Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
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Gust adds a bit of business sim to its alchemy-based RPG series in Atelier Annie: Alchemist of Sera Island. Players take on the role of Annie, a lazy young girl whose grandfather ships her off to Sera Island, where alchemists from around the world have trekked to compete in a resort development contest. Annie's slothful ways and lack of alchemy skills leave her unmotivated, until she discovers that the person who contributes the most to the resort gets to marry the wealthy Prince of Orde. The goal for gamers is to hone their skills to the point that they can win yearly alchemy contests, and then spend their winnings to hire a manager for the resort. The money players raise from their new facility ultimately determines how much they contribute to the project.
Gamers also earn money in the traditional Atelier manner: by accepting quests from the Adventure Guild, exploring the land for important materials, and synthesizing new items. Annie's skills do not lie in the arena of combat, so she must recruit a party to help her slay the various monsters that inhabit Sera Island. Battles unfold in a turn-based manner, with players choosing to attack, equip an item, or make use of unique skills. There are dozens of characters and helpful mascots to meet, and as work on the resort progresses, a number of different pay-to-play mini-games become available. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide