Illusia Review

Illusia Review

Mar 31, 2011

Large-scale role playing games don’t generally make their homes on mobile platforms. By nature, mobile gaming takes place in small bursts – while you’re waiting in line at the store, or on the bus, and RPGs generally lend themselves to longer play sessions. Illusia attempts to bring the genre onto the Android platform with action-oriented gameplay. Is the result worth the investment in time?

Illusia is a side scrolling, action-oriented RPG steeped in repetition and generic RPG constructs with a plot that fails to engage the player in any meaningful way. The loosely knit story just serves to move you from objective to objective, but never feels truly interesting or unique. The gameplay is pretty basic – walk from left to right, or from right to left, and hit one on screen button to jump, and another to attack. You can also use items when necessary, but overall the simple gameplay gets lost in the unwieldy control scheme.

It becomes immediately apparent upon firing up Illusia that it is mired in RPG clichés. The first thing you see when starting the game is a lengthy wall of text squeezed into a small box in the center of the screen that describes the generic tale of an ancient evil that’s threatening the land. Not only is the story generic, but the fact that it’s forced into a small portion of the screen speaks to both technical issues present in the game, as well as a fundamental lack of understanding of the issues involved with reading text on a mobile device. Once you make it past that intro, and dive into the action, things get better…but not by much.

Illusia consists of side scrolling, action-oriented gameplay which, for the most part, is enjoyable. Unfortunately, the controls are always present on screen, and you’ll often find your fingers covering up your character. This can make it very difficult to accurately direct the on screen action. That fact, coupled with the controls being floaty and imprecise makes for a control scheme that just isn’t suited to the gameplay in Illusia.

It also bears mentioning that, despite the 18 MB file size, Illusia can’t be installed to your phone’s SD card. That’s not a problem if you have a newer phone with ample internal storage, but if you have a lot of apps installed to your phone’s internal memory, you are going to have to clear some space for Illusia.

Illusia has some big problems, and that’s unfortunate. The underlying concepts present in this game are strong. The gameplay has a lot of potential to be enjoyable, but the controls get in the way. The game looks and sounds great, but the plot is paper thin. At $5, Illusia is more expensive than many, many other games on the Android Market, and it’s hard to recommend it at that price given all its flaws. There’s a solid core present in Illusia that could have had a great game built around it, but as it stands, Illusia is just too broken in its current state to recommend.

Illusia Review Rundown

Graphics and Sound - Illusia looks and sounds great. Crisp graphics and and enjoyable music are both present in this game.
Controls - The on screen controls often get in the way of the action. Movement feels floaty and imprecise.
Gameplay - Side scrolling action feels good. It's a shame the controls get in the way of enjoying it.
Replay Value - Unfortunately, the solid gameplay gets lost under messy controls and a generic plot.
Overall - Hold out for a better RPG - one's sure to come along.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Michael Kurz
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