Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs is a strategy RPG game developed by Pixelated Milk, a recent Kickstarter success to hit Steam in April. Following the tale of a family retaking their castle, kingdom as well as a lovely debt accrued by their ancestors. In a style and story reminiscent of Recettear, Regalia gives you access to city building, social links, levelling up and feats, all to help you rebuild your kingdom and make the countryside safe once again.
The game starts off with a little backstory and overview of the current world, leading to our Hero Kay next to his dying father who is entrusted with restoring their family to power. Travelling to the land of Ascalia, Kay and his 2 sisters, along with his bodyguard, Kay sees the kingdom in rubble and moss. Cleaning up the castle they are told about the bad news surrounding their families fall, they have a lot of debt.
The main task is to pay back the debt, in increments befitting chapters, the beta only housing the first chapter of around 50 days. To pay this debt you will complete missions and objectives, the beta chapter 1 having me complete 3 Kingdom quests, resulting in building new shops and becoming friends with my villagers.
The demo itself lasted around 3 hours, with an advertised 30 hours in the final product. Thankfully it does show some replayability, with 4 factions to choose from, ending with 2 factions being the ones you side with. There are also plenty of dungeons to delve into, buildings to upgrade and social links to form with your retinue.
Regalia is split into 3 different parts, the first being city management. You can freely move around the city, using your mouse to select a building or district, within which you can talk to your subjects and engage in free time with them. The second is dungeon delving, which encompasses a lot more time investment, from selecting the paths you take in the dungeon to fighting battles. The final part is resource management, both in terms of people and actually money. You need to gather materials to build or upgrade shops and your team will grow in strength the more equipment you buy for them or time you spend with them.
The city management is pretty straightforward, merely selecting options and waiting 1 day for them to complete. Battles are tile based, with each character have a turn, to move and use an ability. As turns go by you will gain Authority Points which can be spent to gain an extra action or to activate ultimate abilities which are unique to each character. As you complete missions and defeat dungeons you will be rewarded with XP which in turn gives your party a new level, allowing you to equip new perks, which give more damage, defence, health and more.
Dungeons are set into a map, with several nodes that connect to one another, locked paths between nodes are unlocked through competing the nodes themselves. Coming in the form of camps, battles or quests, battles are mostly a single match against enemies whereas quests are text-based adventures, allowing you to make decisions based on the story presented. The stories themselves are rather fun and inventive, from mere mazes to interactions that lead onto quests into different dungeons.
Overall thoughts and feelings
The music in Regalia is top notch, from the same artist who worked on Furi and the Endless series. From quaint royal tunes while within the castle and kingdom segments to joyful and energetic battle songs. All the music I heard fit beautifully to the environment and situation, never falling into the background through my time in the demo.
Combined with the music, the graphics of Regalia are a breath of fresh air. While they are quite simple and sometimes pixel art in style, the colours all complement each other and it has a certain charm to it. While it might look childish at points the cast do wonderfully in their readings of English lines, with a wealth of different characters on offer. It was quite reassuring when the character swore and got angry at events, rather than a chibi style of storytelling.
I didn’t see much wrong with the demo, besides the backgrounds of combat arenas feeling a bit dull or under polished in their art style. There was a bug where I couldn’t load my saves, forcing me to return to the main menu to reload, but with the fast loading times it wasn’t too much of a bother. There were also times where I didn’t exactly understand the mechanics, from how many relationship points an interaction gave or when it was stuck at 100% when there should have been no cap.
The city management, social events between characters and progression all felt fluid and enjoyable, I was left wanting more after the first chapter was finished. With 20 characters to meet, 6 different regions and a plethora of dungeons and quests, this is one game I am excited for. With just under 2 months until their release I can see some of the few glitches that were present being fixed, my very own kingdom awaits over the horizon.
Hopefully the full game will allow new game+, as the beginning can feel a bit slow, and with 30 hours invested into 1 playthrough it might feel like a con if you had to go through the long slough yet again. Fans of Persona, Final Fantasy Tactics and Recettear should love this game as it combines themes and mechanics from all of those games.
Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs Was review on PC via Steam