While enjoying and exploring Gamescom 2018, we had a nice conversation with 11 bit studios about the various titles they plan to bring to Nintendo Switch. Children of Morta, a hack and slash title combining roguelike dungeon crawler, pixel art, and rich story, is one of them.

As opposed to other roguelike games, Children of Morta emphasizes its story from beginning to end. Specifically, it follows the tale of the Bergson family over multiple generations.

At the very beginning of the storyline, you are introduced to the Bergsons, a family who defended Mt. Morta for generations. Mt. Morta is a mystical and mysterious place, containing untold magical powers. Unfortunately, it becomes corrupted and turns into a violent, nightmare-filled monstrosity.

It is that same corruption that makes the mountain change constantly. Children of Morta is a roguelike, and this is how the game explains its procedurally-generated levels.

You play as a member of the nuclear Bergson family, and each of them has different combat skills influenced by their role in the family. John, the father and the head of the family, sees himself as the family’s protector and the one responsible for everyone’s well-being. That’s why he holds a powerful shield. Kevin, the middle child, is striving for attention and often feels invisible. Accordingly, he has a talent for stealth and can sneak across the dungeon without being noticed by monsters. Currently, two out of five characters are locked but will be playable later on.

Extended family members will accompany you along the way: Uncle Ben and Grandma Margaret have a smithy and a potion workshop respectively, where you could equip your family members with new gear between dungeon visits. You can also upgrade the shops and other aspects of the family home, but be warned – upgrading will help you unlock new skills but will also increase the corruption and make the monsters stronger.

Children of Morta Combat

Another game mechanic that will make sure you enjoy and play with all family members is the corruption. While crawling the dungeons, the character with whom you play will slowly be infected with corruption. If you want them to get better, you’ll have to let them recover at home and continue playing with the other characters. The creators want you to explore the stories of all family members during the same playthrough.

Like many roguelikes, character development is through unlocking and progressing down different skill-trees. We’re not sure whether you’ll be limited to a number skills, or if it’s possible to unlock everything with a little grinding.

On the other hand, Children of Morta sets itself apart from other roguelikes via its story. Whereas most games in the genre focus on loot and leveling up, here we have a plot that will develop over time.

The plot have a few branching storylines that can end pretty badly, depending on the choices you make, and some side quests can only end in tragedy. It’s the game’s way of confornting us with an uneasy truth – even video game heroes can’t save them all.

The game’s artistic design has some shares some influences with ancient Persia, but also seems to be inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s work, including The Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke. We played Children of Morta on the Switch, and the pixel art looks good on the console’s handheld screen. We didn’t get a chance to see how the game looks on a TV though.

Unfortunately, the background noise in 11 bit studio’s booth made it almost impossible for us to learn anything about the game’s sounds or music.

Children of Morta intrigued many of us at GamersPack even before Gamescom 2018. Luckily, it will have both local and online co-op, so we won’t have to fight over it.

Children of Morta is expected to be available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One by the end of August. The Nintendo Switch version is scheduled for Q1 2019.

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