Multiplayer fighting games are a genre that I usually associate with the standard tournament fighter—such as Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter. But I never would have considered a turn-based battle system with light puzzle elements as a fighting game. Yet, here we are, and that game is Epitaph.
Epitaph is definitely an interesting title that I enjoyed with its minimalist art style, fun combat, and interesting single-player puzzles. I only wish there would have been some sort of online play.
Epitaph is a beautiful game that takes a very simplistic approach to character design but somehow makes characters that I can identify. These models look like really nice paper cut-outs and move as such, which gave me more joy while playing with this huge cast of characters. Despite the huge cast, each character is so unique from each other. This makes it easier for the player to know who they want on their team.
Epitaph has two gameplay modes: puzzle and battle mode. Puzzle mode is the single-player mode where you are given a preset team to pull off a certain combo to finish the challenge. These tasks are performed by using one of a character’s two-move sets to move scarecrows around the linear board to take down one or more at a time. I found this mode to not only be a fun challenge at times, but also a way to learn how each character interacts with each other. I also found this mode to be a great way to understand how to build teams in any situation when playing in battle mode.
Battle mode is the multiplayer element of Epitaph. Unfortunately, this mode is couch co-op only. Yet, I did find myself having fun playing this within my household. This mode consists of two teams of Rot and Ruin. The matches start out with the full roster, and each player picks their team of three characters. This means that when playing against someone, you have to figure out your best team on the fly. After this, the objective is whoever can kill an individual character six times wins. While killing one of your opponent’s characters does lead to more points, the drawback is that they will come back with a stronger attack power than before; in some cases, it may be beneficial to kill off your own team member in order to get the power buff. Along with that, carefully timing your attacks is important in this mode, simply because each attack has a cool down time that can leave your party vulnerable for an attack. Despite not being able to get online to play this mode with others, I did enjoy this mode a lot.
Epitaph is one of the most unique games I’ve played in a long time. With the simplistic art style, deep combat, and massive roster, there is a lot to enjoy in this little package of a game. This is a great party game to play with friends as long as they are in the same room as you. Even if you don’t have a lot of people to play with there is still the puzzle mode that I found myself having a lot of fun with.