Editor's Note: This review was written while Code Atma was in Soft Launch, and - at time of writing - it currently isn't available globally, however should be relaunched (complete with a patch) soon.

A long time ago, a perceptive fox told a curious little prince that what’s essential is invisible to the naked eye, and it still rings true to this very day, even in pop culture. In Code Atma, the same concept applies - you play as a Seeker, fighting an invisible war with spirits beyond the veil. These fantastic creatures hail from the rich lore of Indonesian mythology, and you’ll have the opportunity to watch them in combat in this idle RPG from Agate Games.

The story of Code Atma

As a Seeker, you can investigate curious cases revolving around mysterious deaths and the odd fireflies surrounding each one. The narrative of the main campaign is laid out in a visual novel style, using static scenes and dialogue texts to move the story along. Every so often, you’ll get thrust into a battle in the middle of the story, prompting you to use the Atma you’ve summoned in your party.

Code Atma review story

Right off the bat, what fascinated me about this game is the premise of using awesome spirits to do battle with other malevolent forces, a concept that reminded me too much of the Stands from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. These psycho-spiritual semi-invisible manifestations possessed powerful abilities that made battles look ultra-cool, and I was really looking forward to a similar experience with Code Atma.

Unfortunately, my high expectations weren’t really met, and it’s a shame. There’s a lot of potential with a game like this, and it certainly feels like the developers did their best. But sadly, it’s just not good enough.

Code Atma gameplay and graphics

Combat in Code Atma is essentially the same as your average idle RPG. Much like AFK Arena, you’ll set your units in a formation with two rows before each battle. You can set the Auto and the speed function to leave your Atma to their own devices, and even when you’re offline, you’ll reap AFK rewards each time you log back into the game.

The portrait layout of the main menu is also very similar to AFK Arena. Character designs of each Atma are simply top-notch, with gorgeous units that are definitely appealing to summon. Unfortunately, the 2D art isn’t the least bit dynamic, as the combat animations are mainly just static images being stretched to simulate movement.

The combat system itself isn’t very inspired, but you do have to take advantage of Passive skills to maximize buffs between units in the front line and in the back line.

Code Atma: What’s the appeal?

To be honest, I expected more in-depth stories about the Atma themselves, as using creatures from Indonesian mythology is already intriguing in itself. You can discover more about them in the Compendium, but they’re optional unlocks rather than the main narrative. The summon rate also isn’t very engaging. 5-star summons are extremely rare and a 10-pull summon only nets you a guaranteed 4-star unit.

I did find the Passive skill mechanic interesting - certain buffs can be pretty OP if you know how to use them right. Of course, with idle gameplay and auto battles, these strategic elements really take a backseat, so they’re mostly overshadowed. All you really need to do is to level up your units and leave the Auto button on and you’re golden.

Overall, Code Atma has a lot of potential, but it probably needs more testing before an official launch. Sadly, not even the cool-looking Atma could propel me to keep going. While the art is supposedly enough to encourage me to keep playing the game, the dealbreaker is the lag between loading screens.

Each time I tapped on a button, it takes three seconds before anything happens, and the loading icon just keeps flashing continuously (and annoyingly). Even claiming rewards from daily missions becomes tedious, because you’ll have to wait forever just tapping away at that Collect button.

Code Atma formation

And it’s not my device or my internet connection either, as other titles didn’t have the same problem. I also encountered an instance where the game crashed after a cut scene, as well as a few localization issues and wonky grammar scattered here and there.