Book of Travels is an attempt to create a small scale online RPG. The art style is gorgeous and is matched well with the calm acoustic back track. The game play is focused more on exploration and discovery instead of grinding and combat. The game definitely has a lot of appeal but also comes with some flaws.
For starters, the game’s art style is incredible. It makes great use of vibrant colors and creates the feeling of walking through an oil painting storybook come to life. The calm music matches the slow paced game play of walking around and discovering new locations and meeting new people. The slower pace definitely won’t appeal to everyone.
However, while the game’s slower approach to discovery makes the game more immersive, it also comes at the expense of the game not explaining many of the mechanics or nuances to the game play. It is a bit frustrating when you don’t have a clear objective and know what each stat, item, and ability does. There is a tutorial but it does not explain many of the mechanics to a sufficient enough depth.
The game also requires you to log into servers. This to me seemed highly unnecessary. Each server only allowed seven people and it was impossible for me to find an empty server. The content and design of the game would have worked as a single player game with matchmaking for multiplayer but instead, we have servers and not being able to log into a server means you won’t be able to play at all. Hopefully this situation is resolved but be forewarned, I was only able to log into the servers one time and even then experienced some serious lag and desync issues after an hour of playing.
Overall, Book of Travels is a neat concept with some serious production values but lacking in overall execution. The art style, music, and game design all work well together but is held back by a lack of clear direction for the player and the reliance on servers that aren’t always available.