Table top role playing games are a pivotal part to the very culture of video games, whether it’s Dungeon and Dragons or a different variation of the age old tradition. Eon Altar takes what those games offer you and updates it with a tech interface and a user friendly approach, whilst retaining what makes Table top role playing fun.
Eon Altar is a five player iOS, Android and Windows 8 game that allows one tablet to be used as the board, whilst five other devices are used as each player’s character sheet, allowing you to dynamically alter your character, equipment, stats, etc – whilst the main game continues on the center tablet.
My preview at PAX East consisted of myself and a team of journalists taking the role of five different adventurers all ready to explore a generic set of caverns. Each of us assigned a character that we could build upon, with the game also enticing us to read the lines that the characters were given.
I starred as a Female Battle-Mage, with my party consisting of a large anthropomorphic tiger-man, a heavily guarded knight, a deadly assassin and a crusader of the church; each with their own motive for exploration that has brought them all together.
I was both surprised and impressed that Eon Altar allowed players to use any device in conjunction with other devices, so an iPad could be the center tablet, with iPhones, Android and Window 8 devices connecting to it, this also works vise-versa with any tablet brand.
I want to praise Eon Altar for what it is and what it’s trying to be, in many ways it is the apex of what I want – in the most vaguest sense I have dreamed of this game happening in some shape or form for the past 22 years of my life, however, it has minor issues that might hold it back when it comes to fruition such as its constant obsession with graphical cutscenes and a some what silly loot system that forces players to simply grab what they can at the end of a battle, which will either leave certain players feeling left out – or at each others throats.
It’s clear that Eon Altar won’t replace table top games for a lot of people, however it might add a little variation and will hopefully spur on more creativity within the industry for similar products. It’s also worth noting that the version I played was an alpha build, with six to eight month estimated release date.
At its very core Eon Altar is simply a table top RPG designed to work with technology, with that it loses its pure table top experience, but it might just be the gateway game that introduces a lot of gamers into the wonderful community.