Parents' Guide to

Fabular: Once Upon a Spacetime

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Challenging, bloodless space combat game rewards tenacity.

Game Windows 2022
Fabular: Once Upon a Spacetime game box

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What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
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Like most roguelikes -- games with randomized environments and permanent death -- this isn't for players uninterested in a punishing challenge. That said, fans of the genre will find plenty to enjoy in Fabular: Once Upon a Spacetime. The situations with which players are presented -- many of which were clearly inspired by classic myths and folklore -- are efficiently condensed into just a few lines of text, yet still somehow manage to be nuanced and compelling. You'll want to consider not just your resources and objectives for your current run, but also what you would really do in that situation. Do you trust the curt captain who tells you he's busy running a mercy mission, or do you inspect his ship, which may save lives if he's lying about his purpose but could lead to a battle you can ill afford? This kind of role-playing is half the fun of the game.

The other half, of course, is mastering the simple but challenging combat, which is part multidirectional shooter, part block-and-parry fighter. Finding and outfitting your ship with improved weapons and gear makes for satisfying progression each run, and losing the best stuff when you inevitably die can be crushing. Thankfully, the tokens you find along your journey get carried over from one run to the next, so you can gradually improve your odds by slowly upgrading your starting stats and abilities. After a few runs you'll settle into a routine where the sting of losing will be replaced by the gratification of having made it a little further than ever before and coming out wiser and stronger for it. With its rewarding storytelling and challenging space combat, Fabular: Once Upon a Spacetime is a polished and surprisingly deep roguelike with a personality all its own.

Game Details

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