Klabater and Pixelated Milk's RPG, Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs has received mostly positive reviews since its release on Steam back in May and it has absolutely deserved them. Regalia is an absolutely charming turn-based RPG adventure game, which manages to pay homage to the usual tropes while also poking some fun at itself. In Regalia: of Men and Monarchs, you are tasked with investigating your family's ruin, and bringing your town back to life. But don't let that fool you into thinking this is a tower defense game.
Oh no, this is absolutely pure RPG.
Gameplay is turn-based, and comprises of battle grids, but does so in a way that isn't quite clunky. The turnbased gameplay and simple controls do make me wonder why this game didn't debut on another platform other than Steam – it seems like it would easily translate to mobile – but that might be a plan for a later date. That said, rather than reminding me of video game RPGs past, or even modern day JRPGs, Regallia reminds me of a tabletop game. Each character has an "activation" period, with allotted movement points and action points they can use per turn. And when you're done, you have to hit the "end activation" button.
Which reminds me of literally every tabletop miniature game I've ever played.
The game's difficulty comes in three settings, and playing on "normal" mode should give you a bit of a challenge without being absolutely brutal, while easy is entirely designed for those who prefer to play a story than a challenge, and the hard mode is at least decently difficult. So the balance is pretty well spread out across all three difficulty levels.
And with the turn-based style, there's at least enough room for strategy while also adding a sense of randomization.
The dialogue has its moments of being absolutely hilarious, but also somewhat lame at the same time. The above example is one of my favorites of that "so bad it's good" feel. The quirky sense of humor that Pixelated Milk brought to Regalia is absolutely the game's biggest highlight. It's quirky, good fun at its best, while still managing to hit those RPG trope notes like they're all going out of fashion. And I suppose, in some ways they are.
The graphics are heavily stylized, but the art style works well across a pretty solid range of displays. It looks absolutely gorgeous on my 4K PC but also runs beautifully on lower res, which is always nice.
Honestly, nothing is worse than a game that looks like trash on your machine, because games are ultimately a visual medium.
I ran into no major bugs while playing, in fact, it may have been the smoothest gaming experience I've had in a while.
Regalia: of Men and Monarchs is a throwback game in the best sense of throwbacks. It isn't a mindless attempt to ape an older style for profit, and it isn't a trumped up remaster, it takes all the best moments of older RPGs as well as their low points, and sends them up with clear affection. When a vampire trots out a silly accent, the game's protagonists usually respond with faces of disdain, and in doing so, Pixelated Milk invites us to share in the joke. And that might just be the best thing about it.