Review – Children of Morta
Children of Morta is unusual – a roguelike where I found myself caring about the characters.
To be fair, the Bergsons aren’t your typical roguelike characters. You’re introduced to the six playable characters one by one, starting with John, the father of the family, who wields a sword and shield, and then eldest daughter Linda, who prefers ranged weapons.
Controlling one of the available characters – the rest are added over the course of the game’s starting missions – you explore procedurally generated dungeons looking to eliminate the Corruption, a threat the Bergsons lives are dedicated to eliminating from the ancient mountain the family lives on.
When you die, and it’s a roguelike so expect that to happen regularly at first, you don’t go to a new game screen or to create a new character, you return to the Bergsons family home. Here you can upgrade equipment or select new characters to play as on your return to the mountain, and it’s also where you’ll interact with other family members and hear their tales play out.
To keep players from zoning in on their one favourite character and excluding the others, the game uses a fatigue mechanic to encourage switching things up. Use one character too many times and they become less effective in battle and need time to recover to their full abilities. I wasn’t sure what to think of being forced off using Linda and her bow, but – especially in the later levels – I was glad I had a handle on more of the characters and what they brought to the table.
There’s a difficulty spike towards the end of the game, but that’s something roguelike fans probably expect and it’s certainly not something that most players will have trouble overcoming. If you get stuck, consider switching up characters and trying a different approach.
Children of Morta is available now on PC via Steam, and coming to consoles in the future.