Lightstep Chronicles video game was released on Steam for PC on August 1st. In this day and age, we see video game developers mostly leaning towards mobile devices and developing games that are fun, snappy, and suitable for portable devices. But now, Eipix Entertainment brings us this rare choice in the genre, which is obviously a passion project, developed with great ambition and care. It is still an indie game, but when you factor in that it’s a textual adventure for PC, you know you’re in for something new.
Development and reception
This game was developed and published by Eipix Entertainment. This is their ‘fresh out the oven’ title, while they have been involved in the developments of several titles, like Farm Slam, Free The Witch, and text adventures like Lifeline Whiteout. Lightstep Chronicles is developed solely for PC and it’s on Steam at $9.99. Since the game only came out a couple of days ago, on August 1st, it’s too early to note any significant reviews and feedback, but what little comments they got are overly positive.
The Story (Contains Spoilers)
An alien ship is found in a Military Base SQU-112 on Planet Kepler 452b. A military squad infiltrates it and finds something unexpected. The crew gets attacked and disabled. The player, Captain Cain Phoenix, then awakes to be greeted by a giant mechanical eye, who introduces itself as ALEPH and insists that it was the one who saved you from someone named Malkuth. ALEPH is the ship’s AI, and its name stands for Advanced Logic, Empathy, Psychology, and Heuristics unit. Then, your host imposes a ‘quid pro quo’ game, you tell him things and then he tells you things…
You are aboard Amarok, a vessel which was, as ALEPH informs you, owned by an Emperor who collected knowledge and stored in the ship. The knowledge that was craved for by many civilizations, much more advanced than yours. This knowledge is now reachable for you, but you are asked for your help in return. During the whole conversation, you are seated in a chair that enhances your senses and allows you to interact with the ship, and since this is a story driven textual adventure, we do not want to give too much away. Sufficed to say you quickly learn who Malkuth is and that your host ALEPH has its own problems despite its superior advanced technical artificial intelligence.
Gameplay (Contains Spoilers)
The entirety of the gameplay is being played out in sequences of questions and answers, or navigating the ship and its controls in the same manner. But, as the story gets interesting and more engaging as you go along, you feel as you are playing out a sci-fi movie. As you progress, you soon find out that there are several other hosts of the ship, besides ALEPH, and they all want to groom you to see their side of the story and become their ally. Each has its own believable and persuasive story to tell you and each wants your help for a noble cause, or at least one that has the greater good at stake.
As you keep talking to the ship’s A.I.s you begin to realize they are all one and the same A.I. which actually has a multiple personality disorder. And, like any real schizophrenic, each of its personalities absolutely believes what it’s saying and that it’s the one who is right. Now, this makes your choices very important, while your ability to read, process, and handle info is what will carry you through this game. Lightstep Chronicles quickly becomes a game of very hard decisions and taking light steps, as it seems this is where the name comes from.
Lightstep Chronicles consists of a few well-done backgrounds and animations are repetitive. All you actually have is the ships interior, exterior, and perhaps a few other scenes. So, the visual diversity is low, but what little scenes and animations you see are really smooth, beautiful, and feel expensive. It is a smart way of making a game appear visually impressive but at the same time doing it on a budget, which is crucial for an indie developer.