septaroad voyager preview

Septaroad Voyager Review – An Extraordinary Journey

Septaroad Voyager was a game that instantly caught my eye once I saw a few of the gameplay images pop up. I decided this would be the start of a lot of firsts for me with this game. I want to try my hand at a new review format as well as my first review, mainly using my Asus Rog Ally. Will this Indie JRPG hold my attention to find things to discuss? Let’s find out together!

Game Name: Septaroad Voyager
Platform(s): PC (Reviewed)
Publisher(s): Rockwell Studios
Developer(s): Rockwell Studios
Release Date: May 25th, 2023 (Early Access Title)
Price: $24.99

Rockwell Studios Septaroad Voyager

The Good

In case you were wondering why I was so caught up with the gameplay image of Septaroad Voyager, look at the above image. There are tactics, a line of aggro attention as well as the ability to choose who you play as with a more or less ensemble cast. If you are wondering if this sounds familiar to you, you are correct. These are all pieces of Final Fantasy XII. Septaroad Voyager’s battle system and the class system look to be extremely inspired by Final Fantasy XII.

I loved that battle system and was sad to see nobody wanting to replicate it. Having the gambit system to help add controls to allies in certain circumstances was a very strategic element to the ally party system that made it so you didn’t have to solely have to have all your focus on each party member for every action. The system that Septaroad Voyager has is called the tactics system. Similar to the gambit system and even has the same type of screen to help with planning.

Septaroad Voyager is an ensemble cast game, so you get a lot of characters you can build, and all of them have access to the same skill boards from the get-go. You can have them travel down the route of Adventurer or Scholar. Adventurer focuses on Physical damage and armor, and Scholar focuses on Magical damage and armor. You gain SP from killing enemies and fulfilling side quests. The more you unlock the skill board gives you have access to new classes for that character. Since the board is the same for each character, once you have one character unlocking panels off the board, the easier it will be to build future characters. As you do side quests and find more towns, you will gain more allies in your party. These allies can be customized fully, down to even their appearance and name. It is whatever party and build you want for these characters.

The 2D HD look is remarkable in Septaroad Voyager, and it is the type of JRPG aesthetic I have loved to see ever since I played Octopath Traveler for the first time and had hoped that there would be more titles as beautiful. It isn’t as polished in terms of sprites and animations as the Octopath Traveler games, but it still looks and runs extremely well.

Rockwell Studios Septaroad Voyager

The Bad

Even though I had a great time with my playthrough of Septaroad Voyager, it wasn’t without a number of issues. The first and foremost one that I got wind of early was the map. The system for the overworld is not easy to read and will make objectives hard to figure out. I had to run around some mountains before figuring out where the space is since the overworld map is so zoomed out that you can’t see any of the small details like landmarks that should help you figure out the exact coordinates of locations. It took me a bit of time wandering around one mountain before noticing the dot was pointing to another mountain range instead that was just right by it. The dungeons have maps that are much easier to read by comparison. I could tell what direction I needed to go when I located the entrances and exits of areas due to the size of the map. This could be because I was using the smaller screen of the handheld Asus Rog Ally, but I feel even blown up; the map doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Septaroad Voyager Rockwell Studios
Each square is an open area of a much larger map Trying to find where the dots were connected was a disaster

Even though in Septaroad Voyager, the characters are all an ensemble-type party, the motivations and how you gather allies are strange. Usually, it is done via side quests, you fulfill their side quest, and then you will have another party member join you. You can have seven people in your party (Septaroad heh) who all have customized looks and classes. However, their motivations are not very good; for example, one person joins your party because…. they want more hats, and you giving them to her means she wants to join your party to do so.

With the characters being so customizable, it also means you lose a lot of the connection those characters have to your world and role in it. They are for your journey to want to make the journey you want. This is great as a concept, but as its campaign tries to get you engaged in the world, it falls flat.

Alongside the characters being customizable, the engine for customizing characters isn’t bad, yet it is still rough. You get three different skin colors and four hairstyles for each gender of the character. It is enough to make characters look different, though I did wish it had a better color system for both the hair and skin. I also wish it had more hairstyles to choose from. It is in early access, so odds are they will add more features for customization, but I wasn’t impressed with the combinations I could make.

The Verdict

Overall, Septaroad Voyager has a very addicting gameplay loop for someone like me who adores the gambit system of Final Fantasy XII, and I see myself doing quests to add more SP to my characters and build them to be even more powerful. If you are someone who enjoys that system, I would recommend this game to you. The story and the world may not capture your attention. However, the gameplay loop is very satisfying. It’s also a great game to play on the go if you have a Steam Deck or an Asus Rog Ally.

Septaroad Voyager is currently on sale for Steam as an Early Access title.

Review Disclosure Statement: Septaroad Voyager was provided to us by Keymailer for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.

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