A cosy adventure through the world of Osterra, Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent is a stunning pixel game with gacha elements. The game was first released in Japan in 2020 as a prequel to Square Enix’s 2018 Japanese role-playing game (JRPG) Octopath Traveler, and is now available as a free-to-play game on the App Store globally.
Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent shines in its environmental design, taking players on a quest through snowy forests and grassy plains. There’s plenty of monsters to fight, weapons to craft, and of course, chests to collect — all presented in the charming HD-2D look taken after its mainline cousin.
The game’s gacha system lets you add new characters to your roster, with an in-game currency you can use to get new characters. The game is rather generous when it comes to giving out rubies, so you won’t have to worry about a lack of pulls in the beginning. You’ll get to pick out your starting character from a pool of eight travellers, which provides players with plenty of options. And then it’s time to choose wealth, fame, or power, in different questlines that will bring players in conflict with various enemies, from weaker beasts to Elite Enemies.
While there are eight starting characters, the complete playable roster adds up to 64, each with their own stories to tell. These companions are exclusive to the mobile version, and offer some fresh content for fans of the original game. It’s a narrative time sink, which is certainly a value-add feature for a free-to-play title.
Amid the other new features in Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent, the battle system emerges as the most prominent change. Similar to the mainline JRPG, it features turn-based mechanics centred around Shield Points, weapon-type / elemental weaknesses, and Boost Points, but with a twist. Instead of a single four-player team, the mobile title introduces a reserve party system, allowing players to assign another four heroes to the backline. These party members can then be freely swapped in and out at will, with attacking and receiving damage limited only to the front row.
But don’t get caught up in speedrunning objectives, as the game is equally about exploration and side quests as it is about completing the main story. Leveling up your characters to meet story level prerequisites might take some time, but as with all JRPGs, grinding is inevitably unavoidable. If you’ve got time to kill, are looking for a distraction, and love pixellated art styles, it goes without saying that you’ll definitely enjoy this one.
Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent is now available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.