Tyrion Cuthbert: Attorney of the Arcane is a courtroom-themed visual novel in development by Diamondhenge Entertainment. It is heavily inspired by the Ace Attorney series, the biggest difference being the addition of magic into the lore.
Diamondhenge Entertainment is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo until September 14th.
The Attorney of the Arcane demo focuses heavily on the introductions of cases, key characters, and gameplay mechanics. As soon as you start the game, you’re tossed right into the middle of a court case. It’s a thrilling environment as the characters declare their information and try to sway the judge. The screen moves from sprite to sprite with smooth transitions, the characters moving their eyes, mouths, and bodies to match what they’re saying.
The sprites in the game look incredibly polished. Each character has various expressions and poses. Their outfits, some ornate and others more buttoned up, are all incredibly detailed. Even the game’s CGs are well done, making the whole VN a joy to look at.
For a moment, you may forget that you’re not playing a game made by a bigger company with a huge budget. That said, the game’s art isn’t everything. The story is intriguing right from the start, since the game introduces magic as a new way for criminals to wreak havoc. Ultimately, this makes the cases in court seem a lot more thrilling as you quickly realize there may be more to society’s attitude towards both magic and non-magic users.
Aside from the compelling story, beautiful art, and gripping music, Attorney of the Arcane has intuitive gameplay. If you’ve played other games in the same genre, you’ll be aware of how some of these mechanics work. You’re able to investigate certain areas for clues by clicking around. You can also interrogate your clients to get evidence to use later on in court. During the trial, you can present evidence from your inventory to make an objection, and if further information is needed, you can press people to elaborate on their statements in hopes of finding a weak spot you can exploit.
The game’s UI looks really good, though it’s missing a few important features. The first thing I look for in a visual novel is an autoplay function, which allows text to progress without having to click. As the game is highly interactive, I can understand why there may not need to be one of these buttons. However, I also couldn’t find a skip button. Whether it’s non-existent or carefully hidden, the lack of these buttons makes subsequent playthroughs a little tedious.
Also, please note that there are both PC and Android versions of the game. The Android version was so laggy that it was almost unplayable for me on my device, and the smaller screen made it hard to read some of the text. I recommended trying the game out on PC.
Attorney of the Arcane makes a great first impression, and you’ll be immediately hooked. Despite having some technical flaws, I do still think the game is worth checking out, especially if you’re a fan of the Ace Attorney series.