Apple Arcade Game of the Year

Fantasian marks the triumphant return of a legendary RPG creator.


A Diorama Adventure RPG


Fantasian is our 2021 Apple Arcade Game of the Year because... it transports us back to the golden age of role-playing—while providing a glimpse of the genre’s future.

‣ Number of years it took to develop Fantasian: 3
‣ Handmade dioramas crafted for the game: nearly 160
‣ Original songs composed for the soundtrack: 58

The brainchild of Hironobu Sakaguchi, the legendary creator of Final Fantasy, Fantasian is nothing less than a love letter to the genre he pioneered. Playing as an amnesiac thief named Leo, you’ll set off to recover your memories—and save the multiverse from the Mechteria, an invasive and evil species that’s infesting our realm. Mix and match your ragtag team—headstrong princess Cheryl, sentient robot Prickle, magic-wielding Kina, and others—as you fight through a war-torn world.

When not exploring gorgeous environments, Leo and his pals team up to battle dark puppets, robots, and much more.

Fantasian offers exactly what we want in a role-playing game: deep and likable characters brought vividly to life, intense battles, and epic scope—all set to a lush, sweeping score from acclaimed composer Nobuo Uematsu.

What truly blows us away? Just about everything you see in the game was crafted by hand.

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From the colorful homes in the royal capital of Vibra to the cluttered junkyards of the Machine Realm, Fantasian’s meticulously detailed environments were first created as real-world models. An artist hand-built each dusty pathway and verdant shrub, which were then photographed and 3D-scanned into the game. The technique imbues the game with a bespoke quality that’s at once mystical and authentic.

Things made by human hands have a soul. The details of our dioramas push the limits of what you can do with the human hand.

—Hironobu Sakaguchi, founder of developer Mistwalker and creator of Fantasian

Its scintillating turn-based battles offer plenty of room for empowering decision-making. Stone giant taking out your party with its massive fists? Target its arms before it strikes. If that gigantic electrified bird keeps summoning its minions, try distracting them so others in your party can take down the monstrosity. In Fantasian, no two boss fights are alike—and there’s always more than one way to win.

A behind-the-scenes look at how Fantasian’s dioramas are built.

Fantasian even improves upon one of the genre’s least satisfying features: random battles. Traditionally, these encounters pop up out of the blue—interrupting your progress as you’re simply trying to get from point A to point B. To keep you moving through the world more smoothly, Fantasian introduced the innovative Dimengeon system, which absorbs those would-be encounters and funnels them into one big battle you can tackle whenever you’re ready. All the fun of gaining XP—without the frustration!

A common thread runs through Fantasian: a striking attention to detail. From its handcrafted sets to its brilliant refinements, this is a role-playing game built with great intention by one of the genre’s founding fathers. But it doesn’t live in the past—Fantasian instead imagines a brighter future for the genre while delivering the finest Apple Arcade experience of 2021.

2021 App Store Award Winners