This morning Versus Evil, a publisher-consultant for independent games, announced via Twitter that Stoic Studio's The Banner Saga was making its way to tablets this summer. The Banner Saga is a Norse-themed role-playing game mixed with a survival sim. While your caravan flees the overwhelming horde of Dredge, you'll need to ration food, keep morale up, and protect your people. Your oxen might not die fording a river, but your best reaver might fall off a cliff trying to save a wagon full of salted beef and potatoes. When it's time to hold your ground against the Dredge, a grid-based tactical RPG takes over, with a focus on efficiency and positioning.
I first played The Banner Saga last January, when it came out for PC and Mac. With the sun setting at 4:30 and snow falling outside my own window, it was easy to get lost guiding my group of dommed Vikings and giants across the game's ice-blighted hardlands. It might not have the same resonance in July or August, but The Banner Saga is a beautiful, melancholy, and engrossing game.
Indeed, the three-man team at Stoic made their bones at BioWare before launching a crazy-successful Kickstarter campaign, so it shouldn't be a surprise that they deftly fused The Banner Saga's story, role-playing, and combat, complimented by flowing hand-drawn art and a haunting score.
While Versus Evil promises "more info very soon," a hard release date and pricing details aren't available yet. However, if you're feeling impatient, The Banner Saga is currently half-off on Steam, as part of the annual Summer Sale.
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