Colombian-based developer Dreams Uncorporated did not have to look far for inspiration for the charming hand-drawn visuals of Cris Tales.
Speaking with SegmentNext in a recent interview, executive producer Derek Neal proudly stated that “a lot of the art, architecture, people, and places” in Cris Tales were actually inspired by local Colombian heritage. That being said, real-world inspiration was only one part of the process. The amount of work that went into hand-drawing the world of the game was extensive.
“Every person, every tree, every house, and every barrel has to be created at least 3 times, so you can interact with it in the past, the present, and the future,” explained Neal. “And in many cases there are multiple outcomes to those events, so some of these items have been created 20+ times.” Neal added that it would be impossible to “put an exact hour number on how much time has gone into creating all of that art, but it’s a lot!”
When coming to the gameplay, Dreams Uncorporated turned to several classic role-playing games for inspiration. Neal particularly noted Chrono Trigger as “the single biggest” influence which fueled the clever time manipulation gameplay mechanics of Cris Tales. Bravely Default helped influence the way the game handles turn-order manipulation. The older Final Fantasy games inspired the map, vehicles and leveling system. Furthermore, some of the other major influences included games like Paper Mario and Legend of Dragoon, which shaped combat.
Cris Tales, at least the main-line content, will take around 20 hours to complete on average. There will be seven playable characters in the game, three of which can be in a party at any given point. Choosing the right characters will be important since different party members can have different unique combination attacks, which is a gameplay system taken from Chrono Trigger as well.
The progression works in the same way as any other role-playing game. Cris Tales will give players access to new skills, spells, and abilities upon leveling up. Some unlockables though will be tied to the narrative. Hence, completing those quests will be necessary for the associated skills.
Cris Tales will be priced at $39.99 and according to Neal, is now available for pre-order. The Steam listing of the game though is still missing the pre-order option. Dreams Uncorporated will understandably be updating the listing fairly soon.
Cris Tales will release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, and Google Stadia on November 17, 2020. The classically inspired indie role-playing game will receive a confirmed release date for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X down the road. Neal confirmed that the next-generation versions will feature “some enhancements” which will be announced when the time is right.
Those interested in giving the game a try can download a playable demo right now on their platform of choice for free.