What we have here in “Smoke and Sacrifice” is a story that punches the player directly in the feels right from the beginning. The land that the player’s village lives on is uninhabitable where the only reason that crops can grow is that of the sun tree. In order to keep the blessing upon the land that gives enough room of warmth for life, the firstborn is sacrificed to it. This is where the story begins, the player character named Sachi being forced to go through this.

smoke and sacrifice big bad enemies

Smoke and sacrifice’s art style is very unique and enjoyable. So much so that it feels like your inside of an interactive painting at times.

As bad as that might sound, things are just about to become even worse for Sachi and her friends. You see, seven years pass from the day of sacrifice. The land suddenly comes under attack…And information is given that the child may not be dead. So that leads Sachi to sacrifice herself upon the same alter that her son had been set. Furthermore, Sachi ends up finding a very different world from the one which she had left, where dangers come from every corner of the map and every direction that she turns.

Anyways, I think you get the idea. So, as the game starts you move from town to town, and there are a number of side quests to do. However, Most of these side quests have to do with making the land more livable for the people who are there. Rewards for doing these quests are often craftable items from equipment to food recipes.

smoke and sacrifice art direction

There are many different environments to be found in “Smoke and sacrifice”, and most of them are really well-made and unique.

Traversing all of the different environments will require special items to make it across if the player doesn’t have this item they will die. This is also true when the item breaks while on this environment, for example, boots to walk across the snowy tundra. The boots needed are craftable, and this is a very good thing because the player will be remaking these items a lot, personally, the rubber boots were the item I made the most.

smoke and sacrifice world map

This is what the world map of “Smoke and Sacrifice” looks like (it’s a rather big world I have to say).

Crafting is the main focus in “Smoke and Sacrifice”, from food, gear, and weapons. Each item had a purpose, and there are no useless items everything found or that can be picked up has a crafting purpose. Making the inventory far too small for kleptomaniacs, because there isn’t a single item that the player will want to drop. Other than that, you have to pay close attention to the game’s day-and-night cycle, and when the land is clear, or when it’s covered in smoke.

smoke and sacrifice town person

“Smoke and Sacrifice” is an open-world, narrative-driven RPG, where exploiting living ecosystems is the key to your survival. In other words, “Don’t Starve” meets RPG.

“And why is that”? So you might wonder. Well, it’s quite simple really, because traveling around in the world while the smoke is out is extremely dangerous. As the creatures that appear when the smoke is all over the place tend to be very difficult to take down, some seemingly impossible. Some craftable items can be only made from things that can only come from these creatures, like milking a stunned Smoke Ghost. However, there are ways to interrupt the smoke from appearing, a little bit of arson is all it takes.

As for the visuals of “Smoke and Sacrifice”, the art direction is something special with no doubt. Even so though, my first thoughts were that everyone looked like bobble-headed dashboard people. Nevertheless, in general, it truly works =) And personally; I really enjoyed how everything looked, and everything had its own special touch.

smoke and sacrifice smoke ghost

Smoke and Sacrifice’s combat leaves a lot to desire. Especially since it’s not on par with the game’s controls.

Where there are a lot of things that I liked or even love about “Smoke and Sacrifice”, there are things that bothered me as well. Namely, combat isn’t really up to par, of which also has to do with some of the controls in the game. Attacking a creature can be done by pressing the ‘R’ button or using the left mouse button, the player will be going back and forth with these two methods.

Using the left mouse button will move Sachi into position and attack, and this will make the player want to spam the mouse’s buttons only to find their character moving in a different direction, or attacking another direction. This is because the controlls makes the player instead press ‘R’ to attack, but ducking and dodging make the key not the best option to hit.

smoke and sacrifice town of darkness

Smoke and Sacrifice’s music, story and crafting is on point. However, there are some aspects of the game that are rather annoying (such as the lack of information for some quests and items falling behind interactable objects).

I mean sure, controlling Sachi can be done with using the keyboard, using the standard W, A, S, D controls. However, just like in the case with combat, the mouse can be used. My point would be that the left mouse button is used when you pick up items (it seems to be the only option), and that makes it so that when items fall behind an interactable object. The item just can’t be picked up….And that is something that causes a lot of frustration, especially with those who play as kleptomaniacs, or when that item which you need in order to progress is just in that exact spot.

All in all though, “Smoke and Sacrifice” is a very fun and engaging survival RPG that’s worthy of your time and money if you’re into games of that kind.

+ The art style is very unique and enjoyable
+ The music is truly awesome
+ The story will punch you in the feels and keeps you engaged
+ Crafting is very well done

– Combat leaves something to be desired
– Some quests is in deep need of more information
– Items falling behind interactable objects can be irritating

Gameplay: 3/5
Graphics: 4.5/5
Sound/Music: 4/5
Controls: 3/5
Story: 5/5
Replay Value: 5/5

tgg grade 4 out of 5

Verdict: 4/5
Smoke and Sacrifice is a very fun and engaging survival RPG. Right off the bat, crafting is very well done, the soundtrack is on point, and the game’s story and art style is very unique and enjoyable. However, there are some cons to be found in the game that holds “Smoke and Sacrifice” back from being a flawless and epic survival RPG. Even so, the game’s story kept me wanting to keep on playing well beyond the few faults that I had run across. Finally, I think this game could become huge in the speed runner community.

Title: Smoke and Sacrifice 
Developer: Solar Sail Games Ltd
Format: PC
Genre: RPG
Resolution: Highest possible on PC
Release date: 2018-05-31
Difficulty: Normal
Spent time: +6 hours
Average grade internationally: 50% via gamerankings.com
PEGI age rating: +12
Price: 19,99 Euros via Steam

Robin Ek – Editor

P Albert
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @ThatDamnedGamer

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