Tempest Citadel Review – Pick It Up For The Story

Tempest Citadel is about you, the Captain of an interstellar spacecraft, that was sent from Terra to colonize another planet for the survival of the human race. The computer AI wakes you from being cryopreserved as you arrive at your destination.

Platform Reviewed: PC
Platforms Available: PC
Publisher: Aartform Games
Developer: Aartform Games
Release Date: April 17, 2018
MSRP: $17.99
This review is based on a review code provided by Aartform Games.

As the good captain that you are, you try to set up a home base. You must then survive the waves of enemies and ever-present storm clouds that this new planet is going to try and throw at you; All this for the main goal of getting back to Terra.

The one good thing about Tempest Citadel is that it makes sure you’re invested in your crew. The developers really devoted a lot of their time on the all the officers’ backstory and original art. This is made clear when you notice subtle changes to the character portraits as you progress through the story. My favorite part is how it has tag names for everyone, just like in any military fiction. Since this is primarily a strategy game, it tries to be original by throwing you in moral dilemmas while you manage your crew and resources.

Initially, I expected the game to be sci-fi but then magic and dragons were suddenly thrown into the mix. Although they did put in the effort to make the combat look good, I still didn’t expect much due to it being an indie game.

One thing to take note of is that I didn’t see any visible armor upgrades reflect on any of my soldiers. I also didn’t see any changes to the upgraded weapons except for how they behave during combat. Aside from the original art for the crew and the different factions in the game, the graphics didn’t really amaze me that much.

Surprisingly, there were more factions to defeat than I expected. The game is linear to the point where you can fast forward to wait for the next event. Due to its story-driven style, you won’t have the option to rename any of the soldiers either. This honestly feels more like a visual novel than a strategy game.

From the moment you start playing, you’re given a warning about the enemy being incredibly powerful and that if you don’t develop the right technology, you will lose. While doing advancement research does take its time, but so long as you choose the right one, then you shouldn’t run into any problems.

The most time-consuming aspect is building your team of soldiers to send off to war. The game finds the base stats (Str, Dex, Int) very valuable since it encompasses all the different “modes”.

There are three classes of combat: Soldier, Scavenger, and Medics. While there are Engineers and Researchers, they’re mostly used for developing your base to prepare you for any upcoming events. And this is where the strategy part kicks in.

If you send Soldiers into combat, there’s a chance they’ll get injured and they cannot be healed. It’s most likely that they lost an eye, an arm, or a leg which forces them out of commission, draining your precious resources as a result.

During combat, you may assign your assault crew into different squads and send the AI to kill the nearest enemies to break up their formation. It’s not all that great as I was amused to find out that letting a combat play out normally will give you better results than if you fast forward through it.

You’ll need to do a lot of reading just so you can learn about how the game works and to understand the UI. It doesn’t feel organic because again, they used time as a factor for you to strategize.

The other game that Aartform Games has released is called Spice Road and it suffers the “rapidly click anything” minigame. Unfortunately, it’s somewhat present in Tempest Citadel, specifically after combat where you’ll need to have your scavengers loot from the enemy base under a strict time limit.

It was fine the first few times, but it eventually gets really annoying and tiring. Thank god you’re able to have more scavengers in your squad to loot buildings faster and the auto-scavenge mechanic.

The music for the game is okay. It’s probably the only thing that makes me feel that I upgraded my soldier’s weapons. The music between missions and combat is nice enough; It’s not bad but nothing to write home about either.

Pick it up if you want to read a story with sci-fi and fantasy elements that mesh well together and if you don’t mind having to read a lot of lore. Otherwise, better save your money for another game.

Tempest Citadel - Review
Score Definition
We want to emphasize that 5 will always be the “average” number, not 7. So by far, it’s 50% great and it’s also 50% bad.
Compelling story
Did well on mixing sci-fi and fantasy
Clunky combat and UI
Only campaign mode