Deltarune is the second project for independent American artist Toby Fox known for Undertale, which is at the same time a kind of continuation of that production. The title was revealed on 31 October 2018 by making available for free a demo version of the first chapter on the official website of the game. Deltarune is intended for people who have completed Undertale.
Although the action of Deltarune seems to be embedded in a known universe, the game is not a direct continuation of Undertale. During the adventure we will meet familiar characters and references to the previous production, but the story focuses on new heroes in a different reality. They find themselves in the Dark World and try to restore the balance between Light and Darkness and find their way home.
The game in Deltarune develops the ideas of its predecessor. We get the title in the style of old-school RPGs, focusing on exploration, interactions with NPCs and turn-based clashes with enemies we meet. However, like Undertale, Deltarune is far from the classic representatives of the species. Although we can find here a typical combat system, the game allows for a peaceful settlement of the clashes. To this end, we are doing all sorts of things to weaken the fighting spirit of our opponents: we talk, we compliment each other, we flirt and even help them with their problems. All this takes place in turn-based battles, during which we must also avoid the attacks of enemies in a special mini-game. For this purpose, we direct the heart (representing the soul of our hero) in sequences reminiscent of bullet hell productions.
Deltarune adds a few new features to this scheme. In combat, we direct the whole team, not one character, with only one of the heroes having access to non-standard interactions with enemies. There are also completely new options: defense and magic. The former reduces the damage taken in the turn, while the latter is based on Tension Points (TP for short). We gain these primarily for the use of defense options, but we also get them when the heart is very close to enemy missiles.
Undertale is famous for its ironic approach to video game stereotypes, and it is no different in Deltarun. Toby Fox is constantly playing with diagrams and at every step we come across situations when typical interaction with other titles takes an unexpected turn. Not even an interface that seems to be an integral part of the game world during the fight has not been spared. These treatments have a humorous tone, but they are also often used for narrative purposes.
Deltarune audio-visual setting is not very different from Undertale, despite minor improvements. Toby Fox again worked on the game almost independently. Graphics, inspired by the work of the artist known as Chef Kano, brings to mind 8-bit productions. The whole is complemented by simple, but atmospheric music.
Although Deltarune seems to have benefited from the previous game, in fact the production of the title began in 2012. However, Fox abandoned the project for a while in favour of Undertale. Creating Deltarune turned out to be so demanding that the demo version itself was created with breaks of six years. As production would have taken centuries to complete at this rate, Fox intended to involve more artists to work on the game, although he had not yet started recruiting at the time of publishing the first chapter.
Although EXP points are present in the free first chapter, the game does not allow you to earn EXP points and thus promote your character.