The time has come. The night of all nights has arrived, where I will dive into darkness. Evil awakens and a nightmare comes true: Dracula rules our city of New York and the lord of darkness is also the head of the local corporation for cyber-genetics, cyber-space, cyber-surgery, cyber-technology, cyber-weapons and cyber-surveillance. Appropriately, it has been a very long time since the city has seen any light; we are in an apparently endless night.
At first glance Arcanum looks like a role playing game full of great ideas: Its main attraction is its fantasy world, which is set at the time of an industrial revolution, that is about to turn it into a science fiction setting. It is a refreshingly unique place, full of whimsical magic and technical marvels, that has great potential for interesting twists to age-old cliches: How does an ageless being, like an elf, react to the rise of science, which is about to make the magic, that has kept him alive so far, obsolete? Is there a cheaper workforce than orcs, which can be exploited at will, for they are obviously evil and therefore deserve no less? Or what about safety: Should a wizard, whose magical power has an unpredictable effect on machines, be allowed to get close to steam engines or trains? There are so many new stories that could be told…
Some genres lend themselves better to mobile platforms than others. Clearly, anything intensive can get problematic. Touchscreen only devices will certainly not force complex control schemes on their players. Apart from a generally changed life situation, this is one of the major factors in the rise of so-called casual games. Andor's Trail is a curious one on such an ecosystem.
Basically, it is a console style roleplaying game with Roguelike elements, such as randomized dungeons. As such, its scope is quite large; although it cannot even be finished yet, it can be played for weeks without having seen everything. Its core mechanic actually demands dedicated play sessions, but we'll come back to that later.