Earthlock changes name and will appear next week

In all my years of achievements, I have only ever got all 1000 points on two games.  The first was Lost on the Xbox 360 and that was because I was a bit obsessed with Lost at the time (and the game was short and rubbish.)  The second was this absolutely brilliant turn based RPG, Earthlock: Festival of Magic.

Appearing as one of Xbox’s Games with Gold last September, I didn’t even pay for the privilege of owning the game (directly anyway.) Also, rather criminally, it doesn’t look like we ever reviewed Earthlock in it’s original guise.  The news, from developer Snowcastle, today is that the new Extended Edition (or ShouldHaveBeen edition internally!) will be coming to Xbox One on 11th April.

Refreshingly, the developer didn’t feel that they’d done their Kickstarter backers complete justice with the state that Festival of Magic launched in, so they’ve spent the last year or so, adding things that they feel should have been available to players in the first place.  Personally, I didn’t think there was much missing or required so I’m really intrigued to go back through and see what’s been changed.

Snowcastle explained a bit more about their decision to extend support for Earthlock (they’ve now dropped the subtitle!) on their Kickstarter page.

“We are very happy to announce that we will be relaunching Earthlock in Q1 next year. In many ways this version feels like a new game!

In fact, the changes are so big that there was no way we could keep it compatible with existing save games. In order to avoid problems where a patch would void all save games, we have set up a new game in the e-stores: EARTHLOCK

After we completed the PS4 version in January 2017 we began pre-production of Earthlock 2. However, after a few weeks of getting super excited about our next game, we realised that we were not comfortable leaving Earthlock: Festival of Magic behind as it was. A lot of the criticism we had gotten on the game by then were things we agreed with. For the initial launch we had to make quite a few cuts during the development and some of those cuts really hurt the story.

Long story short; We decided to make what we ended up internally calling the Shouldhavebeenedition. That way we could leave Earthlock 1 behind us with pride and begin work on Earthlock 2.

The subtitle, Festival of Magic was an old remainder from our first kickstarter campaign and felt obsolete, so we decided to cut that, leaving us with: EARTHLOCK.

So what have we done in the last year?

  • Story: It’s massively changed. Almost from the start. We have added more depth, humor and character to the story and things that did not make sense before now do
  • Crafting: At Plumpet Island, we are happy to report that all buildings on Plumpet now have some kind of functionality
  • Side Quests: Yes, there are now side quests – as initially intended
  • Mini Games: Like treasure hunting
  • New scenes and characters
  • New and better animation
  • Improved cut scenes
  • Highly performance optimised
  • And much, much more

Important to note: Anyone who owns Earthlock: Festival of Magic will get the new game for free (Steam/GOG/PS4/XboxOne). The game is now in final QA and localization and will be published in Q1 2018.”

The plan, if I can ever clear my backlog, is to go back to this one and give it the full review treatment.  Stay tuned!

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