Games of the Year

Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark

Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark Screenshot 1
Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark Screenshot 2
Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark Screenshot 3
Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark Screenshot 4
Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark Screenshot 5
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Classic tactical combat in a beautiful, dangerous world. Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark is a tactical RPG that follows in the footsteps of venerated genre greats such as Final Fantasy Tactics. ​Lead your squad of Arbiters through dozens of lush, hand-drawn maps. Customize your squadmates and set them on their path to greatness. With over 20 classes and 200 abilities, every squadmate is unique. Position your troops and choose a strategy that leads to victory!
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark is a very good game with a fundamental flaw. If you're a fan of Final Fantasy Tactics or tactical rpgs like me, you will enjoy it A LOT - but something might gnaw on you until you're pissed. More on that below.
PROS
+ Deeply customizable character builds.
+ Tons of classes with themed skill sets & traits.
+ Combine 2 classes & get traits from other classes.
+ Synergize class combos or just go w/ a crazy build.
+ Stat growth differs for each class, more uniqueness.
+ You can upload your own character portraits.
+ Very tough (but long) battles if you play on hardest.
+ Lots of unique armor, weapons and accessories.
+ Interesting map levels, lots of verticality & flavor.
+ Quaint pixel style is clean, it grows on you.
+ Music is above average but limited.
CONS
- Too many difficulty settings. Keep choices minimal.
- Story attempts to be adult but dialogue is childish.
- I did not like any of the story characters.
- Animation of models and skills effects is choppy.
- Portrait art is not bad but it did not suit the game.
- Battles get too long w/ mob resurrection & healing.
- All actions are instant, reducing strategy depth.
- No line of sight! Shoot through walls & characters.
- Fundamental Flaw Incoming: 
The game encourages mastery of all classes for each character. When a character masters all the skills/traits of a class, they get a permanent bonus to their stats (+ evasion, + defense, + attack, etc). I don't mind playing some classes to max or partial to get a specific skill for one of my characters. But as a min-maxer, I felt compelled to master all classes for all characters in order to get the nice permanent bonuses. Sometimes I just want a character to roleplay as a kinght/templar, but now, I feel the need to run him as a scoundrel, reaver, wizard for several levels because I have partial ranks in those classes, might as well take him the master rank to get those permanent stat bonuses. 
It's like the devs made this robust and unique class customization system, but counters it with a 'must level all classes to be best' system.The devs should have removed the permanent stat bonus upon class mastery. This will allow players to play the builds and combinations they really want instead of incentivizing them to master all classes. I want to enjoy my characters in the themed builds I've made for them by mid-game, not wait until the very end of the game - if at all.
Without this fundamental flaw, it would be, for me, one of the greatest games out now. Despite this flaw, I still very much enjoyed Fell Seal. Otherwise I would have not played 189 hours of it in my first playthrough. It deserves a spot in a tactical rpg lover's library 100%!
A big thank you to my awesome friend, Daggoth, for gifting me this game. I love you!

Review from Steam

Some games aim to challenge our conception of what video games can be. Some games are happy to iterate on established genres. And a few games have an even narrower focus: using a single beloved video game as their inspiration to craft a sort of spiritual sequel. Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark is a tribute act to Final Fantasy Tactics, one of many to come out in the last few years.
It does a pretty great job at this, particularly when you consider that the principle design, programming, art, and writing was done by only two people. And if the character art isn’t as accomplished as Tactics, and the storytelling is more pedestrian, well, that just means that a small developer’s first game isn’t the equal of one of the greatest strategy RPGs of all time.
But it comes closer than it has any right to. The moment-to-moment gameplay is just as compelling as Tactics, featuring a wide array of different classes, varied encounters, and satisfying character progression. While it never approaches the political intrigue and moral ambiguity of its predecessor, the game has genuinely likable characters that grew on me the more I played.
Best of all, the game has a few novel ideas all its own. My favorite is that items aren’t single-use consumables, but rather replenish after every encounter, giving the player an array of tactical tools and discouraging hoarding behavior (which I normally succumb to in RPGs).
Fell’s Seal: Arbiter’s Mark hooked me for the vast majority of its running time; I started to run out of steam in the final 10%, but only after logging over 50 hours. Like its predecessor, the story starts to get a little silly/over-the-top towards the end, but nothing too egregious. Overall, it’s a charming tactical RPG, and I look forward to what the developer does next.

Review from Steam

When the beta came out I was really excited and definitely looked forward to this game, but somehow got it and never played it. Lately I've been going through some of the titles I bought to support the devs but never got to play, this time it's for this!
Not very far into it, I got hooked. Sorry I've never played FF Tactics (nor really much of any FF) but I am a fan of the Fire Emblem games and that reminded me of it.
The more I played it, the more I wanted to play it, until a certain point when things starting to slow down and I got a bit tired. I feel like a bunch of things take more time than they need to (for instance we pick abilities for a class in one menu but switch classes in another menu, you need to do that for a bunch of class, that takes a bunch of time; you want a certain class, well you may need to go through another 7 before you can do it, so you have to play classes you don't necessarily want; etc). I usually play FE with permadeaths, but in this I went with the default which is injury. I thought it'd work like in XCom, and it sort of does but in more of a waste of time: Injury goes away after one battle, no matter which, so if I want to just play with the same old 6 characters all I need is to go back to one of the first easy battles that don't scale, beat it (ie waste time on it) and that's it, my injured character is just back to regular. At first I was switching characters, but when I got attached to my main 6 I just did the above technique of going back, but towards the end of the game I really did not want to so I just disabled injuries, it didn't really seem to impact my gameplay outside of saving me time.
I felt that some maps were too weakly explained, like we're in an area so we have to fight the monsters, it's pretty thin story wise. I'd wish all story maps had part of the story.
I REALLY REALLY liked how the enemies have access to the same things as us (potions, rezs, level up, etc.) but after maps after maps after maps of units healing and rezing themselves for a long time, that got old to me, so maybe this way makes more sense but only for proefficient people. There are ways to adjust that in the settings, but I did want to finish the game with this as default and I did. On most maps killing the healers/buffers first is fine, some maps felt that they were mostly healer and buffers... Unlike FE, you really have to learn about your units and enemies as there are so many options here, which I thought made it far more interesting!
I'm not a fan of grinding so not into the patrols, I did some for the reasons above, and some when I realized I needed some of their treasures. Some of them are way harder than the story missions, so beware! I'm mitigating about patrols scaling up with us (apart from the first 2): it keeps them interesting for the whole game, but there's no feeling of getting stronger either.
The story was predictable and not bulletproof, but I enjoyed it and most of the characters. I do wish it was much more fleshed out and filled quite more the 7X hours I played it (for instance the game could have started with us fighting the maw as the immortals and removed one of the useless fight map).
I really liked the art, especially the portraits! I wish we could auto make generic units match their portraits though, it takes too long to do it manually and is not quite perfect.
Overall, for such a small team I was really impressed by the game! I hope they can get more funding in the feature and get more help and polish for their future, it could be quite the gem!
The game ran perfectly in GNU/Linux, as did the demo back in the days.

Review from Steam

This is one of these games that I'm just really glad I played, and I can't recommend it enough if you're looking to scratch that Final Fantasy Tactics itch.
It's fun, with an entertaining story and a wide cast of characters. Gameplay, being a turn-based tactics game, is pretty straightforward but engaging. Your characters can have a main class and sub-class, and can equip various skills to let you customize how you want your units to be. I specially liked that I could usually deploy 6 units and sometimes up to 9, so I could put into play some of the benched characters (and whew did I have a lot of those).
Music is really nice but gets a bit repetitive after a while, and the artstyle is really neat. I have to say though, I'm not a fan of the portraits (they're good, but they feel kinda out of place. Of course, this is just my opinion and it didn't take away from my experience playing it).
Overall it's really enjoyable, and a nice tactics game that feels just in the right place between FFT and more overgrindy games like Disgaea! Can't wait to see more from the devs, as they put a lot of love into this game.

Review from Steam

I am a 50ish year-old gamer who has fallen well behind the times. I "grew up" playing Duck Hunt, Donkey Kong, Asteroids, and the like. I eventually gravitated to Warcraft, Doom, Crysis and Diablo.
But, then children, jobs, and life in general replaced any time I had for serious gaming.
Over the years, I dabbled in gaming, playing an hour here or there. Yet, one genre that I could never seem to understand and get a grasp of was RPG's. It all seemed so complicated and I felt lost.
This past weekend, I pulled up Fell Seal (which has been in my Steam library for quite some time). I think it came bundled with a subscription of mine from a couple of years ago. Never tried it until now.
I'm just going to say this...
I'm loving this game. I love the strategy behind the turn-based play. I like the graphics. I like the story very much so far. I feel like I understand what's going on.
Currently, the only downfall I see (and it's only a slight one) is that you DO spend a lot of time reading and watching in the beginning. But, I'm commenting on only a couple of hours of experience.
I'll leave you with this...
I can't speak "as a whole" for the entire game. But, any game that has captured my attention like this, and brought me out of my comfort zone? It's a good thing. And chances are that I'll be diving back into this world again tonight.

Review from Steam

• FinalFantasyTactics-like
• Huge number of classes and skills
• Tons of combinations
• Able to import custom character portraits
• Easy to modify the game's settings file as needed

Review from Steam

☐ You forget what reality is
☐Beautiful (especially at vanilla unicorn xD)
☐ Good
☑ Decent
☐ Bad
☐ Don‘t look too long at it
☐ MS-DOS
---{ Gameplay }---
☐ Very good
☑Good
☐ It's just gameplay
☐ Mehh
☐ Watch paint dry instead
☐ Just don't
---{ Audio }---
☐ Eargasm
☐ Very good
☑ Good
☐ Not too bad
☐ Bad
☐ I'm now deaf
---{ Audience }---
☑ Kids
☑ Teens
☑ Adults
☑ Grandma
---{ PC Requirements }---
☐ Check if you can run paint
☐ Potato
☑ Decent
☐ Fast
☐ Rich boi
☐ Ask NASA if they have a spare computer
---{ Difficulty }---
☐ Just press 'W'
☐ Easy
☑ Easy to learn / Hard to master
☐ Significant brain usage
☐ Difficult
☐ Dark Souls
---{ Grind }---
☐ Nothing to grind
☐ Only if u care about leaderboards/ranks
☐ Isn't necessary to progress
☑ Average grind level
☐ Too much grind
☐ You'll need a second life for grinding
---{ Story }---
☐ No Story
☐ Some lore
☐ Average
☐ Good
☑ Lovely
☐ It'll replace your life
---{ Game Time }---
☐ Long enough for a cup of coffee
☐ Short
☑ Average
☐ Long
☐ To infinity and beyond
---{ Price }---
☐ It's free!
☑ Worth the price
☐ If it's on sale
☐ If u have some spare money left
☐ Not recommended
☐ You could also just burn your money
---{ Bugs }---
☐ Never heard of
☑ Minor bugs
☐ Can get annoying
☐ ARK: Survival Evolved
☐ The game itself is a big terrarium for bugs
---{ ? / 10 }---
☐ 1
☐ 2
☐ 3
☐ 4
☐ 5
☐ 6
☐ 7
☑ 8
☐ 9
☐ 10

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