During the great catastrophe that occured in Illusia, many lost their life. The Mana Tree, a staple of the Mana
series, has now become corrupt with its own power, causing countless monsters to roam the lands. Mana pillars have also erected across Illusia, tasking the player with raising the Sword of Mana and freeing the trapped Guardian Spirit within. This is the only way the Mana Tree and Illusia can return to peaceful state it enjoyed before the catastrophe.
IGN - 80%: "Hardcore gamers expecting to get a sequel to the popular Secret of Mana series from the days of the Super Nintendo are going to be let down purely based on the dungeon crawler design of the game. For fans of games like Blizzard's Diablo, or repeat gamers that enjoyed Sword of Mana despite its harsh criticism and apparent downsides, Children of Mana is a keeper. The action is solid, the amount of character customization is definitely robust, the amount of side quests and bonus missions to partake in will ensure players that the adventure isn't over too quickly, and the game is simply beautiful on an audio/visual level. As far as hack-n-slash RPGs go, Children of Mana is one of the best we've seen on a handheld, and for dungeon crawler addicts Square Enix has definitely hit the spot."
Gamepro - 80%: "Ultimately, Children of Mana is wonderfully rendered, but when compared to Secret of Mana's engaging narrative, Children of Mana's sparse and slow story falls short. The game is still fun, especially if you enjoy dungeon-crawling and strategically nuanced battles. Fans of the Mana series should check it out, but don't hold your expectations too high."
Games Radar - 60%: "It's a shame that combat in Children of Mana is so mindless. The ingredients are there to make this a really excellent action RPG. Unfortunately, it wasn't cooked for long enough and you're left with an action RPG with great RPG elements and trite action. There are lots of things this game does right, but ultimately it fails to live up to its potential."