How Cris Tales Cleverly Uses Time Travel As Gameplay

Cris Tales, developed by Colombian indie game studios Dreams Uncorporated and Syck, is by definition not a JRPG. But it definitely has all the hallmarks of the genre as well as introduces a whole new mechanic that pushes the envelope further. It has the turned-based mechanics of a JRPG like Final Fantasy, and beautifully illustrated cutscenes overall.


We follow the story of Crisbell, although an orphan, she lived happily in an orphanage. She then gains the power to see the past and the future after talking to a frog with a hat. It is revealed to her that she is a Time Mage, who has to save the world from the devious Empress of the Ages by breaking time barriers and saving the present. Sounds like a lot of “Alice in Wonderland” thing going on.


Apart from its defining art style, one of the things that stood out to me is how Crisbell can manipulate time to her advantage. risbell’s crystals can send enemies on the right side of the screen into the future, and those on the left into the past.. You can turn wolves into cubs to lower their attack or turn a wizard older to lower its health. Just poisoned the goblin in front of you, but don’t want to wait for his slow demise? Send him into the future, where the poison has already taken effect, and watch the poison does it work. The party is placed right in the middle, so enemies on the left side are susceptible to being sent to the past, while enemies on the right side are susceptible to being sent to the future.


Working with your teammates just got a whole lot interesting too. For example, Wilhelm, can plant magical seeds in the past, and have Crisbell shift the enemy and seed to the present to grow the seed into a tree and deal massive damage. There are six party members in total, each with a set combat role and ability path, though you can customise them with equipment. Character abilities often play off one another, so there will be a lot of combinations which you can explore and experiment on.


This initial difficulty is exacerbated further by the lack of auto-saves in the game, where players can only save at specific spots. So if you are not used to old-school JRPGs, this might take some getting used to.

Overall, Cris Tales is an amazing time and a memorable experience concocted by a small-time indie developer. Definitely check it out on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S. PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Steam. Get yours now with OffGamers today!



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