Fae Tactics

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Fae Tactics Game Poster Image
Fantasy adventure is cute but limits players' tactics.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The game features some themes of teamwork and friendship between some characters. The plot revolves around tension between humankind and the fae as their worlds are forced together. This tension echoes a lot of the real-world stress in current events.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Peony is a magic user trying to survive in this new world while searching for her family. She tends to be good natured and friendly, with a close friendship to her companions, Chico and Payachin.

Ease of Play

Although the game promotes its "menuless" gameplay, there's actually a lot that players need to navigate and maintain, including equipment in the form of spell cards and skill points to upgrade the main characters. Players also need to manage things like elemental weaknesses, capturing monsters, etc. Meanwhile, the lack of menus in battle winds up restricting players' options in combat.

Violence

Combat and violence is key to the game, with characters fighting each other using various skills, magic, and other abilities or traits. There's no blood or gore shown onscreen, and the graphics are more pixelated and cartoonish in nature. 

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fae Tactics is a fantasy themed tactical role-playing game available for download on Windows based PCs. Players control small parties of characters in turn-based battles, using magical spells in combination with ranged and melee attacks against fantasy creatures and human enemies. There's no blood or gore shown onscreen and the visuals are a more animated and cartoonish style, which helps tone down the impact of the violence. The game has a relatively steep learning curve, due in no small part to its "menuless" design, which caused characters to perform specific actions depending on things like positioning and abilities.

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What's it about?

FAE TACTICS is a fantasy-based tactics role-playing game that introduces players to a world ravaged by mystic forces run wild. Long ago, magic was sealed off from the natural world behind powerful Elemental Gates. One day, without warning, the Gates' seal was broken, and the world of magic came flooding in, tearing the world asunder with raw power. The merging of the two worlds took its toll, claiming most of the population of the planet, mundane Human and magic wielding Fae alike. The story follows a young magic user named Peony and her two companions, Chico and Payachin, as they make their way through this dangerous new world in search of Peony's family. You'll master the elements as you fight your way through both Fae creatures and Human soldiers, defeating some and recruiting others to your cause. It's up to you to discover long hidden secrets and unravel a mystery that could save the world … or destroy it once and for all.

Is it any good?

Tactical role-playing games have long been held in high regard by fans for mixing the character development of a role-playing game with the tactical thinking of a turn-based tabletop game. Fae Tactics tries to carve out its own space in that genre by offering fans a nostalgic look and feel. The story isn't particularly deep, but it's engaging enough to keep players' interest. The game does try to toss in a few new quirks to try and stand out. Although the pieces come together well enough when the action starts, there are some frustrating limitations to overcome.

One of Fae Tactics' most hyped features is what the developers call it "menuless" gameplay. Menuless is a bit misleading though, as players still have to navigate different menus to equip characters' spells and abilities, level up skills, and organize their parties. But once battle start, the game does drop the usual menu-based controls in favor of automatic actions based on contextual things like characters' positions on the map, which direction they're facing in relation to enemies, and more. While the idea is for this to streamline the gameplay, it feels more like it strips options away from the player. You lose direct control of the tactics and strategies your units employ. Instead, Fae Tactics puts a focus on just getting characters into the right position and crossing your fingers, hoping the actions play out the way you want. For players that are used to commanding or directing their troops during play, this is pretty disappointing, but for newcomers just getting used to tactical strategy, this automated play could ease the learning curve that normally exists around these kinds of games.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in gaming. Is the impact of the violence in Fae Tactics affected by the lack of blood and gore in the game? What are some of the ways that violence is portrayed in video games? How can things like style and setting affect the impact of that violence to younger audiences?

  • What are some of the ways that diverse characters in games manage to come together for common goals? How can these lessons of unity carry over from gaming to the real world?

Game details

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For kids who love strategy

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