Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is a Japanese style RPG that puts the player in command of Percy Jackson and his allies as they battle for survival in a world ruled by vengeful Greek gods. The game is based on the film and book of the same name. The player gets toe explore the map, complete quests, and unlock new areas and rewards. Quests involve winning fast-paced, turn-based battles against a variety of enemies. Winning battles and completing quests earns Percy experience, which increases the level of the characters under his command. Completing quests also earns new items to carry and new characters to control.
Battles are the heart of the game, where the action happens. In battles, the chosen team faces off against an enemy force on the top screen, while menu controls on the bottom screen allow the player to choose attacks and other abilities. Certain special attacks also involve 2-5-second microgames to determine their effectiveness.
Team management is where the player makes long-term strategic choices about the characters under his or her command, which determines effectiveness in battles.
Percy Jackson is always the main character the player control, but on the Team Screen, players can choose two other characters to accompany him into battle. Each of the player's companions can equip two abilities, and Percy can equip three, giving the player a total of seven choices during a given battle.