Sebastion Mauldin

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Arcadian Atlas Review

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Arcadian Atlas is a strategy RPG that has been in the making for a long time. It was put on my radar when I met with Twin Otter Studios at PaxEast and it left me rooting for the game. There are a number of reasons for that. One reason is that it is was developed right here in TX. Two because the game had a dope soundtrack that was in my head a whole day after I played the demo at PaxEast. Then there’s the Final reason: this is a game that gave me some Fire Emblem vibes in that it is a story-centric turn-based RPG. All these elements had me rooting for the game. Now Arcadian Atlas is out. So did this game deliver or is it a letdown?

Let’s dive into it. 

Arcadian Atlas Review - Image 1
Arcadian Atlas Review – Image 1

Narrative:

Imagine if Game of Thrones was set in a Pixel world and you are imagining something similar to Arcadian Atlas. In this game, you play as the heroes that are trapped in the middle of a civil war for the kingdom’s throne. When you are fighting for your principles and a faction what do you compromise along the way? What is right and what is wrong? These are the dilemmas that you the player and the characters have to face.

This story feels well thought out and the characters feel natural with well-written dialogue. To add to this good narrative base you also are given more exposition and world-building via the conversations with the barkeeper. 

Arcadian Atlas Review - Image 2
Arcadian Atlas Review – Image 2

Gameplay:

In Arcadian Atlas, you manage a team revolving around the Protagonists Desmond and Vashti.  If you’ve played SRPGs like Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre then you get how this game plays. As an Isometric strategy RPG it feels like it’s a bit on the smaller scale gameplay-wise and more intricate with its narrative. The gameplay is turn-based where you control a side with different classes and attributes. You win each battle by defeating all the enemies on the other side. 

The combat starts by you assigning your troops a starting block. The leveling-up system is simplified as well. There isn’t an experience bar that you have to fill up to reach the next level. When your characters participate in a battle then they gain an experience level afterward. 

This game is filled with menus and that normally could be very cumbersome. Thankfully that isn’t the case here. Each menu is easy to read and navigate. You can see each character’s skills, health, and strengths, and ailments. 

Arcadian Atlas Review - Image 3
Arcadian Atlas Review – Image 3

Additional Pros:

The soundtrack features A slew of fantastic Jazz music. There were many times were I paused my game to do something else, but I turned up the volume so that the music would play in the background. It’s not often that you see a fantasy game with Jazz music, but it’s a mixture of genres that surprisingly works. 

The sprite 2D Isometric tile-based environments look amazing. It is detailed but pays homage to retro turn-based games. The characters have vibrant characteristics and their movesets look amazing. 

Arcadian Atlas Review - Image 4
Arcadian Atlas Review – Image 4

Cons/Flaws:

One aspect of Arcadian Atlas that grated on me what that it is sometimes a challenge to select specific squares depending on your viewpoint angle. It feels like a misstep that you can’t rotate the camera. That aspect makes it difficult to get a good viewpoint behind some of the environments to click on them. 

I played the game on mouse and keyboard as well as with a controller and it wasn’t quite as precise as I would have liked. It felt like the controller should be a bit tighter. Playing on mouse and keyboard is a much better experience once you get the controls down. 

Arcadian Atlas Review - Image 5
Arcadian Atlas Review – Image 5

Overall/Should you Play Arcadian Atlas:

If you are aching for a solid turn based RPG then you should play Arcadian Atlas. While it has its flaws like the camera angle and the wonky feel on a controller, this is a dope game that has many solid features. The artstyle, story, and soundtrack feel next level. This soundtrack is another entry in the best video game soundtracks of 2023. If you love games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogres then you should check out Arcadian Atlas. 

Where Should Arcadian Atlas fit in your video game backlog:

Here at the ProNerd Report and on the Single Player Experience Podcast, we practice the 10 games backlog rule. In this practice, you log down 10 games, those games are gonna be your video game backlog. To be as productive as you possibly can be, we recommend that you only play three games at one time. One single player narrative game, one game that’s gonna be your chill and relaxed game, and another game that’s going to be your palate cleanser game, which is a game that you play when you’re not in the mood for your other narrative. When you complete or get tired of one game, it leaves the backlog list. Then you decide which new game is added to the list, and which game on the list advances to your active three games.

Arcadian Atlas: If you’re looking for a good Turn Based game with a strong narrative then you should have Arcadian Atlas in your Active Backlog. It would fit perfectly as your main narrative game. 

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Reviewed on PC 
Disclaimer: Review code provided by PR/publisher.

Sebastion Mauldin

Arcadian Atlas Review

TYPE OF GAME

Role-playing video game, Indie game, Strategy video game, Strategy game

LIKED

The Soundtrack, The Gameplay, The Deep Narrative

DISLIKED

The Feeling of the Game on Controller, The Camera Angle

DEVELOPER

Twin Otter Studios

PLATFORMS

PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Xbox Series X and Series S, Mac operating systems, Xbox One

RELEASE DATE

July, 27, 2023

Overall Rating:

7/10