The Starbites: Taste of Desert is the turn-based RPG equivalent of Borderlands with big guns and explosions. But this time, players will make use of mechanical robots or Mecca.
The Starbites: Taste of Desert Is A Turn-Based RPG That Is Reminiscent of Borderlands
Set in the desert planet known as Bitter, The Starbites: Taste of Desert will have you explore the once serene landscape, which antagonistic groups of AI have overrun. Unfortunately, space wars could not be avoided, especially with the limited technology known to humanity.
These AI roaming Bitter became increasingly aggressive, and so it is up to you and your companions to build the best Meccas there are to fight back.
Exploration At Its Core
Bitter isn’t the only planet on the horizon. You will be making your way to more of these while discovering the inner areas like in the Borderlands games. With the cel-shaded art style, it will remind players of the planet of Pandora. One of the goals of exploration is to gather as many materials to upgrade your weapons and of course, improve your Meccas. And the further you go, the more friends you will meet along the way who will fight alongside you.
In a trailer they released a year ago, players can see an orange-haired girl named Lukida who goes around Delight City and passes different districts along the way. There is a repair shop, information hub, as well as a store containing several clothes to choose from. This could be hinting at your ability to swap clothes and shoes to further customize your character.
On top of this, there is also a central hub that goes by the name of Delight City. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? This is where major characters interact with each other to conduct transactions and trade the materials that they need. Delight City claims to have a special hidden area consisting of unique NPCs and items but they will leave much to be desired. IKINAGAMES did not provide any hints as to what these are.
Lastly, the end of every chapter contains a boss that you will need to defeat before moving forward in the story. So unless you have the necessary skills and improved Mecca by your side, then grinding for materials is the way to go.
As mentioned previously, upgrading your Meccas is done by collecting essential materials scattered throughout the planets. But there is an alternative to this. In combat, as long as you are capable of destroying your foes and knocking them down, then you will receive valuable rewards to improve Meccas.
However, according to the Steam page, not much customization information has been released. Based on the trailers though, it does not seem to be as deep as the systems we have seen in Armored Core.
A Look At Turn-Based Combat
Unlike the first-person shooter gameplay of Borderlands, The Starbites: Taste of Desert is turn-based. This means that players must come up with ideal party compositions to bring on the battlefield to defeat the big baddies. The synergy between them is of utmost importance like in Honkai: Star Rail where a party should be comprised of at least 2 members with different elements. Otherwise, it will be challenging to defeat one round of enemies after another.
As expected though, battles in the game are exhilarating and flashy. Initially, you see Lukida controlling her mechanical robot and blazing through a desert path using its thrusters. This is then followed by fast-paced combat where the Mecca whips through the AI enemy using its left electronic forearm followed by plasma blasts and a burst ball of energy redirected against the same target. There is even a scene where a skill similar to a rain of arrows has managed to render the opposing robot stunned.
Next, you can see a companion by the name of Gwen-dol who decides to use her Mecca as a shield and decides to shoot enemies from behind. She can also use it as a maneuvering pad to jump up in the air and blast targets from this distance to catch them by surprise and make it challenging for them. When it is the AI’s turn though, preparing for the worst is the best available option because of how painful the damage is, especially when they incinerate a bunch of homing missiles at your party.
Take a Bite with the Starbites
The combat looks snappy and exciting so if you are searching for a fast-paced turn-based RPG, then you may want to add The Starbites: Taste of Desert to your wishlist! The game is developed and published by IKINAGAMES and it will be released sometime in 2024 via PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S.