Apokalyx is a turn-based RPG recently released by Xplored. It's set 600 years after a cataclysmic event that brought the world to its knees. No one is sure what exactly the event was, but nonetheless it has radically changed the world; it caused mutations, gave rise to slavery and ushered the way for history's favorite blood sport: gladiatorial combat.
In Apokalyx you'll create a character by first choosing one of the three races: Mutant, Stark One or Wildcat. The biggest difference between each race is the powers they have. Each race has 30 different powers that can be earned using skill points. After that you can select a pre-made build that best describes your playing style such as "tank" or "aggressive." If you want to get your hands dirty and distribute your starting stat points yourself there's also an option for that. After that you can customize your character's appearance, and then it's time to go to town to prepare for battle.
The town area is where you'll go between battles and it consists of three locations. The store is where you'll be buying and selling, naturally. The barracks is where you go to distribute the skill points you earn after every battle. Finally, in the tavern you can hire allies who will stay with you for one fight, or get some info on your opponents.
Last but certainly not least is the arena, where the bulk of the game is. Combat is turn based and you'll control all actions with your mouse. Click on an enemy to attack and choose whether you want to use on of your powers or perform a physical strike. If you're doing a physical strike you can attack multiple times, but your accuracy will decrease with each successive attack, which also goes for dual-wielding weapons. Click on yourself and you can choose to heal or use a power. If you're bringing allies into the fray with you they'll be AI controlled. After you mop the floor with your enemies, you'll get to loot one piece of equipment from the body or bodies of the fallen.
Analysis: If you like RPGs for stat management and combat, then you and Apokalyx are going to get along very well. This game is all about combat and it gives you hours of it, which is a bit of a double-edge sword. On one hand, the combat is fun, fast and polished and it will appeal to players who find more traditional RPGs kind of slow. On the other, if you don't like such a combat focused game, or you get bored with all the battling, well, there's nothing else to do. However, even without sidequests or much in the way of story, if you like turnbased combat there's still a lot to like about Apokalyx... you just might want to play it in short sittings.
The combat system is simple and well done. If you manage your stats right none of the fights will be particularly difficult, but that works for the game because it keeps things rolling.There are a total of 60 battles in the game and if the difficulty made major spikes then the game would lose the important one-more-level quality that will keep you going forward. There are some other smart features that keep the game from getting tedious, such as the repeat button. If you're playing as a really strong bruiser-type character, then you'll find yourself endlessly selecting enemies, selecting how many times you want to attack them and then going through the process again on the next turn. The repeat button saves you from that by just repeating your last actions. This keeps battles nice and quick. Another handy feature is that the game auto-saves your progress after every level, so you'll never have to worry about getting killed and being set a long way back because you forgot to save. The ally AI is usually pretty good, but sometimes it would be nice to be able to direct their attacks.
Apokalyx looks pretty good, even if there's not a whole lot to look at. The characters are well modeled, though it'd be nice if there was more variety. The artwork style used in the intro videos is very striking and it's a shame we don't get more of it because not only does it look good, but it's really visually interesting. The voice acting during the intro scenes isn't bad, but in-game at the beginning of each round as the combatants are trading taunts it can get a little old. Thankfully they go by pretty quick and you can skip over them easily enough. Otherwise, the sound is pretty good, with hit sounds and audience reaction during combat as nice touches.
If you're a fan of games like Swords and Sandals, or you tried them but wished there was more to them, then Apokalyx is just the game for you. While it'd be nice if Xplored had included more than just combat, they've still made a fun game. The repetition and limited scope might turn off some players, but Apokalyx works just as well in small doses as it does for long sessions of play. If you want a turn-based combat heavy RPG then Apokalyx will keep you busy for a very long time.