- Estimated achievement difficulty: 4/10 [Achievement Difficulty Rating]
- Offline: 40 
- Online: 0
- Approximate amount of time to 1000: 8-10 hours [Estimated Time to 100%]
- Minimum number of playthroughs needed: 1
- Missable achievements: None [free roam after completion]
- Does difficulty affect achievements: No - can play on Easy for all achievements
- Unobtainable/glitched achievements: None
Welcome to Archvale, an isometic action adventure game in the vein of the original Legend of Zelda, but with more of a bullet hell nature when it comes to fights. This game also has a bit of RPG elements to it in the sense that you'll constantly be on the lookout for new and improved gear to make you stronger. On top of that, the game is procedurally generated to an extent - the world map layout and number of tiles will be unique to your playthrough. However, pretty much everything that you need in the game is relatively fixed, at least in the region it's in. Like many games of this type, it might feel a little more challenging in the beginning, but it'll quickly get easier as you find better weapons and armor, and as you upgrade your weapons. Let's get started.
As noted in the Overview, difficulty doesn't impact achievements, so feel free to play on Easy. Even on Easy, you'll still need to be careful not to get overwhelmed, so don't hesitate to play on Easy.
There are no missable achievements, and nothing that is easier done at certain time (surprisingly no combat related achievements at all), so feel free to dive right in. However, the simplest thing you can screw up and make the game much harder (because it doesn't tell you or give you guidance) is what order to tackle each region in. If you go to the "wrong" area, you might find yourself struggling, but not until it's too late. For example, I went to the Pine Peaks (southeastern) region second, and was able to kill enemies without much issue, but then really struggled with the dungeon boss. It turns out that's supposed to be the fifth area, and I had no idea. So, here is the order you're supposed to progress, so you don't find yourself underpowered:
- Crabclaw Chasm
- Pine Peak
- Twisted Caverns
- Molten Rift
With that out of the way, here are some general tips that'll make your playthrough easier, more efficient, and make some achievements easier:
- Always explore every tile of the overworld AND the dungeons. The overworld contains trials (that give you more badges), chests (that give you good gear for that region), world bosses (that give you heart contains and upgrades), Mega Plums (which are used to upgrade your healing potions), and more broken fountains (that give you permanent defense boosts). Dungeons contain Mega Plums as well, sometimes a permanent attack upgrade, and at least one or two treasures that you can turn in for money.
- Speaking of money, it'll quickly become the most important resource for you. You'll notice breakable objects in each screen. Sometimes they drop money. A quick tip to save you time is that either every box on a screen gives you money, or none does. So, break one box. If it gives money, then break all boxes on that screen to get money from them all. If it doesn't give you money, ignore all other boxes on that screen because they're all empty.
- Also when it comes to money, the first thing you should do every time you get to a new area is make a beeline for the town (bigger white square) and immediately head to the Bank. Activate it to increase how much money you can store there, and always store the maximum amount so you're always building up to Fortune (20G). Try to minimize how much money you carry with you. This is because you can spend money directly from the Bank (you never need to withdraw it). On top of that, if you die, you lose half of the money you're carrying. Money in the Bank isn't affected. It's therefore in your best interest to always keep your money in the Bank and never on you. In the beginning the Bank won't hold much and you'll likely always have too much to store there. Better to spend the excess rather than risk losing it.
- Speaking of spending money, it'll be harder to come by in the beginning, so I recommend only spending money on heart containers (from the little guy merchant) in each town, and then a couple badge capacity upgrades too. This will make surviving much easier. I don't recommend spending money on gear, since you can craft stuff of equivalent quality, and find good or better stuff in chests.
- Store stuff in the town chest often, so you're never at max capacity in your inventory. There's no reason to ever max out. After leaving a region, take all of the resources you got in that region (for example, iron ore in the beginning) and transfer it into the chest so it isn't in your inventory. Do this with the gear and resources from each previous region so you're always making room for new stuff. You should never need to carry four weapons on you (I would typically have one of each type), and should easily have 5-10 inventory spots available. I typically kept one or two extra rings with me depending on the situation (such as one for fights against mobs and one for bosses).
- Regarding crafting stuff at the anvil, crafting is a good source of higher level gear, as each time you head through a new region of the overworld, you'll be able to collect new resources from that region, and therefore be able to craft new gear with those new resources. So, every time you head to a new town, you should always check out what new gear you can make. I highly recommend always crafting the next best head and chest armor you can make, to keep your defense up. This is because each region contains a few chests that each have a new weapon in them. So, you'll get new weapons naturally from chests, but armor only comes from buying it or crafting it. Therefore, focus your crafting on armor so you don't waste money unnecessarily
- Change up your badges depending on the situation. For example, I had one set of badges I'd use for exploration to fight mobs, but then an entirely different set for bosses. Just remember that there's no point changing badges until you reach a fountain
Once you've gotten all arch pieces, now is a good time to mop up any miscellaneous achievements you're missing. There's a pretty good chance you'll need to grind out crafting, because I didn't craft anywhere near 30 things naturally. You can get Reject Humanity (20G) at the same time. You may also need to get Star Athlete (10G), unless you got it inadvertently. Also, if you didn't get This Will Do (10G), you definitely want to fully upgrade your best weapon before the final boss battle to make it easier. Refer to any other achievements you may be missing, and mop them up.
With that all done, head to the final dungeon (in the northwest) to fight the final boss and beat the game, wrapping up this completion.
Archvale is a pretty simple but really fun game. Combat is pretty basic but still fun dodging enemies and taking them down. None of the bosses really stand out, but it's still an enjoyable experience from start to finish, like most RPGs, building up your gear to get stronger and stronger builds. Once you get strong, most of the game becomes pretty quick and easy to get through, but I would say the time to complete is just right for this type of game. Hopefully you didn't get stuck grinding at all, and congrats on another completion.