Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark Game Poster Image
Strategy adventure gives players deep, customized battles.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Game's focus is on using teamwork to overcome obstacles. Players are encouraged to find unique combinations of skills and abilities, working together as a group in strategic ways. Plot also features themes of good versus evil, as well as fighting against the odds and helping out those in need.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Features a wide array of different character archetypes, from pure and noble knights to roguish bandits, as well as just about every other character type imaginable. From a plot standpoint, main characters tend to follow a certain code of honor and duty, putting needs of others ahead of their own.

Ease of Play

Turn-based gameplay gives players plenty of time to plot out strategies. But there are a lot of menus to navigate at any given time. While this offers up plenty of options, ways to customize adventures, it can feel overwhelming at times. Steadily increasing difficulty curve constantly challenges players' skills, sometimes their patience as well.

Violence

Violence is constant, as players' parties use various weapons and magical abilities to battle against monsters, magical creatures, human enemies. Most of the action involves flashy special effects as opposed to any blood or gore, but some scenes do feature killing, some blood.

Sex

Some female characters' outfits feature low-cut tops, short skirts, bare midriffs, etc., though not overly sexualized.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark is a turn-based tactical role-playing game available for download on Windows, Mac, and Linux-based computers. Players take part in a fantasy tale of good versus evil and rising up against corruption. The gameplay involves taking small parties of characters into battle against various magical creatures and enemy soldiers. The game does rely heavily on menu navigation and reading comprehension, which might be difficult for younger players. There's no blood or gore in the combat, though some scenes in the game's story do feature slightly more graphic scenes of death, including recently killed characters lying in pools of blood.

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What's it about?

The world of FELL SEAL: ARBITER'S MARK is a place where structure and order aren't just a way of life, they're the law of the lands. Centuries before, the world teetered on the brink of destruction, ripped apart by the hands of a dark creature. It was back then that the first of the Immortals, heroes seemingly granted immense magical power, came together to drive back the beast and save the land. Forming a Council to prevent such evil from ever taking shape again, the Immortals imposed strict laws to stamp out the seeds of chaos. To this day, these laws are enforced by the Arbiters, powerful warriors chosen to represent the Immortals' will among the people. Enter Kyrie, a veteran Arbiter loyal to the Immortals and to the people who rely on her skills to ensure their safety. Everything changes when Kyrie discovers corruption within the Arbiters' ranks -- a corruption that may even stem from the Immortal Council itself. Now, as Kyrie, it's up to you to uncover the truth of this corruption before it once again leads the world down the path toward annihilation. 

Is it any good?

Turn-based tactical role-playing games, when done right, are a fantastic mix, blending the timeless strategic gameplay of chess with a deep role-playing experience. By that measure, Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark is absolutely done right. From a gameplay perspective, there's no shortage of options. There's a ridiculous number of customization options to play around with. Players can change out their party's looks, equipment, and abilities from literally hundreds of combinations. In fact, there's almost too much to work with. Setting up your squad can be extremely time consuming. And even after you've got things just the way you want, battles can get the better of you, taking your best team members out of action for a few fights and forcing you to dig deeper into the roster for reinforcements. In fact, it sometimes feels like you spend more time in the game's various menus than you do in the actual fights or story.

Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark is heavy on its story, throwing players into a world that's instantly familiar but still feels original. Right off the bat, there are twists that turn everything Kyrie knows upside down. As Kyrie uncovers the truth beneath the surface of her beliefs, the player is also learning about both how the world is perceived by the people and how it truly is. Admittedly, the flow of the story's a bit choppy, due mostly to the amount of time players have to spend in the gameplay elements. It's a bit like trying to follow the plot of a TV movie constantly broken up by commercial breaks. Still, it builds a solid foundation with plenty of potential. With its wealth of customization options, Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark has more than enough content to keep a player's interest.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about teamwork. What are some of the things important in building and working as a good team? How can different abilities, personalities, etc., come together to overcome obstacles and accomplish goals?

  • What are some of your interests and skills? What are some good ways to learn new skills in life, and how can those skills work with your interests in new ways?

Game details

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For kids who love role-playing games

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