Arcadian Atlas | Wulff
Title Arcadian Atlas
Developer Twin Otter Studios
Publisher Serenity Forge
Release Date Jul 27, 2023
Genre Strategy
Platform PC Via Steam
Age Rating NA
Official Website

I’ve always been a huge fan of Final Fantasy Tactics. It’s still one of my favorite games, and anytime a game comes out that looks like it could be similar to it, I jump on the chance to check it out. Arcadian Atlas certainly fit that bill with its pixel art style and stage designs, so I was stoked to dig into this one. The question is, could it live up to the heights of one of my favorite games of all time? Let’s find out!

Arcadian Atlas | Love

The story begins as the kingdom of Dantalion is about to lose their beloved king, Tirgan. The queen, Venezia, is about to ascend the throne and have absolute rule over the kingdom. This is despite the king deeming his two daughters from his previous marriage as his heirs to the throne. The older daughter, Lucretia, decides to start a rebellion to take the throne away from her evil step mother. Her younger sister, Annalise, is thrown into exile. This civil war will divide many people, including our two heroes, Vashti and Desmond. These two lovers end up on opposite sides of the war, and will be faced with many choices just to survive.

Arcadian Atlas | Mage

The story here is pretty well written and they flesh out the characters enough that you do care what happens to them. This is great since choices you make throughout the story will effect how some scenes play out and how characters react to each other. A lot of the lore and surrounding events are told through text stories found in the taverns. I thought this was a really good way to build this world, and it did help me get more invested in the story, though I think doing some of those as cutscenes would’ve been more effective.

Arcadian Atlas | Field

I think the stand out feature in Arcadian Atlas is the graphics. These classic pixel art character designs just look amazing. Yes, they certainly do scratch my nostalgia itch, but lots of games in this style do that and very few are this quality. The animations are smooth, and the characters even have some facial expressions to drive home the emotion of the story. The environments are nicely done as well with plenty of details across the many battlefields you will encounter on this journey.

Arcadian Atlas | Wulff

I feel like the soundtrack here could be a divisive thing for some folks. It’s done in a jazzy style and I would’ve never thought this would fit in a medieval fantasy game like this, but I would be wrong. In fact this may be one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard in a game like this in a long time. I honestly just wish there was more of it. While the battle and boss themes are nice, throwing a couple more of these great tracks in the mix would’ve greatly enhanced the experience.

Arcadian Atlas | Shop

­The gameplay in Arcadian Atlas is pretty much what you expect from a strategy game made in that Final Fantasy Tactics style. Combat is grid based with smaller battles rather than the more large scale ones you see in Fire Emblem, for example. Most of the time you will deploy five characters, but on a few maps they will give you an extra fighter to help slay your foes. You will not gain Exp from combat; instead, each character that participated in the battle will be given one skill point. You can of course use these on the skill tree to gain abilities and buffs to make your party stronger. After you gain so many points, you can promote your characters to a higher class. These are pretty limited since each base class only has two to choose from, but given that this is a 15 hour game, it proves enough variety to keep the combat fresh.

Arcadian Atlas | Red Panda

At towns you can buy new equipment at the item shop, and of course having the best gear will make your life much easier. You will need to check these every few battles to see if new items have arrived. At the tavern you can listen to the latest world building chatter or take on some special contracts. This is the only way to level up your characters outside of the main story battles. You will gain some extra gold and rewards as well. Lastly, you can visit the recruiter if you’re looking to take on new party members. They will start at the level of your highest level character, so if you’re looking to try out a new class this is the best way to do so. This is also helpful when you get a six member battle, since you mostly use only five and the last would be very under leveled.

Arcadian Atlas | Equipment

Overall I have to say, Arcadian Atlas is a pretty good game. The story is interesting, the graphics look great, the OST is one of the best I’ve heard in a long time and the combat is fun. I feel like the lore of the world could’ve been fleshed out a bit better, but this is only a minor gripe. There are a few balancing issues present here as well, but the developer is working on hotfixes that really will address most of what I encountered. Even though this is a quality release, I feel like it’s a bit pricey at $29.99, but when it’s on sale, fans of Strategy titles should pick this one up. While it’s not perfect, there is plenty here to love.

Review Score

Game was provided by the publisher for review.

Steve Baltimore
Steve started with oprainfall not long after the campaign moved from the IGN forums to Facebook. Ever since, he has been fighting to give all non-mainstream RPGs a fair voice. As the site admin, he will continue to do this and even show there is value in what some would deem "pure ecchi." He loves niche games and anime more than anything... well, except maybe Neptune.