Square Enix is about to release a new Kingdom Hearts game that could help tide fans of the series over until Kingdom Hearts 3, or at least Kingdom Hearts 2.8. Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ arrives in North America on Android and iOS this month.
Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ, the series' first mobile game, is a prequel that ties in directly to the the three parts of Kingdom Hearts 2.8.
The game takes place before the Keyblade War and players will take on the role of one of the many keyblade wielders in the fairy tale world.
One of the mobile game's biggest hooks may be "the sense of playing live," according to Director Tetsuya Nomura. Players might get that feeling when they realize the world they are traversing is populated with other gamers.
"Along those lines, various events are being held frequently depending on the occasion, the medal collection element is key to your battles," Nomura says. "We also offer a ranking element, and a unique story told only in this Kingdom Hearts, so I'm sure there is some kind of element that would pique your interest."
Unchained χ will introduce series fans to five Foretellers, who assemble the key wielders, along with Ephemera and Skuld, two new characters Nomura said would be key to moving the story along. And there's also Chirithy, a cat that will guide players through the game.
The studio understood that there is a need for a guide "due to the nature of the game," but Nomura didn't want to use a character that was "too self-asserting" when considering how much time users would spend with it.
"Once that idea got rolling, then I thought a cat would be great, since you can't tell what it's thinking, but can still get along fairly easily with humans, so I went with my favorite, the Scottish Fold as my motif," says Nomura.
Following its launch in Japan, Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ is now set to land on Android and iOS in the United States on April 7. The game won't require new players to know anything about the series, since Unchained χ is a prequel.