A mystical, magical fantasy-adventure, Radiant Tale is the latest otome game from publishers Aksys Games, developed by Otomate for Nintendo Switch. Written by Nao Kojima and Sachi Arino, Radiant Tale features artworks from Usuba Kageroo, Miko, and Shuki.
Tifalia is a 16-year-old girl living in the fictional kingdom of Artheir with her aunt Spirea and Radie, a talking fey creature that looks like an extra fluffy Flareon. Tifalia lives a content but somewhat boring life working at Spirea’s inn, Liber, until the day a dragon fey named Vilio crash lands on her and fills her head with tales of adventure. Together with Vilio’s friends Zafora, Ion, Paschalia, and Jinnia, also known as the travelling performance troupe CIRCUS, Tifalia and Radie travel around Artheir to lift the spirits of the people and grow flora, a magical crystalline flower that’s born of positive feelings, to free their country’s prince from a decades-long curse.
Radiant Tale includes five routes with possible love interests, the four performers of CIRCUS plus Radie once he’s in his human form, that the player can follow. With these available routes, Radiant Tale can provide upward of 50 hours of gameplay that should keep fans of the format more than entertained.
Radiant Tale is a pretty rich story. The player must complete 5 chapters of the main story before they can pursue one of the aforementioned love interests, which allows for a lot of world and story building. As the story progresses and the CIRCUS crew visits new cities in the Artheir kingdom, you can explore multiple map locations to unlock new story elements and occasionally gain the option to make decisions that will impact the course you take.
The lore of the game is quite complex, combining elements of magic and fantasy with captivating artwork and witty dialogue that only occasionally ventures into being a little too cheesy. Throughout the game you can also view a glossary for selected words and phrases that help to provide additional context as you read, a welcome feature considering the depth that the writing team has gone to for the story.
Because the first half of the story is so lengthy, the romantic storylines take a lot of work to get to and this can be tiresome if you’re not a patient gamer. In this instance, the auto-read function will be your best friend, as you can just let the story run until you’re prompted to make a choice. From a functionality standpoint the game is easy enough to play, with simple shortcuts programmed into the Switch console buttons that pull up the main menu, turn the auto-read function on and off, activate the quick save function, and speed read through unread dialogue.
While the artwork of Radiant Tale is very beautiful, running throughout the game’s menu screens, navigation screens, and even down to its frames for the dialogue boxes, it’s the only part of the game that I genuinely enjoyed. I confess, I’m not what one would call a ‘cosy gamer’, generally preferring a proactive RPG that combines adventure, puzzles, and challenges. While I had fun playing my last otome game and can understand the appeal of games like Radiant Tale, playing it has done very little to satisfy my needs as a gamer. So despite how beautifully rendered the game is and how layered the story is, it’s not one that I would play through more than once.
If you enjoy settling down with your console, a hot drink, some comfort snacks, and like a bit of storytelling and romance, then Radiant Tale will be a welcome addition to your gaming collection.
Radiant Tale is available on Nintendo Switch now.