PREVIEW: Just One Line

Just One Line is definitely a title with some good concepts and potential but has a long road ahead before being a good one.

Steam: Early Access
Type: Single-player
Genre: Text Based, RPG
Developer: JOL Studios
Publisher: JOL Studios
Release date: 10 Jul, 2017


Just One Line is a text-based role playing game. You will play the role of a hero of your choosing, customizable in racial origin, attributes, and eventual specialization, then set him (or her) off to adventure in one of the available quests found in the Inn’s Board. The developer’s intention was clearly to bring a freedom of choice comparable to pen-and-paper role playing games to a PC game, and they have a lot of road ahead to do that, but it is indeed a good start.

Gameplay Video

Gameplay Analysis

General Gameplay
Just One Line‘s Gameplay articulates between the Inn, which is your “base of operations” and from where you will be able to access the Quest Board, and the actual Quests unfolding. First of all, at the inn you will be able to access various menus other than the Board, which are the Shop, to buy better armor and weapons if you have the money (some of them are tied to a specific background such as being a Hunter, being a Monk etc.) and also buy trinkets that boost your attributes. There are three attributes in the game, Power, Wits and Cunning, respectively combat interactions, magical / knowledge interactions and stealth/diplomacy interactions. The latter will influence the outcome of skill checks during quests, the higher the better. You also can Retire at the inn, redeeming all the eventual Unlocks of more classes and origins to carry in your next playthrough obtained in Quests. Then comes the quests which unfold: when you accept a quest, it starts immediately, moving the map accordingly to where it is located and giving you a general idea of the setting, but all the details are text based. In a quest you will have different actions to select from, depending on your intentions, and they can very well lead to failure, death and other inconveniences typical to a hero’s life. If you eventually complete the quest, you will get money, fame, renown, and unlock more quests at the inn. The goal is supposedly to complete all the quests and then retire, a process that will take several tries for sure, since there is a bit too much “trial and error” within the quests for not knowing the outcome of a given action, often leading to failure and death. Overall, gameplay is still unrefined but has a good start.

Combat System
Combat in this title is very peculiar: when a fight starts, a red bar appears overhead indicating enemy health and rank, the more skulls, the higher rank.You can choose to do three things: attack, flee, or use your special attack which is a free action used instantaneously. Whenever your character attacks, so does the enemy – at the SAME time – and bots receive damage. There is no such thing as Dodging, Parry or any other mechanics, the only mechanic is that some weapons are more effective against specific types of opponents, but you can carry only one at a time so good luck guessing the type of enemy in your next quest. The problem with this combat system is that basically whoever gets more HP and DPS wins automatically since the damage is simultaneous.  This means some quests cannot be done or have to be done in a specific order to get money to buy equipment to have more HP and DPS. A combat system, in my opinion, that needs some serious changes and is totally out of place as of now.

There are a decent number of quests as of now, a quite limited equipment selection, but already a good amount of content overall. For being alpha 0.12, not bad at all.



Technical Analysis

N/A (It’s a text-based game)

Very basic music and effects, nothing remarkable or worth mentioning.

Runs good enough.

Nothing to report.


Quality of Life

Bugs / Issues
There many but since it’s Early Access Alpha it goes without saying.

Technical Analysis

Just One Line is definitely a title with some good concepts and potential but it has a long road ahead of it before becomes a good game. It tries to get pen and paper gameplay to a pc game which is commendable but also falls short in some questionable mechanics and la ack of general depth, for now. Only time will tell.

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December 2017

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