If you’re a sucker for fantasy dating sims, like me, then Nyx Hydra’s The Arcana is the game for you. The visual novel style game has been available on both Apple’s App Store for iPhone and Google Play for Android since 2017 and has started to really gain traction in the last year or so. The fandom has been steadily growing, as more and more people have discovered the gem of an app and the captivating story it has to offer.
The Arcana is a game that even those who aren’t huge fans dating sims, like the game advertises itself to be, have found themselves suddenly sucked into the novel, as it goes above and beyond your average self-insert romance story. The plot features you, as a magician’s apprentice, tasked by Countess Nadia with solving the murder of her husband, and your city’s count. This sends you and your chosen love interest on a journey featuring tarot inspired magic, action, and of course plenty of romance. In every route there’s just the right amount of spicy action (to be honest, I’d take more!) but nothing too explicit since the game is only rated 12+.
Some of the other great aspects of this game is the strongly developed world the story takes place in and a diverse cast of fascinating characters, including the non-romance-able ones, that help to add another level of depth to the storyline. There’s quite a bit of LGBT representation, characters of color, a beautiful soundtrack, and stunning artwork all accompanied by the incredibly enjoyable and interesting plot. Many characters have even been given short one-off tales to help establish their character and backstory, like the deceased Count Lucio and Nadia’s loyal handmaid Portia for example. The only complaint many of the players have about the game is that unlocking each chapter requires a key, keys that take 8 hours each to refill unless purchased. On top of that you also must use coins to choose some of the more juicy romance options within each route and those coins can be difficult to gain unless you pay for them, which has created a bit of a paywall for some of the better content.
On the bright side, there is a mini game called ‘Heart Hunter’ where you can earn those coins along with other trinkets that can unlock special side stories. There is also a daily log in reward, if you log in for 7 consecutive days you get a tarot card reading from one of the characters
If this sounds like your kind of game, and you’re interested in seeing what all the buzz is about, head to your device’s App Store and download Nyx Hydra’s The Arcana!
Have any of you already begun playing The Arcana? What do you think? Was it worth the read? Let us know in the comments below!