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The Alchemist Code Preview: A Good Mobile SRPG

The Basics

  • Name: The Alchemist Code
  • Developer: gumi Inc.
  • Genre: SRPG
  • Price: Free, with ads and IAPs

The Details

  • Installed size: 1.6gb
  • Best played in medium sessions
  • No bugs or translations issues experienced
  • Playable Offline: No

What is The Alchemist Code?

The Alchemist Code is a strategy-RPG that is working its way towards a global launch on Android and iOS. Users have a number of modes to choose from; story, co-op, PVP arena mode, and event. The story mode consists of visual-novel style sequences that tell an enjoyable story, and battles. Battles are what most would expect from an SRPG, turn-based combat with grid based movement and bonuses for attacking from behind and from higher ground. One of the more interesting elements is that some skills/spells need to be aimed and charged for a period of time. That means that an enemy can move away from an area that is targeted if it moves prior to the spell being cast.

The Alchemist Code’s co-op mode lets up to 4 players take turns as they play through various co-op enabled levels. During co-op players communicate via in-game stickers instead of chat. The PVP arena is a simple 3 on 3 auto-mode, with neither side having any control over what their characters do. The event mode is just more battle stages. Beyond the combat, there is the game’s gacha system that allows players to acquire new characters and weapons.

The Alchemist Code gameplay

Content

  • Over 50 characters
  • Stamina system: Yes
  • PVP: Yes
  • CO-OP: Yes
  • Social features: Chat, friends

Presentation

  • Graphics quality: Average
  • Audio quality: Good
  • Audio recommended: No
  • UI quality: Poor
  • Overall presentation: Average

Recommendation

The Alchemist Code is not as good as Final Fantasy Tactics. However, it is one of the better strategy RPGs on mobile, alongside games like Fantasy War Tactics R. The Alchemist, unlike most mobile RPGs, has a story that players will want to stick around for, though they can skip it if they so choose. Unfortunately, the story sometimes fails to set up the game’s battles, particularly those against normal enemies. Speaking of which, the game could use a bit more variety in terms of enemy types. Players will quickly begin to recognize the same basic soldier classes that the game frequently throws at them. That being said, it is still more variety than many other games have to offer.

Perhaps the biggest issue that The Alchemist Code has is that battles feel slow. This is not an issue of performance, but rather timing. The opening sequence, the animations, the delays between each action, and the time the AI takes to make its move all feel just a little bit drawn-out. That adds up to each battle feeling sluggish. This can be somewhat alleviated by enabling the increased speed option for battles, but it is far from ideal.

Beyond the battles feeling slow and a UI that is quite bad outside of combat, this is definitely a good game. The battles offer plenty of opportunities for strategy, though being overpowered will usually win the day too. The graphics during the story are nice, and often accompanied by Japanese voice-overs. So if you’re looking for an SPRG and have nothing against gacha mechanics, The Alchemist Code is a game that is definitely worth downloading if it’s available in your part of the world.

Get it on Google Play
Note: This preview reflects the author’s views on the game at the time it was played. The state of the game may have changed since that time. Please note that installed size includes optional downloads where applicable.
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