Atelier Sophie is a fantasy turn-based-RPG with heavy emphasis on item creation and exploration. It takes place in a highly stylized third-person open world setting illustrated with cel-shaded visuals.
In this game, the player controls a party of up to four characters traversing the world collecting ingredients for synthesis while discovering new recipes for item creation. The player is capable of accepting randomized Requests, which serve as side quests in order to gain money and rare resources.
Plot progression follows a formulaic pattern in which the acquisition of new recipes triggers cut scenes which advance the story while unlocking new areas, allowing the player to gather new resources and more advanced recipes.
Alchemy, the crafting system of this game, is a complexly woven puzzle mini-game in which the player fits together different sized ingredient puzzle pieces in order to create a product out of the base materials. Depending on the way in which the player fits together varied pieces and manipulates the bonus system, different effects can be endowed upon the product, resulting in a highly customizable item creation system.
This game features a "Friendship" affinity system, where investing time in deepening the bonds between the player and the cast of NPCs can lead to new features and party members being unlocked, along with bonuses in battle when paired with party members of a high affinity level.
The game has established a day-night cycle, directly influencing the harvests and the enemies you encounter. Additionally, the game features a weekly schedule consisting of three weekdays and two weekends. Other characters in the game follow a schedule in which the time of day, day of the week, and weather can influence their location and interactions with the player.
The game revolves around the life of the main protagonist Sophie Neuenmuller, a young, and inexperienced alchemist who runs an atelier on the outskirts of Kirchen Bell. Sophie discovers a mystical talking book named Plachta, whose sole memories involve the use of alchemy. Plachta, a blank reference book, has lost almost all of the memories that comprise the pages of her text, and it's up to Sophie to help her recover those memories by writing down alchemy recipes into the blank pages.
Sophie is aided by her close friends, Monika Ellmenreich and Oskar Behlmer, who help Sophie on her quest to become a grand alchemist capable of providing for the town while restoring Plachta's memories. Along the way, a colorful cast of companions join Sophie as her allies in a story arc that becomes much bigger than the interactions of small town, and instead becomes a fight for the fate of the world because the harmful kind of alchemy which used by the evil alchemist name Luard.