An intriguing and well done mobile port from Robot Circus, the strategy RPG, Ticket to Earth offers up something very enjoyable. Featuring a simple, but engaging story and interesting combat there is plenty to learn, although the game is not vastly complex once the essentials have been grasped. Perhaps lacking in depth with regards to the combat and the story, the game is still a vibrant experience that provides the player with some engaging play time, although the RNG involved in the gameplay can become frustrating.
Ticket to Earth is a story that unravels in a run down colony, looking on as the last ships taking people back to Earth prepare to collect their passengers. You play a character thrown into the midst of chaos as a plot to sabotage and terrorise begins to unfold. You find yourself fighting for your life and trying to find out who or what is behind all this. The game currently only has the first chapter available, with the other chapters billed for release ‘soon’, which is somewhat disappointing and may impact how much the game is worth purchasing now since the experience will cut off abruptly until the rest has been released.
The primary focus of the gameplay is the combat. You move to each new combat instance via a map but once you find yourself in combat a grid will appear on the ground. The grid features four different types of tiles and you can only move across multiple tiles if they are the same type of tile. During each turn you can conduct two movements, these can be a combination of two sets of movements across tiles or movement and combat or ability useage. The more tiles you move across the more attack power you can build up, so trying to move as much as possible before delivering an attack is encouraged and ensures that you start thinking tactically. You are also introduced to different powers that you can activate during combat by moving across certain numbers of the appropriately coloured tiles. Once you have moved over tiles, they will change randomly to different types. This can lead to you finding it difficult to get away from enemies in some situations which can become frustrating as the combat grid often doesn’t feel that big and manoeuvring can quickly become irritating if you make a couple of simple judgement errors. This makes the game challenging in that regard as you do have to put quite a lot of thought into where you want to move your character.
As you progress different playable characters become available as well as each character increasing their skills and abilities. Different combat abilities will have different effects on the types of enemies you will encounter, with some enemies being robotic, some human and some alien. Sometimes taking time to look at the combat encounter and plan accordingly holds some importance since you can only have four combat abilities active at a time and their various effects must be taken into account. Generally the gameplay feels good, but it can become frustrating and sometimes lacks intuition, making the overall experience variable.
Ticket to Earth has a wonderful art style, maintaining a comic book nature throughout and successfully employing a combination of bright colours and a futuristic appearance while building a joking and slightly comedic atmosphere. Simple but well presented drawn cutscenes add to the comic book style of the game and enhance the overall visuals nicely.
A glorious soundtrack features throughout every aspect of the game. The music fits in perfectly with the setting and feel of the combat. Great to listen to as you play but not at all intrusive during any individual element of the game itself, lending additional atmosphere to this chaotic colony you character is tasked with traversing.
Ticket to Earth has a lot to offer in it’s strategic play and it is, on the whole, a well crafted experience. The game is not yet fully released as it has three other episodes to be added to it, but the developer has indicated that no additional purchase will be required. Currently the game is not long, but once all the chapters have been released it certainly promises to be more than worth the asking price.