Might and Delight made my day last week when it released a 30-minute video of Book of Travels’ gameplay (with developer commentary). It’s the first time that we’ve actually seen this micro-MMO in action, and I’ve been very curious about what I spent my Kickstarter money on back in 2019.
The good news is that after watching the video, I feel like my expectations for Book of Travels are exactly in the right place. I’m not under- or overestimating it from the articles to date, which is a relief. I think it speaks well to how the devs have been portraying this “serene” title in media.
What we have here is an extremely chill gameplay experience, where BoT actually makes an effort to immerse us into this world and roleplay (if internally). From watching it, I would say that this is a survival-lite sandbox MMO where you pick a direction, explore various maps, pick up useful items, react to various local events, and pretty much follow your whims.
I really liked our glimpse at the (still unfinished) character creator, which takes pains not to give us the boring MMO template but inject a lot of thought and personality and subtlety into it. You can pick character traits that offer both positive and negative options (which is bold of them, I approve) and you actually “roll” for your starting gear. The only thing I didn’t like was the restriction of having to pick a random name — allegedly for the sake of immersion and not wanting to have to mod names — which is something I hope they change before launch.
The gameplay fields are really neat and dealt with in a way that you don’t often see in games. It’s an interesting blend of 2D and 3D, where your character can walk toward the camera to reveal what’s downfield while what’s upfield gradually fades into the distance. Coupled with the dreamy visuals and the outright lovely music and the sedate walking pace, it’s such a refreshing change from the dash-everywhere-and-kill-everything approach of most MMORPGs.
So if you missed it, you might want to check it out: