Seven Knights -Time Wanderer- is a game that seemed to come out of nowhere and it has quickly become one of my favourite RPGs.
As an avid player of many JRPG series, I didn't expect much out of an IP that originally released for iOS. Thankfully, I gave Seven Knights -Time Wanderer- a chance and was I ever surprised! If you're looking for a new JRPG to add to your roster, read on to find out why you should pick this one up for your Switch as soon as you get the chance.
In Seven Knights -Time Wanderer-, you follow a cast of 15 playable characters including the protagonist Vanessa as she travels through time and space to visit different dimensions and find their time crystals. She is also joined by Sandy, a talking hourglass who helps guide her on her journey. The pacing is handled rather well as it slowly introduces new characters and gameplay mechanics as you play.
Each character that you unlock has one of four core strengths (earth, sun, star, or moon) as well as their own equipment. They also have three skills to use in battle with quite a large variety represented within them such as single or multiple enemy attacks, magic or physical focused attacks, defensive shields, buff removals, healing spells, and more. Each character also has their own back-story that you'll dig into as you traverse their dimension in search of its time crystal. However, I didn't find any of their stories to be particularly intriguing and the characters didn't offer much to make me care for them but they certainly all have unique personalities.
You may be thinking that having a selection of only three abilities to use per character in battle sounds limiting but I found combat to be far from boring. You can command up to five party members at once and can freely switch them when outside of battle. After you've got through the first few dimensions, you'll find it all the more important to switch up your party because the enemies you'll face start to vary more thus requiring you to be more strategic in exploiting their weaknesses with the right party members and skills.
The same can be said for defences where choosing the wrong party members can mean they'll constantly get stunned or lose their HP too fast when facing foes they're weak against. Besides exploiting weaknesses, you'll also be required to think about whether you want to perform a single hit with more damage or a lower damage attack that hurts more enemies, if you need to shield to prepare for an incoming blow, or if you want to use a particular party member more to boost the meter for their special move.
Yes, special moves need to be powered up which usually takes 3 or 4 turns of using a given party member to fill up the gauge. There's a catch to this in that you can choose to leave the map at any point and heal and save but if you do so then you reset your meter. I found myself constantly choosing between continuing to fight more enemies in order to boost my special move meter in preparation for the next boss or go back to the Room of Sand to heal and upgrade my equipment. I also had to make tough decisions of whether I should risk trying to break open a treasure chest with force or magic and hope it's not a mimic as well as whether I should brave going down a path that's not lit up which would take me further away from the healing spot but may reward me with new items.
When exploring the map, you move on a grid that has a variety of alternate paths, dead-ends, side-quests, treasure chests, and traps that deal damage or warp you to another spot. Unlocking every spot on the map can take some time but it's rewarding when you follow a side-quest and are given a cool piece of equipment or a dimension skill point to spend on upgrading your stats. Some maps are also laid out like puzzles, requiring critical thinking or trial and error to find your way out. Other maps have you meeting NPCs who offer clues to decipher in order to uncover hidden areas. Needless to say, I had a ton of fun uncovering the maps to find all of the treasures and complete side-quests, especially when it lead me to chat with talking mushrooms and ninja hamsters that are just adorable.
Seven Knights -Time Wanderer-'s graphics have an impressive level of detail. Each dimension contains around 8 areas with a great variety in their visual style. You'll traverse places like an ancient temple, glowing forests, and a camp for resting knights and I enjoyed the scenery of every new dimension that I entered. Given there's such a big cast to choose from, it's also impressive how detailed the costumes and battle scenes are for each of them as well. Some are slightly more understated such as Aquila the Demon Hunter dressed in a pink dress and holding an oversized shield but they quickly get elaborate such as the valkyrie-inspired suit for Rudy and the huge silver and red dragon that Ran sits on and uses to unleash devastating attacks. In some JRPGs, attack animations get dull and make you want to skip them but I enjoy watching them in Seven Knights -Time Wanderer- as their level of detail make them very satisfying to take in.
Although I highly recommend Seven Knights -Time Wanderer-, one thing that it lacks is deep skill and equipment customization. You unlock more powerful weapons and armour as you progress which you buy when you have enough money and you'll eventually unlock crafting which is pretty bare-bones. It would be great to see crafting go further to have more variety in equipment. The same could be said for skills to a degree. You unlock more powerful skills as your characters level-up and there's a very small skill tree to work through as you find special items in each dimension but a skill tree that allows you to really customize each character's setup would be even better. While I'm discussing elements of Seven Knights -Time Wanderer- that didn't quite hit the mark, I should also point out that the sound effects are rather lacking. They seem to repeat often and can come across as jarring on occasion.
If you're looking for a new RPG to add to your Switch library, look no further than Seven Knights -Time Wanderer-. You'll be pleasantly surprised by its large cast of characters, gorgeous detailed scenery, and gameplay that never gets dull.
- + Variety of environments and characters
- + Completing maps and unlocking all the paths and side-quests is a blast
- + 15 cool party members to rotate between
- - Story and characters aren't very relatable
- - Equipment and skill upgrades are too linear
- - Sound effects can be jarring