Fabular: Once Upon a Spacetime is as ambitious as it is innovative, combining medieval-themed lore with the futuristic aesthetic of space travel. Adventure, battle, and tactical management make up the majority of gameplay elements and support the game’s roguelike nature on multiple fronts.
The terrible League of Black Knights are terrorizing the realm. It’s up to you, the King’s youngest child, to adventure through the folklore-inspired galaxy and put a stop to their reign. Characters in Fabular are characterized as spaceships; simplistically beautiful pixel art by Spiritus Games presents them perfectly. Everything from the world to the game’s menus consist of nothing but pixel art, weaving together a wonderfully surreal folk tale out of the fabric of minimalism.
Hundreds of text-based events propel the narrative into dog fights with environmental hazards, often caused by (or leading to) the player’s required decision making. Navigating a node-based galactic starmap inevitably leads the player to a series of randomly generated events that involve renaissance-esque characters intwined with space age fantasy. Choose wisely – your decisions will, with all luck, pave the noble son’s path to galaxy-saving conclusions. Or result in someone’s spaceship exploding. Your call, really.
Battle occupies the gameplay when adventuring ceases, and it’s seems just as endearing as the game’s journey to get there. The game allows you to pick a ship from the royal fleet: the Knight, Assassin, and Alchemist. These act as your character’s class as each one specializes in their own style of play. Controlling your spacecraft from a top-down view while attacking and blocking looks both fluid and fun, and collectible items and equipment expand on the options for customization.
Managing ship upgrades, battle tactics, and relationships with characters combine to create a quality looking mash-up of two very different genres. The dichotomy between medieval folklore and modernized space travel works strangely well, immediately provoking intrigue before further details of the game are even revealed.
Visit Fabular: Once Upon a Spacetime‘s Kickstarter to learn more about the game. If Fabular sounds pleasing to you, consider becoming a Kickstarter backer – it looks well worth it.
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