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Turn-based diet JRPG Fae Tactics is out today

An isometric, cartoony tactical RPG, set in a magical-ish forest, net to a lake. Humans and monsters are fighting, there are menus with stats, and dramatic text calling out attacks like "Back attack!" and "Combo!"

Fae Tactics is a turn-based tactical RPG with a ‘modernised retro’ vibe.

You play as Peony, a magician who’s looking for her mother and perhaps inevitably ends up having to save the world. It has a pretty art style, some promising ideas, and lots of lovely spell and attack effects. It’s out later today, and there’s a trailer too.

I like the cannon attack about 50 seconds in. It sounds crunchy, and the rest of the attacks have some comparable animations and noises.

Although it’s clearly going for a Nintendo-ish retro JRPG feel (particularly Final Fantasy Tactics, according to RPS contributor Lauren Morton), with the cheerful presentation and sprinkly magical sound effects, developers Endlessfluff Games headline their “menuless” tactical fights. This suggests to me that they’re aiming to avoid the fiddliness that plagues many retro-inspired JRPGs. I’m not sure how transformative it’ll be, but it does look like a more streamlined UI for the basic fights.

There are glimpses of menus full of items and characters and abilities, and lots of manual levelling up and customisation, so hopefully that UI streamlining won’t sacrifice the fine details of training your mooks up. We’ll get to “Battle all kinds of Fae creatures and collect them into your team”, although I don’t think it’s going full Pokémon on that score.

There’s also a bit of nonlinearity to it, as you can “Unravel secrets as you explore the various conflicts in the world in any order you want!”, which again, could mean several things. Taken at face value it’s always a welcome option for an RPG adventure though.

It also has a subtitle, “The Girl Who Destroyed The World”, which I’d probably have gone for instead. Stupid world. Always cancelling my favourite TV shows, doing wars, forcing idiot billionaires into my feed. I say she did the right thing. Matt Cox will be playing and sharing his own thoughts after the weekend.

Fae Tactics is due out today on Steam and from its publishers Humble, with a $20 price tag.

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