Crystal Project is a love letter to JRPGs and job systems

Crystal Project
(Image credit: Andrew Willman)

Indie JRPG Crystal Project has seen a lot of positive buzz from fans since it released, a non-linear JRPG where you're free to explore the world and play around with an extensive system of custom classes. Presently sitting at 784 reviews on Steam, 92% positive, Crystal Project might be the game to beat in indie JRPG design this year. 

That's because, as far as I can tell, it takes most people's favorite thing about old school JRPG mechanics to heart: Freedom to make and test weird class builds. I see at least 24 classes, with staples like Warrior, Rogue, Wizard, and Cleric alongside weirdos like Valkyrie, Scholar, Mimic, Chemist, and Beatsmith.

"Explore the world while you find Crystals, unlock classes, learn abilities, and create a strategy capable of taking down the world's toughest bosses. Or just stick to exploring; it's up to you," says the official description. The game boasts no random encounters, and further focuses on not having any hidden information: Turn order, damage, and probabilities are all surfaced for the player to have. Beyond that freedom of exploration, Crystal project has features like no accidentally skippable quests, and no zone transitions, so you don't have to worry about skipping the plot while you jump and climb around the voxel blocky world.

You can find Crystal Project on Steam, where it's $14. It's Steam Deck verified and has full controller support, to boot, in case you're like me and can only play JRPGs while sitting on the floor directly in front of the TV or curled up with a mobile device, like you're a child in the 90s.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.