Sorry to disappoint, but our favorite game this month does not feature an amnesiac hero on a world-spanning quest to defeat the source of all evil. In fact, the titular character in Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk isn't a heroine
in the typical sense — instead, she's an ordinary girl in search of her missing sister. What makes Ayesha's story so charming is the notable absence of overwrought melodrama. Conversations about freshly-baked bread and the pleasant feeling of a midday breeze are par for the course in Atelier Ayesha, a game with a laid-back sensibility that we found to be a refreshing change of pace. Tweaked battle and synthesis systems, ten possible endings to pursue, and an all-new setting make this the most streamlined, accessible Atelier title yet. If you've yet to try your hand at alchemy, and don't mind a story more idyllic than epic, we recommend picking up Ayesha's virtual cauldron and giving it a "swirl."