Massive Chalice is a complex game with lots of layers and different moving parts. There’s even a warning when you first start the game recommending that you leave the tutorial on unless you’ve played through the game before. Let’s dive in!
After starting up the game, you are introduced to a fantasy world by the titular Chalice. That’s right, the game is narrated by a giant talking cup. There are two voices that inform you that in order to fight back the threat of the Cadence, you are tasked with managing the denizens of the kingdom over the course of centuries and generations, raising their skills, passing traits down to their progeny, and researching ways to improve armor and weapons training.
Massive Chalice felt like a mashup of several different genres. There are two main stages of gameplay: the big picture strategy, including planning, research, and resource management; and the smaller, turn-based tactical battles that punctuate the former. I’ve heard this game compared to XCOM, which I haven’t played yet, (stay tuned later this year, since that will probably be my X game) but I got shades of the Civilization series and The Sims in the bigger picture gameplay, and Fire Emblem or Advance Wars in the turn-based tactical battles.
The atmosphere and the music are quality, and the back and forth banter between the two halves of the Chalice is entertaining. The tactical battles are satisfying, but I wish there was more to do on the strategic level than just pick your upgrades and then hit the fast-forward button and wait for stuff to happen. All in all, Massive Chalice is well worth the 2 bucks you could drop for it during the Steam sale going on right now. If you like turn based strategy, definitely give this one a whirl.