Fire Emblem Engage’s difficulty cracked my brain open like an egg

My army advances through an over-the-top anime castle. In the shadow of its looming sandstone walls, the forces of good make their stand against the machines of the evil Fell Dragon. Our mission is simple: defend the gate. I’ve got permadeath enabled, so every move counts in this turn-based tactical RPG. I agonize over every decision, trying to predict my enemies’ movements. My pegasus rider stays clear of enemy archers, lest she is shot down. Vander, my tough-as-nails Great Knight, holds the vanguard while my archers and mages take refuge behind a line of unbending steel.

Despite my solid formation, the enemy is slick and maneuvers to flank me. I adapt as best I can, completely engrossed in Fire Emblem: Engage’s elegant combat systems. My slow, steady and strategic approach pays off as we finally lay the enemy leader low, completing the mission. At this point, however, I realize something’s not quite right. I look up from my Nintendo Switch. It’s 1 am.

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