Cris Tales is the indie love letter to classic JRPGs you didn't know you needed

(Image credit: Modus Games)

Cris Tales knows the one way to capture the hearts and minds of JRPG fans around the world, and that's to mention the games it's inspired by. It bills itself as "a love letter to classic JRPGs", with everything from the world to the characters influenced by games like Chrono Trigger, Bravely Default, and Final Fantasy 7. Not excited enough yet? Oh, we forgot to mention Persona 5, and that it's coming to every current-gen platform, including Nintendo Switch. Say no more. 

In Cris Tales, you play as the aptly named Crisbell, a newly awakened Time Mage who embarks on a journey to stop the fairytale world from facing a grim end. The Time Empress wants to rewrite the future for everyone living in the four Kingdoms so with the countless companions Crisbell can befriend alongside her – like Matias the Frog and Willhelm the Child Mage – it's your job to defeat the plethora of enemies that will try to stop you.

Combat takes a unique spin on the usual turn-based affair by adding in Crisbell's time powers. These provide "creative ways to alter the realities of each fight", so while going for a traditional all-out offence is always a viable strategy, this innovative combat provides new methods to take on your foes. All of this is enveloped in a majestic, gorgeous hand-drawn, 2D world that has been animated frame-by-frame to bring each location to life, whether you're in the shining kingdom of Crystallis or the slums of Saint Clarity.

There is more than 20 hours of gameplay in Cris Tales as you unearth the Time Empress' nefarious plot, with numerous branching story paths and multiple endings, along with a Colosseum mode that places you in progressively harder combat scenarios. Cris Tales is a modern take on the classic JRPG, and although it has some big boots to fill with its comparisons, so far it looks more than capable.

Ford James

Give me a game and I will write every "how to" I possibly can or die trying. When I'm not knee-deep in a game to write guides on, you'll find me hurtling round the track in F1, flinging balls on my phone in Pokemon Go, pretending to know what I'm doing in Football Manager, or clicking on heads in Valorant.