When you hear about an upcoming role-playing game being developed in the West, you may think it’s just going to be another bland RPG until the next great one comes out in the East. With Age of Grit we may be witnessing a return of great RPGs in the west. Age of Grit is a cowboy-themed role-playing game from an indie game studio known as iqSoup based near Phoenix, Arizona. When you read about a cowboy-themed RPG you may be turned off right away, but when you mix in an atmosphere like Firefly’s and throw some steampunk style into it you have an exciting outcome.
The story of Age of Grit takes place in a vast frontier known simply as The West on the brink of war between five factions each with their own culture, background, and interests. The developer has brought the cowboy feel into the world from six-shooters, sheriffs, and bandits, to even duels at noon. They threw in a mix of science fiction into this cowboy-themed RPG from steam-powered airships, floating fortresses, and clockwork contraptions. The player takes control of the main character simply known as The Captain who was once a commander in the Compact Militia, now he only harbors his allegiance to his ship, crew and himself. The Captain and his crew go around the different locations of The West and do odd jobs to keep on surviving.
Age of Grit incorporates a very dialog centric game in which how you approach and interact with others will determine what jobs you’ll get, your reputation, how people will treat you later on, and even the course of the overall story will take. The biggest aspect of the game is built around your airship which you will use to battle other enemy airships throughout the world. Your main resource during battle is steam which all of your ships systems require to functioning. You have a set amount of steam you start out with and must prioritize it among the different systems presented to you such as repairs, weapons, and the engines. Each turn your ship will produce more steam pressure which you can save for your next move for a more devastating attack. The developer didn’t want to have a weapon more superior then the others so they introduced different weapon types that have special asymmetrical strengths and weaknesses.
Quests are presented in a different fashion then most RPGs instead of being handed out to you in a linear fashion you will need to talk to people, earn their trust, and find out what they are doing in this world. There are many questions when it comes to being able to obtain a quest, from the local authorities not taking a liking to a certain activity to even trying to convince the person. Every quest will be distinct and have meaning which in the end will pose an interesting challenge itself.
Age of Grit has a Kickstarter goal of $12,000, and it’s almost reached its goal with 8 days left and less than $100 dollars to reach their goal. Anybody who donates can receive a multitude of goodies with just a donation of $24 you get a digital copy of the game plus a digital copy of the soundtrack, your name in the credits, a virtual guidebook, and project updates. They even have a Steam Greenlight poll going so that their game can be put up on the Steam store. You can check out more details at the game’s Kickstarter page.