Massive Chalice

A demanding and ingenious twist on turn-based strategy sees Double Fine back at its best.

Massive Chalice review

You may not have heard much about Double Fine's turn-based strategy game, Massive Chalice. Unlike the studio's famous Broken Age, it didn't earn record-breaking sums on Kickstarter or have its development split in two and dragged out for an extra two years. Unlike Space Base DF9, it didn't launch in Early Access only to be abandoned without many of its promised features, leaving fans bitter.

Instead, it earned a modest sum through crowdsourcing, suffered no public setbacks during development and passed through Early Access with a full and complete feature set. It's the perfect example of How It Should Be Done.

That quiet confidence carries through to the game, which takes a beloved genre, delivers on all the basics with aplomb and then layers the sort of smart, leftfield ideas that Double Fine specialises in on top. You're cast as a nameless immortal entity, watching over a small but vibrant fantasy kingdom. The land is under attack from a monstrous race known as the Cadence, but to help you repel them you'll have guidance from the Massive Chalice of the title. Just like the classic optical illusion in which a silhouette of a vase can suggest two faces, so this enormous cup speaks with two personalities and provides the energy needed to support your defensive campaign.

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