Review – Conclave

Conclave logo

Off the Table Top onto the Tablet, Conclave Delivers.

By Peter Nolan-Smith

Conclave offers players a variety of unique races and character classes
Conclave offers players a variety of unique races and character classes

New development studio 10×10 Room hits a small bull’s-eye with its first release, Conclave.

An online turn-based RPG, the game is rooted in style and appearance to fantasy based table-top board games. It’s a fun throwback to an older style of entertainment and is an impressive first game in both size and popularity.

“We built Conclave because we missed the excitement of tabletop role-playing games but couldn’t find time to play them anymore,” says co-creator Nick Branstator.

Conclave offers tabletop-inspired game play that fits into your life without sacrificing depth in its mechanics or story.”

Players can choose from a multitude of quests while exploring an expansive fantasy world.
Players can choose from a multitude of quests while exploring an expansive fantasy world.

The player can select from a variety of original and unique races and classes, drawn by Magic: The Gathering artist Chris Rahn. The options are a nice change from the typical character types — elf mage, dwarf warrior, ect — that have become standard across the fantasy RPG world.

The story begins as the single player moves slowly through initial quests. Playing alone is somewhat cumbersome and counter-intuitive. Conclave was designed to be played with people and it’s easy to find active friends or join a random group, while also being infinitely more fun as a solo play can easily get stuck against the multitude of different foes.

Groups vote on decisions that have immediate effects of quest results.

It also boasts an amazing soundtrack composed by Sam Hulick, who also lent his talents to Bioware’s Mass Effect series. The music is perfectly theatrical in all the ways one wants a score to accompany an epic of this magnitude. It distinguishes it from other indie games that so often overlook this crucial element. Hulick adds a polish to the game that gives it professional finish.

Groups vote on crucial decisions that have permanent effects on story outcomes.
Groups vote on crucial decisions that have permanent effects on story outcomes.

There is currently only one campaign available for purchase. Legacy of the Dweller, has been available since May and offers 15 separate quests on top of the initial 10 others available for free in the early stages of the game. Players can choose to pay for a Guildmaster title, which allows them to form their own guilds and even design a crest.

Conclave isn’t a good starter for players new to the table top genre. It has a very Dungeons & Dragons type feel and is perfect for those nostalgic for many-sided dice. Younger gamers will likely find it too slow but it’s clear that the game is geared towards a mature audience.

Conclave has certainly found that niche. Raising a little over its Kickstarter goal of $75,000, it delivers on its promises of a rich and expansive story. Fans have even constructed a small wiki explaining the expansive and offering walkthrough help to any interested.

Players do battle on board game style arenas against a multitude of villains.
Players do battle on board game style arenas against a multitude of villains.

The market system could use further development and streamlining. Initially it comes off as disorganized and limited. Players trade in renown rather than gold. There is a wide variety of items of increasing strength for each class that expands during game progression and certain unique items that can be gained only through quest completion.

It’s a title that could eat up hours with a few dedicated players but seems better suited to be played passively while multi-tasking on any device with internet access. Game play doesn’t require large amounts of focus and was enjoyed most when played passively..

For lovers of the original style of RPG game play Conclave delivers in both story and scope. Well worth the price of admission.

 

Game Info

Game : Conclave

Developer : 10×10 Room

Platforms : Almost anything

Price : $7.99

Additional Info : The team at 10×10 Room passed along some information that Conclave is currently on Steams’ Project Greenlight.  If the game is greenlit then a desktop client will be available for purchase via Steam.  They state that the browser and dekstop versions will be fully compatable with one another.  If you’d like to see Conclave on Steam you can vote for it here.  In addition to that, if you enjoyed Sam Hulick’s Conclave soundtrack it’s available via the 10×10 Room Bandcamp page.

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Peter Nolan-Smith

Peter Nolan-Smith

Peter is an online journalist and freelance writer trying to make it in this crazy digital world. After leaving the University of King's College's journalism program he relocated to Toronto where he's currently a working union actor and stuntman, with a short web series he's written in development. Born in merry ol’ England, Peter remembers his love of video games starting with Zelda: Link to the Past. He loves big expansive virtual worlds and long walks on the beach.
Peter Nolan-Smith