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Nelke and the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Nelke and the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World Game Poster Image
Lighthearted town builder almost plays itself.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The plot's central theme is how hard work, determination, friendship, and believing in oneself can help to accomplish one's goals. Also a primary focus on identifying needs, solving problems, careful planning.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Nelke is hard-working and determined to see her dreams become reality. She also benefits from the good nature and selflessness of the different Alchemists that cross her path and help her to realize her goals.

Ease of Play

The gameplay is a mixed bag of elements, from town building to exploration to role-playing and combat. While it's important to sort out what your town needs, the game's still relatively simple, and in some areas, it almost plays itself.

Violence

Characters use multiple styles of fighting, such as magic, guns, swords, etc., to attack a variety of fantasy monsters in turn-based combat. No blood or graphic violence, with attacks showing damage via flashy effects; enemies vanish from the screen when defeated.

Sex

Some female characters are shown in outfits that include extremely short dresses and/or show off a fair amount of cleavage.

Language

Some minor language, such as "hell" and "damn," occasionally appears in dialogue.

Consumerism

A spin-off from the popular Atelier role-playing game franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A few references to drinking alcohol, including lines of dialogue about drinking and activities that involve procuring drinks for the townsfolk.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Nelke and the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World is a town building role-playing game available for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows-based PCs. Players work to build a successful village, catering to the people's needs and desires. There's some fantasy combat, with players using weapons and magic abilities to fend of enemy monsters, though none of the violence is graphic. Some of the female characters' outfits are a bit revealing, presenting the characters in a more provocative manner. There's also some minor language in the dialogue, as well as occasional references to drinking alcohol.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

Spinning off from the popular Atelier role-playing series, NELKE AND THE LEGENDARY ALCHEMISTS: ATELIERS OF THE NEW WORLD brings a new tale of adventure in a new locale, a place custom built just for you. Nelke is a young noblewoman who's just been appointed as the governor of the border village of Westbald. To turn Westbald from a forgotten plot of nearly barren land into a growing metropolis will take a lot of hard work and determination. Thankfully, Nelke has plenty of both ... as well as the helping hands of more than a few of the magically empowered Alchemists that happen to pass her way. As Nelke, you'll need to build the township to meet your people's needs, explore the nearby lands for much needed supplies, and fend off the mystical monsters that threaten to hinder your progress. While Nelke may not be an Alchemist by trade, with the help of her friends, she'll find her own way to create something golden from where once there was nothing but dirt.

Is it any good?

This new role-playing adventure with alchemists and adventures brews up a story that falls flat for everyone but the strongest fans of this long-running franchise. The Atelier franchise has a strong base of fans that have become familiar with gameplay and adventures of magically adept Alchemists, but that all goes out the window with Nelke and the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World. The game, though set firmly in the same universe, is a spin-off title that twists both the story and the gameplay in completely different directions. The main focus is to build the town of Westbald from the ground up, by placing your buildings, managing personnel, generating and collecting resources, etc. It's almost a cut-and-paste take on mobile city building games with a bigger, more colorful presentation. The material gathering is done on autopilot, with your party randomly finding items or fighting enemies. In fact, if not for the combat encounters, you could almost get up and walk away during these exploration sequences.

While exploration and resource gathering is mundane, there's magic in the battles ... literally speaking. Here, Atelier fans will feel more at home. Your party of heroes use basic attacks to build their Drive, which can be used to speed up their actions or use special abilities. But that's all there is, and fights are resolved quickly before your team goes back along its merry way. It's hard not to feel like this was tacked on to give players a little something extra to do and to give the Alchemists' appearance in the game some extra purpose, which is the game's biggest fault. The town building and life simulation bits are pretty engaging, and its lighthearted story and presentation, even if they're a bit cheesy, are fun to watch. Outside of this main focus, though, things feel like an afterthought, added to the game for little purpose other than to distract players and cram in an extra bit of fan service to tie the game to the overall Atelier universe.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about following your dreams. What are some dreams and goals you have, and what are some ways to work toward accomplishing them? How can things like hard work, planning, even friendship help to make dreams a reality?

  • What are some positive ways to help build lasting relationships? What are some of the positive traits to look for in your friends, and what are some ways that you can practice being a good friend to others?

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