If I were to keep it short : This game is an experience. A really good one while at that. And I hope a miracle happens that creates a sequel.
Usually, I'm not a fan of RPG games. Turn-based, real-time, the random loot ones, you name it. I honestly despise the genre.
And yet, somehow, I fell in love with this game. The cute art, the gameplay, the atmosphere and the brutal difficulty made me literally not stop playing it until the point where the sun is shining and I realise that I just played it for 6+ hours straight. I mean it, I pretty much didn't stop playing it until the sun started to shine or I completed it. At the time of writing the review, I had 27 hours put into this game. This includes moments where I got lost for a few hours and had to figure out what to do as I refused to make use of a guide.
The story and the characters while not really being that unique, completely work within the game and actually give it quite a bit of charm.
Aside from that, the movement might take a slight amount of getting used as turning around to face the other direction takes a split second. Along side that, you might want to adjust the run input sensitivity until you no longer can tap a direction twice at a slow pace to run.
If you're going to have doubts after reading this..thing, there is also the demo which I believe is the entire prologue of the game.
Fortune Summoners is a brutal game, it does not hold your hand. Early on, at least.
The whole brutality comes from the fact that this game is more similar to a fighter or a more complex beat em up game than an RPG at its core where you are more likely to focus on guarding or avoiding attacks via Arche's mobility or the other characters backwards hopping neither of which provide you with any invulnerability frames and only serve as a method of avoiding. I guess there's jumping too as a method of avoiding damage.
As such, the thing that you must learn early on is either to avoid/block things or to learn ways to hit your target for as long as possible to prevent it from hitting you before that. Oh and, the enemies will actively try to guard or if they're unable to guard, move out of the way of your attacks in the similar manner that you yourself are able to. They will also actively try to make sure you will not be in a position to fight back by mercilessly beating on you. No one will blame you if you die to your first enemy even if it feels humiliating.
The only help you will have at the very start is that there's an option to guard for you when you are not attacking, jumping or doing the dodge moves.
The main characters here all feel different to play, with there being some similarities between the two mages.
The playable characters are as follows :
Arche, the first character in this game that transfers in to the magic school, while she wishes to learn magic she is more capable in the ways of the sword than magic. Thankfully, due to the fact that she uses a sword, she has become rather agile. Alongside that, she is the most durable of the 3 characters and will take a few hits. Unlike the other two characters which primarily use spells, Arche has a rather large move set that expands as you level up. Some of these moves also chain together and if you focus on playing mostly her, you will have to make use of the moveset to defeat things.
Sana, the second character that you meet shortly after. Using the water element she is more of a support character than an offensive one. Having excellent support abilities but rather small set of offensive abilities. Unlike Arche, she does not have a huge set of moves, and she does not have a dodging ability until way later on in the game. Thankfully, since she is a mage, she has a wide variety of magic that expands as she levels up. Even if most of these are support skills. As a mage, she has casting time before she can make use of her magic.
Stella, the third character that you encounter much later on in the game. Using the fire element she is purely an offensive mage with minimal support abilities. Unlike Sana, she has her dodge ability from the start. Outside of the part where she is an offensive mage, and as such has mostly high damage dealing spells of varying sizes or usage situations. Her magic behaves similarly in that you select it in the same way and it also has casting time.
This is where the game surprised me. With no co-op multiplayer of any description, I expected the worst when it came to the party members. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised as the CPU is incredibly competent in combat without having strange priorities nor being horrible at following you.
If you're playing Arche, Sana will use her buffs primarily on you, healing whoever has the lowest hp first. If both of these are not currently possible, she will make use of her weaker offensive spells instead. Stella meanwhile uses her shorter range or defensive spells if there are enemies near her, longer range or homing spells on enemies further away or if the enemies are above her she will use spells that primarily hit the air instead.
If you're not playing Arche, the CPU for Arche expects you to fill the same role as the CPU you just replaced, in the way that she will leap straight into combat, making use of the sword moves that close the distance if she has them. In most cases she is able to handle any situation she is thrown in without much of an issue. You will however need to support her in the same way the CPU supports you when you're playing her.
This is the other and later method of hand holding the game provides you, in the manner that your party members actively assist you in combat. I can't really complain about it either because the game is difficult as it is and if the CPU was incompetent I'd probably just ragequit the game and never play it again.
While the story and characters are nothing special, they work well enough with the art and the game itself to give it a unique feel while being written well enough to make the game entertaining.
The game is also adorable. Mostly because of the writing and the artstyle this game has as it gives the game tons of personality. The backgrounds, the character portraits, the character sprites and animation. The enemy sprites, animation. Just all of it gives the game such an adorable feel that it's impossible to not mention it. It's honestly hard to believe that such a cute looking game is incredibly merciless when it comes to the difficulty. While the cuteness might be a turnoff for some people, I feel that if this were the case they would've already left the store page upon seeing the screenshots. The music also adds to the cuteness.
For a game made by a single person, they have done a great job at making the game seem alive and fun to play. Not to mention making it completely adorable.
With all the praise I gave the game, surely there are some flaws. Right? Well, yeah.
One of the major issues I've already mentioned at the very start is the run input sensitivity, but that can be easily adjusted.
Outside the lack of steam overlay making screenshots rather difficult to upload (Although, there is a guide provided for that) the largest issue is also the game's brutality, as silly as it sounds as I've been praising it earlier. Just like in a fighter game against the CPU, your enemies will be reading your input to avoid or block your attacks the very instant you hit the attack key, and they will also not hesitate to punish you for doing that. This means that unless you know what exactly you're doing or switch to one of the mages to allow Arche CPU to fight for you, you will have to stay on the defensive most of the time. Responding and punishing the enemy accordingly to what it does, rather than being the one to attack first.
This can be an incredibly frustrating experience and might be a huge turnoff from the game for some. If this seems like it isn't for you, I suggest you to try the demo before you buy this.