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Briley Witch Chronicles Lykia - The Lost Island
Classification: Game / Turn Based RPG Game / Action RPG
Publisher: Witchsoft Psytronik
Programmer: Sarah Jane Avory Stefan Mader
Music/Sound: Sarah Jane Avory Markus Jentsch
Year: 2021 2022
Rating: ★★☆☆ ★★☆☆
Disk: Link to Link to
Screens: Briley Witch Splash Screen Lykia Splash Screen

I'm going to do this review a little differently. Because these games (at first) look so familiar to one another, I'm going to do a sort of versus kind of review. The games are, The Briley Witch Chronicles, by Sarah Jane Avory, and Lykia - The Lost Island, by Stefan Mader, Róbert Kisnémeth, and Olaf Nowacki.

In Briley, you play the character of a young woman, torn from her modern day world to try and exists as a witch in a backwards village in an age from centuries past. A strange sickness is taking over the inhabitants and you must find out what's going on. In Lykia, you play the character of a 16 year old girl who stumbles into an adventure full of strange and magical events. You must do what you can to save your fellow villagers from what's happening to the land. Sound familiar? Once you star playing the games, you'll discover that, apart from the “cutesy” plots and characters, these games are not the same.

Both games are in the RPG style; Briley is turn-based (like Final Fantasy) and Lykia is more of an action RPG (like Zelda). Both games have an inventory system, health meters, and are in the third person top-down perspective, but combat is handled differently. In Briley, battle happens in turns. Each character in your group (aka party) is directed as to what actions they are to carry out; like attack, change weapons, heal, etc. Hit points, health, experience points are then tallied.

Lykia is not turn-based. You move your character with joystick and choose what items/weapons you carry in your hands. And, when approached by enemies, you press the fire button to use the weapon you're holding (swing a sword, throw a net, etc.). If you get hit, your life bar goes down.

Art styles are also different. Briley is more in a “cartoon” style, like Zelda with lot's of solid colours and black line tracing. Lykia seems to be trying to be slightly more “stylized”, if I can call it that, with lots of dithering and more subtle transitions. Lykia also has some extra environmental elements that makes the scenery more dynamic, like shadows of clouds moving in the sky above, and overhead beams when inside some buildings that obscure some of the scenery below.

Both games make use of background music that changes based on the scene. However, I prefer Lykia's approach. The music itself is more pleasing to my ears, but it's also a little more dynamic. It doesn't just change to the scene, but I like how it adjusts slightly based on what you're doing, like how it softens when you're “dialoging” with another character.

Speaking of dialog, I have to say that my biggest gripe with Briley is the pages and pages and pages of dialog you have to read through to do anything. I know that Briley is based on a series of novels of the same name, but do we really need to read a novels worth of dialog in the game? If the dialog that was presented had any bearing on completing the game, then I'd be more accepting. But much of it is just extra content that (I think) just slows the game-play down. It bores me and I wind up not wanting to play anymore. But, that's just me. If you like lots of character banter in your RPG adventure game, then Briley's got you covered.

What Briley does have that Lykia is severely lacking is a convenient save game feature. You can pretty much save your game in Briley when and where-ever you want. Not so in Lykia; there is a save point, but you have to get to it first. I haven't played too far into the game, but I did find one save point on an island. But to use it you need to solve a few in-game puzzles first before you find it. Then, if you want to save your progress later on, you have to make your way back to that island. This I find very frustrating. Yes, if you're playing on an emulator, saving isn't a problem, but I like to play on my real C128. I want to be able to save when I have to and not have to plan to do so in ten or twenty minutes time.

As for playing Briley on my real C128… Nope! It's only downloadable as a CRT image. I don't have a device to let me play this CRT image on my C128. My MMC64 doesn't recognize the file and I don't have any other option. Why Witchsoft chose to handicap the game in this way, I will never understand. Perhaps the plan is to release a cartridge of the game in the future. But, if so, are they going to offer a discount to those people who already bought a download of it? And if not, why would you expect gamers to pay for the same game twice? A little crazy, if you ask me.

Lykia is distributed on four downloadable disk images (and for FREE). So it's very easy for me to bring it over to my C128 to play and enjoy. I'm not a huge fan of this style of RPG, especially those that are about 16 year old witches, but between Briley and Lykia, I'll give you a guess as to which one I'll be playing more of in the future.

If you like turn based style RPGs and don't mind the extensive dialog, then Briley is probably a game you'd enjoy; especially on a C64 as there aren't too many new games of this type for you to choose from. But, if you like the Zelda-style RPGs, then I think Lykia is right up your alley. You'll have to pay for Briley, but Lykia is free, so what have you got to lose?


★★☆☆ - Although I found Lykia more entertaining than Briley, I don't see myself returning to finish either of them. They may be entertaining enough for some people, I just can't relate to these games very well. Maybe if I were a 14 year old girl, I'd feel differently.

Briley Witch Chronicles Lykia - The Lost Island

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reviews/briley-lykia.txt · Last modified: 2023/10/30 11:47 by David