Thea: The Awakening is a turn-based tactical survival role-playing game with a dark fantasy setting based on Slavic mythology. The world of Thea was destroyed in the past, and it's up to you to rebuild the land and protect the well-being of the citizens through resource management.
Pro Detailed ways to manage your settlements and party members
Thea: The Awakening revolves around the fine details of building settlements in the world, collecting and managing resources, and keeping your party members well-stocked with what they need. Resource management is key, letting you build new pastures, and structures like defensive walls for your settlements. Each time you send your party members off on an expedition to earn experience points and collect valuables, you're responsible for making sure that their equipment is up-to-date and that they have plenty of food or firewood to survive the journey.
You'll also want to make sure that you keep your citizens alive by protecting them from enemy encounters through battle and through side quest choices, or else you might lose potentially valuable party members for the future.
Overall, there are a ton of elements and tools that you can experiment with to help your settlements and companions thrive.
Pro Your decisions matter for both side quests and combat
You have plenty of freedom to choose whether to fight enemies or avoid them, as well as how side quests impact the world around you. As you explore, you'll run into dynamic events that give you a mini-story to read about the lay of the land, such as how it's been invaded by orcs or other creatures. You'll then get to choose whether you want to engage the enemies in combat or use your diplomacy skills instead. Side quests also come about as you explore, offering choose your own adventure decisions such as saving a band of settlers, killing enemies who might later turn out to be benevolent, and plenty more. It's a unique system that really gives you the sense that your decisions have an impact on the game.
Pro Typical combat is replaced with a unique card game
Instead of fighting enemies in regular turn-based battles, you'll play a unique, numbers-based card game where you and your AI opponent take turns placing cards on the field. The idea is that you line up your attacker cards, like soldiers, with the goal of their attack power outnumbering the defensive number on the enemy's card. To supplement your attackers, you have defensive cards like spell users who can inflict ailments like confusion against enemy units. Once you're done setting your cards down on the field, you'll choose to pass your turn, and then the action happens automatically, with strong attackers taking out the cards with the weaker defense, and the defensive units coming in to help. It's a fresh alternative to the combat you'd expect from turn-based systems, and it's great for anyone looking for something new.
Pro Full voice acting
Every line in the game is voice acted by authentic actors who fit right in with the dark fantasy setting. Because there's so much text to read, it helps a lot to have such great voice acting to supplement all of the information, all with excellent pronunciation and believable accents. For anyone who might be turned off by so much text, you can definitely rely on the great voice acting to keep your interest.
Con Not for players who dislike micromanaging small details
If you're not a fan of keeping track of little details like how many resources you have, weapons for your party members, and how many turns you need to build an enclosure around a settlement, then Thea: The Awakening might not be for you. There's a lot to manage and tons of busywork, which might be a deal-breaker for some players.
Con Too many genres mixed into one game
This is quite a niche game, with role-playing elements, settlement building and survival tactics, and a card game all wrapped together in one package. It can get confusing for someone who likes one of these genres and not the others, possibly discouraging them from trying the game out.
Con Tedious inventory management
With so many resources and weapons to handle, you're unfortunately stuck with manually dragging and dropping required items through menus. There isn't a quicker, more efficient way to sort through what you need. It can get quickly get boring and ruin your time with the game.