Tales of the Adventure Company Review

Tales of the Adventure Company Review

May 29, 2014

Tales of the Adventure Company, as previewed recently, is a dungeon crawler that uses tile-flipping and patterns like Disco Zoo to send players through a dungeon, trying to kill the boss at the end, collecting keys and managing one’s party along the way. It’s a game that uses randomness, but in a great way.

Randomness in games can be a crutch or it can be a compelling element. It can be frustrating to know that one’s fate is not exactly in their own hands. But the way that Tales of the Adventure Company uses randomness is special. See, players might never know what exactly they’re getting when they uncover a tile, but they know what they might potentially get, be it enemies or heroes to uncover. And they’ll have an idea of where the next hero or enemy will be because the patterns are available. The game knows what it needs to keep hidden from players and what it needs them to know in order to have a fair shot a succeeding.

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It helps a lot that the game rewards players for playing again and again: there’s benefits like added health and damage for that chapter, or getting characters in other levels, that helps justify coming back to difficult levels. Players replay for their own benefit, not so that they can hopefully get a favorable draw of the cards to succeed. There’s actual strategy to be applied here. The best analogy for the game is a collectible card game rather than poker: the former is about adapting strategy to randomness, and that’s what ToaAC is.

The pixel art is well-done, and vibrantly colorful. I like seeing a dungeon crawler that uses a wide range of the color spectrum. The controls are simple, just tapping on the screen, with a handy shortcut to switch who the leader is by tapping and holding on a character. It’s a natural mechanism, and a great one for experts to discover.

Tales of the Adventure Company is the kind of game I love to play. It takes a tile-flipping mechanic that other games have used and abused for free-to-play monetization, and makes it into, well, an actual game, one that is actually meant for players to have a shot and to enjoy it. This is a must-play, and I am endlessly pleased by this game.

Tales of the Adventure Company: Hands-On Preview with Video of the Upcoming Disco Zoo Meets Dungeon Crawler Game

Tales of the Adventure Company: Hands-On Preview with Video of the Upcoming Disco Zoo Meets Dungeon Crawler Game

May 20, 2014

The upcoming Tales of an Adventure Company takes a very interesting approach to its RPG gameplay: and it’s one that feels like it could be free-to-play, but isn’t: and because it’s about just the game itself, it’s worth keeping an eye on..

Players are presented with a set of 5×5 grids, and must manage to defeat the enemy that has the key to the next floor, before eventually fighting the boss. Enemies are laid out in set formations, so players know where additional ones might be, and new allies are in similar formations, allowing for the party to get up to 4 strong. Attacking enemies does damage to the enemy, and then they do damage back, with certain effects coming into play depending on enemy and hero abilities. Players only have a limited number of turns to get to the bottom, so just exploring all willy-nilly is not wise. Nor is letting everyone in the party die, as that’s game over.

It’s essentially a hybrid of Disco Zoo and a dungeon crawling RPG. Plenty of tile-uncovering RPGs do exist, but this game is about making it to the end in a certain number of turns, not about leveling up or collecting anything in particular: it’s about survival in the current game session.

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Luck does play a definite role in the game, but the game is about decision-making in the face of the luck of the draw. Using the right character for each attack is important, even the leader on each tile’s effect is key. There are some permanent bonuses that can be unlocked for completing certain challenges, like getting other character classes to appear in other levels, but this is mostly a game about solving the challenge at hand. And while many games would use IAP to sell more turns, this game notably abstains.

Interestingly, the game releases this week for Windows Phones first, then Android on May 29th, before iOS finally releases on June 6th. This is, of course, backwards from what most games progress to in their releases.

If the game sounds intriguing – and it certainly should be – be prepared for our review on the 29th. But until then, check out this video of how the game works, and how to succeed at the first level: