I won't lie: I got into this one the exact same way I got into Undertale.

That is to say: I didn't even know this game existed until I started seeing a bunch of porn of one of the characters (similarly to Undertale, it's an important but ultimately unfocused-on character) and then I started looking into what it was.

What is it? Well, it's kind of a weird hybrid of a town builder and an action RPG; think Soul Blazer, or Dark Cloud. (It's done by the Zelda 3DS port guys, so I'm sure that there's a bunch of seams you can push a semi-truck through for speedrunners.) You're plopped in the middle of a world that has, since ancient times, been reduced to a barren husk of a Desert World by sentient despair and negativity known (so originally) as Chaos. You're a special type of seedling (think 'plant people') able to create an Oasis, a fertile, lush outpost in that desert.

In fact, yours is actually the last one. Turns out bad vibes are on an upswing. So you have to build Something out of damn near nothing.

What follows is a lot of running around hitting stuff with swords and recruiting people into coming to crash at your place. Fellow Seedlings can be brought in to set up shops or tend your garden, and other desert races can be brought in to do explorations on their own. (All of the characters you recruit can be swapped into your party, though admittedly that makes them kind of samey.)

If nothing else, the races are unique; in addition to the plant people, you have:
- Drauks (lizard/dragon folk, aka "my fetish???", use spears and enjoy fashion and honor)
- Serkah (weird chufty nomadish folk with... scorpions for heads? No seriously, their heads are cycloptic scorpions that move their pincers in place of a mouth. Either way, they're your gourmands and use the big hammers)
- Lagora (bunny people, enjoy "novelties" (read: toys) and use double blades for maximum edginess)

and along with the recruitable characters, you also have Noots. Noots are the best thing about this game. They're penguin/owl hybrids who dress fancy, can't talk (except in chirps), and live only to be The Perfect Consumer. They are a race of adorable Capitalism Borbs. It is the best thing and if we don't have plushies made I will be sad.

...right, I'm rambling. The game isn't perfect (I had a few complaints about the ability gating in some areas, as well as the fact that the game never tells you that the last few abilities are based on equipment, not skills) and the combat can be kind of hard to get a feel for, but it's real pretty. It sticks to the "desert wanderer" aesthetic and nails it hard, and while the soundtrack isn't on my top 10, it's perfectly functional for what it is. (I didn't find myself really cringing or humming any of it, so it's just sort of there.)

Is it worth the $40 it costs right now? Ehhhh.... mmmaybe. If you liked Recettear and can handle combat that's kind of fiddly and encourages hanging back and memorizing enemy attack tells, then it has a lot of potential. If you're looking for a game to scratch that Secret of Mana itch (since it was made by the guy who spearheaded that) then maybe hold off til it's on sale.

Still, I don't regret the purchase.
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