As mentioned before, Seven Knights – Time Wanderer would be released this week. It is a spin-off of the popular Seven Knights mobile game. The title also marks the first time developer, Netmarble, has produced a game for the Nintendo Switch. As an initial foray into consoles, they made a solid JRPG which contains familiar elements of the genre but enough changes to keep things new with players.
The story follows the eighth member of the Seven Knights, Vanessa, as she is torn from her home and is lost in time and space. In order to get back, she must work with a sentient hourglass named Sandy to find and obtain time crystals. Her journey takes her to different lands and periods consisting of eight episodes. She crosses paths with a myriad of characters whom she helps along the way.
Seven Knights – Time Wanderer is a beautiful game with stunning animations for the many attacks the characters unleash. There are good character designs with an anime aesthetic for the main heroes and villains. Even the various enemies are well done — sometimes with a touch of humor, such as ninja hamsters. There are also distinct visuals for each episode which enhance the aura of visiting new worlds.
The combat system is a little tricky at first, but becomes easier once you get that hang of it. It’s turn-based but rather than relying on a character’s speed, players alternate with their foes performing one action each. The game shows its mobile roots with each hero having a passive skill and three attacks, basic, special and ultimate, each of which have different recovery times. It also utilizes a common element structure that has a strength and weakness against another. All these aspects make strategy important to win battles. You have to especially exploit the element strengths to deal more damage and stun adversaries for an extra turn.
The game also incorporates an engaging story which revolves around the relationship between Vanessa and Sandy. It develops the backstory and mystery behind Vanessa and her importance to the bigger picture while nicely building up the villains gradually. Though they touch upon the other playable characters in their respective episodes, the Egonyx mode allows you to explore their histories more and obtain helpful items.
For a JRPG, Seven Knights – Time Wanderer has linear gameplay going through each episode in order. There is a degree of freedom, though, within the episodes with side quests to pursue if you want to divert from the main narrative. It’s a nice detour for those who always need a 100% completion. There are also added bonuses including helpful gear and items needed for the Egonyx by finishing the side missions.
Despite being enjoyable, there are some areas you might expect more from. Compared to other JRPGs, the number of abilities each character has seems limited. It’s hard to compete when titles in the same genre have more options and higher levels of customization. I also found a degree of frustration from the lack of item use during battles. During the earlier episodes, there is only one healer available and combined with the high recovery time to reuse her ability, it made it hard to keep all the party members alive at times, particularly in boss battles.
Overall, Seven Knights – Time Wanderer is a fun first foray for Netmarble into console gaming. It is a good blend of familiar JRPG elements along with some of the signature gameplay they incorporate into their mobile games. In addition, there are some nice twists to the genre that keeps things fresh.
Seven Knights – Time Wanderer is out now on Nintendo Switch.