30 points max): 27, very high fun value in my opinion and I expect the fun to increase as I get even deeping into this games lore and gameplay. This score will be very subjective depending on what style of game you prefer, but I can't see any true RPG fan not having a hell of a time with Balrum.

Controls & Bugs (Worth 20 points max): A few weird control mechanisms lower this score, and the steep learning curve also plays in because it certainly could leave many players feeling over-whelmed... but I'm giving this game a solid 15 out of 20.

Graphics & Sound (Worth 10 points max): The least important aspect of any game when it comes to value and overall fun that can be had in my opinion, but this game delivers an old school style of graphics that is both dark and classic awesomeness and I love it! 8 out of 10 here from me!

My initial score that I'd be shocked to see it change much: 90% Very Solid A-minus grade from me and a MUST BUY for RPG fans at this price.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
65 of 88 people (74%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
64.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 29
So far so good. Great production value for a small team and small file size. Nice rpg elements and survival aspects. RPG elements allow for initial character creation of Fighter, Mage, or Archer. The game starts you off with a pet wolf that is of some help in the begining. The controls for the game are intuitive. It's realtime/turn based. Move around the world in real time, when you are not moving time is standing still. The system is similar to the Echelon RPG games, but the animations and graphics are a step up compared to that series. Survival aspects consist of hunger, health, and thirst. The game has a variety of crafting and cooking options for the survival aspect, also hunting, gathering, and alchemy. There are a variety of tools you have to have to perform various jobs, and these are auto selected when you go about performing a job, such as mining or chopping wood. Artwork and music are top notch and you are able to zoom in and out in the game's isometric perspective. Overall I feel that this game is a great value, lots of content and gameplay options for the price.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
39 of 48 people (81%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 13
Old school RPG goodness!

Balrum, which was developed by a two-man team, is an old school RPG with survival elements. What interested me was how it took the basic formula of old school RPGs with turn-based combat and added more fun ingredients to it. It is a pretty simple RPG but it is challenging enough to keep players on their toes.

Balrum is not just an RPG, but a survival game as well. It has a hunger/thirst system, so you have to hunt for resources to keep yourself fed and hydrated. One other characteristic, which I think makes it even more hardcore, is that the map barely gives any information. You have to explore by yourself and add markers to the map, or memorize the locations. Both are a far cry from having a full map handed to you on a silver platter.

Right before you’re thrown into the world of Balrum you’ll get to choose from a wide variety of starting skills such as farming, alchemy and archery. You also have full control over distributing your stats. Intelligence and wisdom are good for mage-like characters, while strength and vitality help if you're going for a more aggressive approach.

Story wise, I admit that I haven't gotten far with the main quests, but I've gotten a taste of what is at stake. Many years ago, armies of the undead invaded the world of Balrum. The king's armies were defeated, and a group of people took shelter in the forest of Darkwood. You are part of this group. The story starts off when you realize something is amiss in Darkwood. You embark on a journey to figure out what it is. The game has a lot of dialogue. Be prepared for a good amount of reading, as the game is not voice acted. The writing is fantastic, so I enjoyed reading all of the dialogue.

A short while into the game, you're given an item that allows you to teleport to a safe haven. It's there that you have resources to build and decorate to your liking. You can build a house with different tiles, walls, furniture, doors, decorations, along with crafting equipment such as an anvil and a whetstone. You’re also able to decorate the outside of your home with different fences, foliage and trees. If you enjoy building, Balrum has you covered!

There are other optional activites that help to increase your character's combat effectiveness. These include farming, cooking, mining, smelting, hunting, taming, woodcutting, and building. While you can ignore these, I recommend pursuing such activities. They add to your experience, make your life easier, and add variety to the game itself.

The game involves a lot of looting and searching. That said, your inventory doesn’t have a limit of weight like in some RPGs. Instead, it is divided into food, alchemy, weapons/tools, armours/trinkets, scrolls/recipes, materials and quest items. Each one of these sections has its own limit so you can make sure to carry with you only what is necessary. You can also find letters that contain recipes or hints about certain quests.

Your journal is where you’ll check your active quests and quests that you’ve already completed. Some quests are given to you by other people, while others appear after your character has a memory triggered. I've been going through every side quest I can find before going on the main quest, and I'm surprised by the development put into the dialogue of these. They don’t feel like fetch quests, and they easily captivated my interest.

  • Huge explorable world
  • Lovely soundtrack
  • Well written and interesting dialogue
  • Side activities such as farming, building and crafting
  • Runs on pretty much anything
  • Tons of side quests that feel like actual quests rather than fetch quests

  • I had to use a third party software called “Windowed Borderless Gaming” to get the game running at 144hz.
  • No warning when looting something that is considered stealing. I personally find this very annoying.
  • Blurry textures when you zoom in
  • Walking everywhere can get boring

Overall experience:

Balrum has been a pleasant experience. I've barely scratched its surface in terms of story content. However, all of the side activities I have been doing, such as farming and crafting, has brought back a lot of memories for me. I highly recommend picking this one up if you’re looking for a hardcore RPG.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
37 of 45 people (82%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
46.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 6
Wow, such an addictive game.

I look at the shortcuts on my desktop this morning when I get up, ready for full Sunday of gaming. There's Elder Scrolls Online, there's my Witcher 3 expansions, Balrum... and I instantly go back to Balrum. There is something so compelling about the opportunities for exploration, crafting advancement, and building opportunities. Of course, at the heart of any RPG is the quests, and the quests in Balrum have a great feel to them. There is a really interesting story arc building from the quests and I really want to see where it leads.

What really makes a great RPG is the feeling of investing in a character that seems real, where the player can truly take on a role that offers an escape into a separate life. It has been many years since I have felt suach an instant attachement to a character, and it does remind me of the way I used to lose myself into RPG's back in the 80's and 90's.

RPG fans owe it to themselves to buy this game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
34 of 42 people (81%) found this review helpful
20.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 3
Sorry if this isnt a normal kind of review, I'm not a game reviewer :)

Excellent Game. There is around about an hour of playing before the game mechanics are understood. I dont really like farming stuff, but it was kind cool in this game. I didnt do it much though. I more liked the exploration, and just gathered and hunted for food.

*** Edit: They seemed to have added a new option to make the hunger/thirst practically non-existent* Personally I dont need it, and like being a hunter gatherer ***

Actually, I've notice people are complaining about hunger and thirst - this seems like an issue at first too, as the bars goes down fairly fast especially if you are doing activities. However its just a temporary thing, you very quickly work out that there is an huge supply of apples and food growing all over the place and lots of dear around that you kill and cook the meat from. On top of that you have an (almost) unlimited inventory so you can collect a ton of stuff then not worry about it. Plenty of things to steal too :)

Lots of secret stuff, dialog and some really good game systems (day/night cycle has a few in-game effects - hint: why are these rocks that look normal in the day, glowing at night?)

Looks MASSIVE. I mean, really massive - you really feel like your out in the wilderness and there is just tons of stuff to discover.

Please above all else, make sure you use the AUTOSAVE! Set it to every 5 mins or somthing. Sometimes the game can be tough if you get stuck into a 2v1 fight early in the game.

Love the old school graphics, reminds me of a zoomed out ultima.

*** Edit: I made a short video about how to play with hunger and thirst on ***
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
26 of 32 people (81%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 3
Ok so this is a first impression of the game review. I read some positive reviews and some bad ones, here's what I think from my first hour into the game:

I don't die as quick as the bad reviewers said. On normal setting, thirst and hunger aren't a problem since I did open my eyes and notices there's like a 100 times more food than I need lying around in the village. There are wells to replenish my waterskin ...

I do like the depth, in fact at times it can get overwhelming. But that is part of what we like with games with deep/complicated rules systems. You just have to expect that is what you are getting into.

I did get into a couple encounters. My first one were very careful attempts to use the best of my options (playing a spell slinging guy at first) to slaughter my chosen ennemy: a bear. I kill it, it was a close fight. Luckily I have a wolf to help me.

Then I notice another bear, after eating up and sleeping a bit ... but it has a friend I hadn't noticed before shooting my first fire blast at it ... I retreat and get help from some NPCs, we prevail. After that I got cocky with another fight, died ... and restarted.

I expect to be spending a lot of time into a character at some point, but don't mind dying while learning the game. So to me, this game is perfect. I will do a more detailed review if I play more than 40 hours !

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Recently Posted
79.8 hrs
Posted: September 17
Balrum is a solid rpg with certain weak points. These weak points do not subtract much from the experience so the end result is still a very good game.

The story is solid, though not something that will blow your mind. This should not be taken as a negative, only that you should not buy this if you are looking for an epic tale that will blow your socks off. It is solid enough to be engaging and relies a fair bit on rpg tropes, which makes the experience feel interesting but also familiar.

The class system is good, but does come with one weak point in that class mixing is allowed, but is in no way a viable path to take. Pick a weapon type and stick with it: melee, bow, or magic. There is no real middle ground that is not exceedingly ineffective. Another thing, that I personally don't feel adds much other than possible regret is that there are skill books, that give you specific skills for free. So if you already spent your hard to come by skill points on the same skills, you just don't get any benefit. It's not that important, but a +1 to skill would perhaps work better. This may just be my preference.

Knowing the above about the skill system, I feel that the character leveling implementation gives a good experience with nice progression and interesting abilities / spells along the way. I hope they give it a lot of love and attention for their second game.

Survival / cooking:
The survival elements are fun, and I love making my own food and potions. I always carry an "awesome burger of many buffs" or two in my inventory, and with the rather short durations on the buffs, you do actually use a lot of the food you harvest and find. The weak point about this element is that once you set up farming in your sanctuary area, food and thirst essentially stops being a problem for the rest of the game and you can pump out unending amounts of all the food. I don't know if it is possible to really balance to make it more about survival, but since the buffs are not overpowered, but still are really helpful, I think it still works quite well.

The quicktravel works extremely well by letting you build portal stones in your sanctuary that lets you QT to any portal stone you have visited before. Combined with the ability to always (outside) return to your sanctuary, this really feels well integrated into the lore of the game.

Combat is not bad, but neither is is extremely innovative. You get a lot of fun abilities, but sometimes it can be a bit harsh since you have little to no way of judging the relative difficulty of a fight (other than the level number when you mouse over it). Since a level 1 giant is 10 times harder to kill than a level 5 slug, you do have to try and reload a few times when you encounter new things.

You get a pet, and with a good setup (bear for tanking, stag for healing, etc.) you can bolster your combat abilities quite a bit. This bit really does help a lot to make each class feel like it can stand on its own. Not all pets are created equal, so some will most likely be used very little compared to others, but they all have some good uses and though they are perhaps too easily revived (for free) they are a good addition.

You get to build your own home and do a bit of farming (if you want to). I like it. I like putting all my loot in my treasure chamber. I like making my portal room filled with teleporter stones and statues. I like it a lot.

You get to build almost anything you come across. It gives you a reward for exploring and finding things and it urges you to keep building more. Could perhaps have been implemented in a slightly better way (the UI is a bit messy) but it gets the job done.

A solid rpg experience, slightly reliant on tropes of the genre, but with a bunch of interesting additions, that all add up to a good game you can have fun with for a lot of hours.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
14.2 hrs
Posted: September 4
Here's the thing about Balrum, I like it more for what it could be than for what it is. I want people to buy this game because I want it to have a sequel, a sequel with a better sense of progression and more intuitive crafting and inventory management. Balrum has the foundation of an amazing game, I want to see more built on it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
13.5 hrs
Posted: September 3
Balrum reminds me of a mix between Baldur's Gate and the Avernum series. While it differentiates itself with a good crafting and building system, the clunky AI, confusing UI, and slow movement speeds prevent it from being a classic. I am still having fun building my home base and exploring the huge world however. I do recommend when on sale.

+ Decent graphics and sound
+ Good inventory system automatically organized by category
+ Lots of different things to do (farming, smithing, alchemy, etc)
+ Building your house/farm is fun (yet optional)
+ Tons of items, recipes, spells, and components to find
+ Huge world with lots of caves/dungeons to explore

- Intriguing story and characters marred by subpar writing
- Extremely slow walk speed in a large world is very irritating
- Skills can only be increased by purchasing training
- Difficult to determine what is stealing (wait until no NPCs are near)
- Combat can be fun, but is usually clunky and awkward
Helpful? Yes No Funny
60.8 hrs
Posted: August 28
You start off confused, lost and unsure. There is little in the way of explantion and it's not an easy game. That being said I fell in love with the game. If you enjoy a challenge and old school type games this is right on the money. I spent many hours playing, crying, cursing and enjoying.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
4.8 hrs
Posted: August 9
Uninstalled. Waste of Money. Rating: 0/10

The game is sloooooww, graphics are dated, crafting and skills are a PITA. It spends more time telling you what you CAN'T do, than helping you out with what you can do. Combat is horrible. Don't waste your money on this one folks, it has absolutely nothing to recommend isn't even fun to play.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
29.1 hrs
Posted: August 6
Yes, this is one of those games where you turn off all the lights, have dozens of Doritos bags, and multiple Mountain Dew bottles while you let lint build up in your belly button (I'm talking about you Skyrim).

This is an interesting intake on a hybrid RPG turn-based game with survival elements. I can cook dif recepies, craft a bunch-load of stuff, a whole lot of looting and exploration, etc. One of my favorite features is the safe house where it's like a minigame/level editor. You can mess around and build houses, furniture, flora, etc... It also seems the devs went to great lengths to include the small details like for ex: adding manure to a field in order to have a better crop. Overall I'm enjoying the game very much and I'm only on the first sandbox map. My big disappointment is no achievements for a "console pleb" like me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
17.2 hrs
Posted: July 28
One of those games that may lead to missing time. I'm gonna blame aliens as to why the last 3 hours of my life seemingly went by in an instant. It has been a long time since I've played something that made me have that "just one more" feeling; whether it's just one more potion to brew, one more area to explore, I'm just getting started and I'm already feeling the addiction coming on.

I am 3 hours into the game and my character is only a quarter of the way towards a level up. If you are a completionist when it comes to games kiss your life goodbye. Tell your friends it was nice knowing them, let your significant other know they may want to get the divorce papers ready, and start thinking of excuses on how you're getting out of the next family get-together. Then buy this game, wait one minute for the 200 MB install, and dive in to the rest of your existence.

And that's another thing. The heck with VR. There are games out there that have been letting people dive into other worlds for decades now, and Balrum is definitely one of them. Completely engrossing, captivating, and creates an atmosphere that will consume you. If you missed the Summer Sale discount I'll tell you that it was just down to 9 bucks, so buying it at the full 15 isn't that big of a loss, and the amount of playing time you will get from this game is well worth it and a great value at full price.

The last time I felt this way about a game was the first time I played S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl, so it's been a little while. This game doesn't exactly break new ground graphics wise the way the STALKER team did (STALKER: Call of Pripyat being the first game to use Direct 11x and Metro 2033 being their spiritual successor), but it still manages to find a way to create a pixel based world that isn't too kidsy or cutesy. It's grainy, a little eerie/moody, and pretty gosh-darn endearing if you ask me.

Gameplay is just what you'd expect, it's Diablo played out one step at a time though it flows at a real time rate when you want it to. Hold in a direction or a mouse-click and you'll keep walking, let go when you want to get in an arrow shot, a spell cast, or switch to an ability-type attack with a cooldown using a melee weapon before the enemy unit(s) takes their next step. Potions, armor and weapon upgrades and repairs, food as well as their crafting counterparts lsuch as alchemy, mining and smithing, and cooking are all present. And then there's home building, and no I'm not talking about buying a key to an abandoned house and then paying for stuff to be hung on the walls, I'm talking about real homebuilding.

I have just barely scratched the surface and I'm taking a short break, leaving this review and diving back in. If you're the type that cannot buy games at full price then do yourself a favor; add Balrum to your wishlist and do not let another sale pass you by. Otherwise, if you are looking for a new spin on the classic CRPG genre then pick it up today.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.1 hrs
Posted: July 25
Product received for free
This game is a lot better than I thought it would be! It has a lot of exploration, strategy and patience, and content is in abundunce so the price is justified. The game can become tedious but it breaks that feeling as soon as you feel bored as it constantly gives you someting new to do. If you're looking for a game to keep you busy then this is your game!

Here is some gameplay from my YouTube channel:
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.8 hrs
Posted: July 24
¡BEWARE! , Balrum could be a gem but has serious flaws that you should know.

First, in this game you must collect many things , unfortunately once you do, trees, plants and others DO NOT RESPAWN OR REGROW. (Except for bushes in your safe place, with are expensive to craft)

Second, animals (wildlife) and monsters slayed do not respawn , that means you end into a very lonely world.

Third : You can not level up skills like alchemy with practice , you must purchase every skill level from a trainer and invest LEARNING POINTS (you get a handful of them with each level up) or find a skill book (and these are very rare).

And finally: the crafting system is deep but hard to grasp at first, one of the winning points of Balrum here (btw you can throw fireballs at things but you can't craft or work with glass LOL)
Helpful? Yes No Funny