I’m walking through the forest with Dante and Erika. All of a sudden a group of Wild Boar charge at us. I draw my bow and unleash an arrow that strikes the first Boar. Dante dashes past me and swings at the second. Before Erika can react the third charges at her.

While Patti is making her way home her brother knocks over a shrine containing the God of Poverty. He involuntarily curses your family and you lose your fortune. To regain it and get rid of the curse you acquire a tavern and make over 600 different dishes of food. You travel round hunting monsters, picking vegetables and fishing to gather ingredients.

The game has two different art styles. One is sprite based which is used for the characters and monsters. The second is a 3d art style which is used for everything else. I didn’t like that it used two very contrasting designs because it took away the feeling of an immersive world.

With some of the maps you can see where the world ends so you just see black space. I feel like this could have been an easy fix and the fact that the black space is there really ruins the world design for me. Even if they would have just added a forest area or a body of water it could have nicely finished the map.

You travel the maps hunting monsters, fishing, buying, farming and searching plants for ingredients. This is one of the things I loved the most about the game because of the realism. When I went out searching for specific ingredients I knew where to start looking and what method of gathering to focus to find what I was looking for.

The leveling system in this game is very different to other games that I have payed. You don’t level up by killing monsters. Instead you have to eat the food you cook to gain xp. I really like the idea of this because it is unique and fits well with the theme of the game. However, I found it very difficult because not only was you using the food to level up but you also needed it to progress your tavern and money.

The leveling system doesn’t make fighting monsters redundant. You gain EP from killing the monsters. EP comes in Physical, Fire, Water, Wind and Earth. When you get a certain amount you unlock abilities for your characters. This was one of the biggest selling points for me. I loved how it made acquiring skills feel strategic and worth while when putting a lot of farming time into it.

When I first watched the trailer the gathering looked interesting and vast, the combat looked fun, and the characters looked to have good backgrounds. I found the gathering very fun and easy to grind ingredients. The combat system is simple but effective. The characters were really interesting and their backgrounds made me choose between them more than their equipment restrictions.

Even though I had my reservations about the art styles and unfinished maps I thought it was a very enjoyable experience. I liked the unique leveling system even when it presented a deeper challenge. I also liked the amount of quests and dishes I could cook because it kept me entertained for hours.

Dragon Lapis and other games by KEMCO can be seen on their store here.

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