Storybook-Like Medieval Space Action RPG Fabular: Once Upon a Spacetime Now On Kickstarter
Take to space in your medieval spaceship as a young knight in a universe built around fairy tales in Fabular: Once Upon a Spacetime, an action RPG set in spaaaaaaaaaaaaaace.
This one is ingenious. Fabular: Once Upon a Spacetime takes classic top-down space shooters and injects a much-needed dose of medieval into them and doesn’t even stop there. It makes me wonder: really, why hasn’t anyone done this before? Spiritus Games, composed of industry veterans based in the UK and Hungary, thankfully has us covered with this game.
Fabular: Once Upon a Spacetime puts you in the role of a young knight out to stop the League of Black Knights. To do this, you must commandeer your space vessel, described by the developers as “your armour, your figurative warhorse and your mobile home”. And yes, it can have mechanically-swung axes attached to it. The universe of Fabular is one of folktale-inspired fancy and infused with medieval elements that seem utterly alien, yet completely welcome in a space setting.
The art for this game deserves some special mention. It was always going to be a challenge to transfer medieval imagery into a space shooter, but I think art director Peter Meszlenyi does a bang-on job of just that. The universe of Fabular is rendered in pixel art, but the pixels are kept just small enough that they’re never in your face.
Like any good action RPG, there’s an inventory screen (and it looks so pretty, look at it above), which you’ll need to manage as you adventure through procedurally generated environments. So far so good, but here’s the really awesome part: the game features text-based events, complete with multiple dialogue options that should no doubt lead to interesting situations. The developers claim to be inspired by classic folktales like The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs and Table-Be-Set when it comes to these events.
This approach to blending top-down procedurally generated adventure with a sense of narrative reminds me strongly of Sunless Sea, a game I can’t recommend enough. The game’s developers, however, cite Path of Exile, Star Control and FTL: Faster Than Light among their influences for the title. You can’t really go wrong with those names behind your back.
Fabular: Once Upon a Spacetime will be available initially on the PC and soon after, for the PS4 and Xbox One. The game is expected to release in autumn 2017 and currently has a Kickstarter going, which is going really well, by the way, having made nearly 25% of its goal in only about four days. The Kickstarter still has 31 days to go, and contains a wealth of information about the game’s design. Be sure to back ’em if the project interests you, and to find out more, check out the official website.