Artifact Adventure is an open-world RPG, but in the style of classics such as Dragon Quest. Players are permitted to travel the world however they wish, with every choice having some kind of repercussion, eventually leading to one of 70 ending variants.
This game contains examples of:
- Beef Gate: All over the place, particularly if you're using the airship.
- Big First Choice: The player is offered one of three treasures at the beginning of the game: a set of four artifacts to grant your party (or perhaps just one member of it) a significant stat boost, an airship to immediately access any area of the world, or the mysterious Key of Time that's necessary to unlock the True Final Boss.
- Downer Ending: Regardless of whether you fight the Final Boss or True Final Boss, your party fails to escape the Collapsing Lair, and become Artifacts for the next cycle.
- Excuse Plot: The toxic Swamp King has risen once again, and your party undertake the mission to defeat him. There's a bit more to the story if one looks for it, but the majority of the game and plot development is completely optional.
- Final Boss: The Swamp King.
- Glass Cannon: Monks feature the best physical attacks in the game, but come with sub-par defense and equipment options. Certain other classes can also be played this way, depending on weapons used.
- Master of None: Dreamers can equip any piece of equipment in the game, but have only average stats all around.
- Modular Epilogue: There's a scene in the ending for every single sidequest the player was involved in, which can change depending on how they finished it (or in some cases, started but didn't finish).
- Non-Standard Game Over: At any point, the player can choose to abandon their quest by heading to the port and sailing away.
- Red Mage: Every class can potentially be this, though some pull it off better than others.
- Retraux: Very obviously inspired by games such as Final Fantasy I and Dragon Quest.
- Trial-and-Error Gameplay: To an extent. The party's composition can't be changed after the beginning, and it is also not possible to reassign artifacts after they have been assigned.
- True Final Boss: If the player obtains the Key of Time at the start, they can undertake a world-spanning sidequest that ends with fighting the Winged King instead of the Swamp King at the end.
- Vicious Cycle: The player can potentially learn that they're in one, involving both The Swamp King and The Winged King.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: The player can make some mean choices in their quest, with one of the earliest (and shown in a trailer on the Steam store page) being to sell your own party members into a life of slavery.