The world is crawling with baddies, which sounds like a problem unless you’re a hero with a sword and a little bit of magic. Then it becomes a playground stretching out in every direction where each wandering critter is another opportunity for an air combo. Achaem is an action-RPG currently wrapping up its Kickstarter run and it could use a bit of love to reach its goal. While the demo linked off the Kickstarter page is a little bare-bones it shows a fun little fast-paced combat system with plenty of enemies to take on once you’ve progressed far enough. It starts out pretty simple- smack with sword, repeat as necessary, but there’s a few extra mechanics hiding in the gamepad to spice up the play. Finding the dash is easy enough, seeing as it’s a standard face button, and jump is right there as well. As it turns out, though, holding the right trigger turns jump into a massive launch that takes you and anything your sword hits dozens of feet into the air where you can swing with abandon, and hitting the trigger and jump again sends you crashing right back down. Initially there isn’t a lot of use for these moves but as you level up and more types of enemies appear while the smaller ones attack in greater numbers the air combos become invaluable.
As you wander the world the terrain randomly generates, rising and falling as you cross invisible checkpoints. That part is actually a bit rough, frequently swapping out bits seemingly at random, but it’s nothing game-breaking in so early a version. The terrain is mostly there to hold coins, hearts, and treasure chests, which you can spend at the home base that pops in when you level up, and the ground breaks apart nicely when you dash through it. The occasional treasure chest makes a nice goal when it shows up, however, because inside will be a random customization option. The hero starts out all in black, but in the wardrobe are a small number of options to swap out the hair, face, head-accessory, and armor. While death takes away all progress in terms of level-up and weaponry, anything you’ve found for customization is yours to keep, and it doesn’t take too long to find enough stuff to build a character to call your own.
While fairly simple, the Achaem demo is also very playable and I ended up putting a couple hours into it without really noticing. There’s a lot of work to do to take it from the cute bundle of potential that’s its current state to being something bigger and deeper, but that’s what the Kickstarter campaign is all about. Head on over and give it a play, and maybe help the campaign reach its tiny little goal in the two days left on the clock.