You’ve been trapped your entire life. All you have is your music – your magic piano. One fateful day, the barrier on your room vanishes. You can finally escape! What awaits you on the other side?
Remnants of Isolation is a 2-hour RPGMaker title that follows a silent protagonist as she is trapped within her room. When the barrier falls, she escapes and finds Melchior. Melchior decides to name the girl Celesta, and they set off through this mysterious place to try and find their way out. To get out, they’ll need to light all of the crystals. The path to light these isn’t easy though, and quite a few remnants of the past will come back to you.
At its core, Remnants of Isolation is a turn-based RPG title. It does do something unique, however. Your turns are split between your two characters. These characters can use special abilities that will influence whatever spell is cast next that turn through Spell Fusion. The spell you cast will be transformed depending on what you used, with options such as turning it into an area attack or an elemental protection. Using and abusing Spell Fusion is key to survival in these battles, and with that comes being able to well manage your MP.
I have a love and hate relationship with the MP system in this game. On one hand, it’s definitely an interesting system that really makes you plan out your spell usage. On the other hand, I often had times – mainly during bosses – where I really needed to cast a spell with someone who didn’t have enough MP. At the start of every battle you have 3 MP. Each turn you recover 2 MP. Spells typically cost 3 MP, with the abilities you use for fusion costing anywhere from 1 MP to 4 MP. This causes combat to become a large balance of staying alive and MP management.
To obtain your spells you need to find Spell Cards. These are hidden throughout the game, and will come in a handful of varieties – your regular elements along with a Heal. Every spell has a base effect, but once combined you get your full arsenal of abilities. You’ll have to watch it sometimes in battle to make sure you use the right Spell Fusions! More than once I would use an ability only to follow it up with Heal and wind up with nowhere near the effect I was actually hoping for.
As I said, Remnants of Isolation will only take around 2 hours. Thanks to this, the game doesn’t overstay its welcome. Yet within these two hours, I absolutely came to love the story behind the game. The story gets presented in two ways: you have your typical cutscenes and then you have notes you can find. A lot of the backstory is buried within these notes, so it’s definitely worthwhile to seek them out.
There are a lot of little touches that really help make this game quite good, but my favorite of these touches was the music. It’s almost entirely composed of piano tracks which is very fitting with the main character having a magic piano. All of the tracks fit, too. The battle song proves to be quite creepy, and considering how creepy the enemies look in Remnants of Isolation this works out quite well. I absolutely loved the last boss track too, even if it did take me quite a while to stabilize and actually start beating him down.
Coming in with a total of three available endings, Remnants of Isolation’s story wraps up quite well. You’ll become attached to these characters despite the fact the game is only two hours long. While the battle system isn’t perfect, the Spell Fusion system provides a unique experience that will keep you planning out your moves in every battles. All of the small details in Remnants of Isolation just come together to provide a fairly enjoyable experience, even if the enemies ARE extremely creepy looking. Despite this, I have a hard time suggesting it for the regular price of $10 just due to the length. If you can find it on sale, however, be sure to pick it up and it is more than worth it then.
Remnants of Isolation Review Score
Remnants of Isolation is available now on Steam.