Arcanum is an RPG developed by Troika Entertainment in 2001. Like Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale, it features an isometric perspective and a real-time tactical combat system. You play a character stranded after his zeppelin was shot down by a pair of Half-Ogre bandits, tasked by a dying gnome to deliver an important ring.
Why it’s great: What sets Arcanum apart from other RPGs is its setting. Picture your typical fantasy world with ogres, gnomes and elves undergoing the Industrial Revolution. Your character can specialize in technology, enjoying a wide variety of cyberpunk gadgets; or magic, offering a more traditional experience. Arcanum also features a huge amount of supremely well-written quests with multiple solutions, so you’ll want to explore every nook and cranny and talk to every NPC.
Things to know: Arcanum shipped with a devastating array of bugs that affected its sales and ultimately relegated it to cult favorite status. Fortunately, the community has come together and patched almost all of these bugs, providing a much smoother gaming experience. Get the game at GOG and apply the Unofficial Arcanum Patch and you’ll get to play the game as it was meant to be played.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10 (after patch)
The Awesome Retro Video Games series on EveryJoe highlights the games that have stood the test of time and remain great to this day. Download a copy and have fun playing this timeless classic. Have a video game to recommend? Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add it to the collection.