It is set in a Medieval-era Steampunk world, where a lord named Helios discovered the secret of creating battle suits, and used their overwhelming power to win the war for the realm and crown himself Emperor. Afterwards, he has forbidden anyone besides his elite Helian Guard from owning these battle suits on the pain of death.
Your character, Adina Collora, is a slave trader who kept one of these suits hidden. It comes back to bite her when a slave named Bolt escapes and informs the Imperial Guard of her heresy. Unfortunately for the Emperor, his underlings just couldn't play nice with their source, and had to pull Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves, deciding to execute them both. This forced Bolt, a former suit pilot to work with Adina, as they manage to get the suit running, curb-stomp the guards' own mech, send them running, and then find themselves with no option but to keep going with a rebellion they started.
The turn-based combat is fought between the combat suits on your and the enemies' side. Each suit has a range of stats, and can also possess a wide range of abilities that are written on a deck of cards, which are then drawn during combat.
Tropes present in Acaratus:
- An Axe to Grind: One of the weapon types available for your combat suits.
- Counter Attack: Counter-attacking in melee is the default trait of nearly all suits.
- Critical Hit: Every mech has a chance of scoring a critical that'll deal 150% damage.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The tutorial battle between your suit and guard's Grandios is one, as your suit is estimated at level 3 vs. Grandios' 1. You'll most likely destroy it with a single blow.
- Dash Attack: One of the available cards grants you the ability to do this.
- Dialogue Tree: Present. Interestingly, Adina will repeat in her dialogue box the very option you just chose (and so already read through) and the dialogue options do not disappear after being selected, and do not even get "faded out" to mark that you've already seen them.
- Dirty Coward: Ingmar chooses to run through the Trillith gate as soon as you defeat his servant battle suit in one blow. He succeeds at getting away, but the gate stays open long enough for you to get inside as well.
- Drop the Hammer: Another one of the weapon types.
- Easily Forgiven: Bolt forgets that Adina kept him as a slave and was even going to get him executed pretty much as soon as you rout the Imperial Guard. The next encounter is with a tax collector who offers to let them pass if they either give him the battle suit, or keep the suit, but Bolt gives him Adina. Bolt goes straight to combat in response, when one would expect him to at least rub it in her face that he's just bypassed a perfect opportunity for payback. If you ask him about this in the next dialogue, he just shrugs with "I could have," and replies to "What do I owe you?" with "Your respect."
- Even Evil Has Standards: Invoked by the protagonist early on. Asking as Adina how to move through the city of Trillith while keeping the battle suit concealed has Bolt suggest stealing a wagon, placing it there, and covering up with bags. To this, Adina, the former slave trader, replies with "I do not steal!"
- Fog of War: The world map starts off almost completely shrouded in darkness, and only clears a little bit as you start moving through it.
- Knockback: One of the ability cards does this.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Your first battle suit starts with a sword.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: All battle suits can be equipped with shields.
- Machine Worship: There's a religion of Mechanica devoted to just that. However, it's explicitly a pawn of the Emperor Helios, funded by him in order to keep the general populace cowed. After all, there's no risk of rebels constructing their own battle suits when they believe it's impossible without a divine blessing.
- Powered Armor: The core feature of the game. You get to personally assemble them out of five parts: front, core, bottom (i.e. their chassis type), and their left and right arm equipment.
- Shield-Bearing Mook: Many of the enemy suits will be carrying shields to raise their block chance.
- Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Downplayed, considering one of the protagonists was a slave trader five minutes before the story started.
- Take Cover!: While your suit obviously cannot crouch behind chest-high walls or the like, it can still choose to stand in front of obstacles that make it harder to shoot at it. Such tiles are highlighted in blue instead of the usual green.
- Unstoppable Rage: There's a "Berzerk" ability card that does this.