Since I’ve been playing games for more than 30 years, I’m always delighted when I see a game that’s innovative and truly unique. At PAX, I was thrilled to discover Eon Altar, a cooperative role-playing game where you use your phone as the controller. It’s also used to advance the story.
The developers of the game have been friends for years and enjoyed classic tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons. That’s where they got the inspiration for Eon Altar, but their game is something completely different.
First of all, you use your smartphone as the controller. You download an app to your phone and use it to connect to the game via wi-fi. Your phone is used in a couple of different ways. The dialogue of all characters appears on your phone. The dialogue from NPCs (non-player characters) is spoken, and you’re encouraged to read your own character’s dialogue out loud just as in a tabletop role-playing game. The thoughts of your character are displayed on your phone. These you keep to yourself. Even though the game is cooperative, each character has different reasons for progressing through the game, leaving you to wonder just how cooperative your characters are going to be with each other.
Your phone is used as a controller for moving and attacking with your character as well. You drag a circle on your phone to move to a particular place or to target the enemy you want to attack. After targeting an enemy, you can see the attacks available to you on that circle on the phone and you select the attack from there. The combat itself is turn-based, much like a Japanese role-playing game, except with the attacks taking place in a 3D space.
Eon Altar just became available in Steam’s Early Access program, but the developers said they’re hoping to bring the game to Xbox One as well. I really can’t overstate how impressed I was with this game. I encourage everyone to check it out.