Publisher(s): Limited Run Games
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Release Date(s): February 14, 2024


Arzette | Logo

When I played a demo of Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore at PAX East 2024, the biggest impression I walked away with was that Seedy Eye Software had done the impossible: they created a game that invoked the heart and soul of the CD-i console platform and made it into a quality gaming product for 2024. Set in the land of Faramore, Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore has the titular hero go out on a quest to stop the evil Daimur.

The creator behind the game, Seth Fulkerson, has repeatedly stated that Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore is inspired by The Legend of Zelda CD-i games, and I certainly believe that. The gameplay is a 2D adventure where you jump and slash your way through enemies towards the end of the level. The gameplay itself fits well in 2024, and I was happy to find out that the enemy hitboxes were on point, and the platforming controls worked well. Even as I killed enemies and fought a boss at the end of the demo, I found myself becoming thoroughly engrossed by the gameplay itself. The game bills itself as Arzette being able to unlock more abilities as it progresses, and I am personally curious to see what all she can do when she is fully unleashed. During my demo, I was able to try out the bombs, and I ended up using them to great effect to help destroy the stage-end boss.

Arzette | Platforming in a level
Platform and swing your weapon through multiple levels as you try to stop evil. (Image courtesy of Limited Run Games.)

Of course, the hallmark of the CD-i was the animated cutscenes, and Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore does not disappoint. The distinct, low quality art style of the CD-i games has been lovingly recreated for Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore. The voice acting is over the top, and the cutscenes pop up to tell the story more frequently than what you would expect. The world levels themselves are beautifully done, and you can tell that a lot of care went into them. The more I kept playing, the more it reminded me of Working Designs’ Popful Mail in terms of gameplay quality and charm.

Arzette | Cutscene Character
Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore took pains to recreate the cutscene art style of the CD-i games of yesterday. (Images courtesy of Limited Run Games.)

Arzette | Cutscene Character

There is one other important note to mention: I tried the game with both the 2024 controller option and the remade CD-i controller option that was released through Limited Run Games. Unfortunately, that CD-i controller is awful, and I found it difficult to control Arzette with it. Using that controller really made me appreciate joysticks and other video game innovations in the past 20-plus years.

Arzette | CD-i inspired controller
Limited Run Games released a CD-i remade controller earlier this year. (Image owned by Limited Run Games.)

Ultimately, the PAX East 2024 demo I played of Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore takes inspiration and heart from a long-dead, barely remembered home console, while simultaneously transcending it into a final product that is far better than its inspiration. The final product was released back in February, and I think it is well-worth trying it out if the demo is any indication of the final game…and thankfully, it is out now!

Arzette | Gameplay level
Can you save Faramore? (Image courtesy of Limited Run Games.)

Did you ever play any CD-i titles? Are you planning on picking up Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore?

Let us know in the comments below!

Quentin H.
I have been a journalist for oprainfall since 2015, and I have loved every moment of it.