Anima Beyond Fantasy is a series of popular role-playing books, miniature war tabletop figures, and card games (although I’ve never heard of any of it). And now it’s a video game with Ark of Sinners Advance. Play as female warrior Celia, who wakes up in an empty city with no memory as to how she got there. She only knows she must search for her friend Nemo, and along the way she’ll have to uncover the mysteries of this desolate city in this 2-D platform hack and slash game for iPad.
Celia can jump and slash her sword at demons, skeletons, and other monsters. She can use combo attacks and quickly dodge, too. By collecting large glowing orbs, she’ll be able to upgrade her abilities as well. Use the in-game map and explore the city similar to a Metroid title as Celia finds hidden monoliths that reveal the mysteries of the city and her friend, and encounter boss battles and puzzles.
The game has a few problems that keep it from being great, though. While the game includes a map, sometimes goals and objectives and where you need to go next can be a little unclear, even right at first. Also, the game uses a virtual control setup with the direction pad and buttons on the screen itself. The dodge arrows feel a little too close to the regular d-pad, and jumping feels floaty and unresponsive.
Anima: Ark of Sinners Advance isn’t rated by the ESRB on iPad, but when it was released on WiiWare it was rated T for Teen with descriptors of Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, and Mild Suggestive Themes. While you slash at enemies with a sword, there is no blood and baddies just disappear into sparkly smoke. Some of the characters curse lightly in the story text, and Celia’s outfit is quite revealing. Players might get frustrated at the floaty controls and unclear goals.