Wanderjahr (or the “year of wandering”) is a ‘JRPG’ created by Workyrie. It captivated my interests based off its unique style. It’s Final Fantasy-esque style meets MapleStory character styles in an interesting match-up. The story is somewhat bare. Around the year 3000 the planet has been at peace when suddenly monsters invade and begin to wreak havoc on the planet. Your mission is to defeat these monsters and return your world to peace. With your team made up of roughly a dozen different members, you have to use quick wits and strategy to take down the dangerous foes you’ll face.
Gameplay – The gameplay is pretty fast paced. You start off with a single member of your team, but quickly unlock additional members as you progress. As you fight enemies you can choose up to 4 allies at a time to enter the battle field to fight. While the fight progresses you can switch allies in and out. If an ally dies though, that slot is locked until you revive them. After a series of battles, you gain money and experience points that you can use to purchase items and level up your team to unlock new abilities. The boss battles are long, but tend to be more difficult, as you’ll need to be constantly switching out allies and using items to keep your team alive.
Controls – I wouldn’t really say there’s much control at all. The most you’ll be doing is clicking and dragging allies in and out of 4 spots on the battle map, as well as using items during the battle to keep your team alive. You have to be quick and strategic with who you put in and pull out. If you leave your healer in for too long and they go down, you’re going to have a tough time. As the game progresses the enemies get tougher and require more strategies to take down. Wanderjahr has a real-time battle system, but once you put in an ally they auto-attack That’s one of the negatives I have. It just feels like it limits my control over the situation.
Art – The art is of a standard ‘JRPG’ with anime characters as your allies and enemies. The attacks are flashy, but the motions itself look ridged with their attacks. The text boxes have a generic RPG look to them, but they are constantly riddled with poor grammar and bad translations. Often, quotes and items are misspelled (and that bothers me). The background itself is pretty generic and the travel screen is very tiny. It’s not a very pleasing game to the eye.
Music – The music isn’t terrible, but again, generic. There are different songs between menu screens, shop screens, and battle scenes, but it seems like it’s the same songs over and over, even when traveling to new areas. The songs set the mood for a battle, and they are very 16-bit-esque, but they tend to get old quickly.
Value – Wanderjahr does have some decent value. I’ve put in a few hours so far and I have only made it to the second zone. Based on the amount of time you can put into Wanderjarh it retains its value. Unfortunately, due the dullness of graphics, music, and gameplay it really sets the game back. Currently priced on Steam at $9.99, I would definitely wait for a sale if you want to give the game a shot.
Final Impression – The game is interesting and has a good concept as far as the strategy goes. The major downside for me is the lacking in the battle system. Yes, you have to constantly keep switching allies in and out, but the fact I can’t control the character actions themselves leaves me sitting and watching the game, waiting for something to happen. That’s quickly killed my interest, because I buy games to play them, not watch them get played out. If you’re a fan of ‘JRPGs’ or Final Fantasy you may find some enjoyment in the game. If neither of these things interest you, I would avoid it.