Fae(nal Fantasy) Tactics
Fae Tactics scratches a very specific itch that I had apparently started just ignoring. Said itch relates to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, a game I adored when I was younger, but not one I’ve had many chances to revisit. Thankfully, I no longer need to, because Fae Tactics manages to not only capture what I love so much about FFTA, but also build and improve upon with some incredibly interesting mechanics.
You play the role of Peony, a young human who has been blessed/cursed with magic in a world where the supernatural and the natural have been smushed together after a seal was broken. While that might sound alright, the main issue is that the two worlds meeting wasn’t a peaceful affair, and the land itself was torn apart when it happened. This, as you might expect, didn’t do life on either side much good either, and now there’s a lot of unrest building between the natural world and the magical one.
Throughout the story you’ll meet new friends, get intensely hench, and eventually become an unstoppable force of nature. That’s standard RPG stuff of course, but the main thing here isn’t that this is a tactics game, but that it’s one that has some incredibly intriguing mechanics. Most of these are unfurled over the first hour or so of the game, but you’ll find yourself constantly learning new things in nearly every battle in Fae Tactics, and it’s excellent.
I choose you
One of the things that really helps Fae Tactics stand out is the mix of units you get access too. While a lot of tactics games either go all-in on making sure you’re trying to romance your units, or go so far the other way that they’re all disposable, Fae Tactics takes an approach that gets you invested, but always willing to upgrade.
Whenever you kill off a monster, it has a chance of dropping a card that will let you summon it for future battles. This allows you to not only level that monster up, but also to plan ahead based on the kinds of enemies you’ll be fighting against. On top of that, everything has an elemental alignment, with attacks, weaknesses, and support skills all revolving around that. It allows for an almost overwhelming number of configurations. This, in turn, allows for an absurd array of strategies too. Maybe you prefer to just boost all of your team’s attack and go in swinging, perhaps you want to kill off a group with one well-placed attack, or maybe you prefer to draw out a battle until your enemies just can’t stand anymore.
It all comes together to make Fae Tactics one of the most interesting and enjoyable tactics games of the last few years. Each battle is a lot of fun to play, and while it can feel bloated in some places due to the sheer amount of stuff there is to do, it’s nearly always charming enough to keep you invested. It’s also easy on both the eyes and ears and I defy anyone who has missed the golden days of tactics games not to play this with a smile on their face.
[Reviewed on PC]
Jason is the Editor of The Indie Game Website. He’s a lover of roguelikes, soulslikes, and other kinds of likes. He basically spends a lot of time getting beaten up in games and seems to enjoy it.