Go on a mobile RPG adventure to save the world alongside a party of heroes from all across the Tales series.
Tales of Link
Developer: Bandai Namco
Price: Free to Play
Platform: iOS (reviewed), Android
As a series with numerous unrelated games, Tales is one of a few RPG series that can have crossover games with itself. Tales of Link is one such example, a mobile RPG that brings together heroes from the entire series into one adventure—from Tales of Phantasia all the way up through Tales of Zestiria.
You gain these heroes through methods common for mobile RPGs like this. Some you’ll find as you play through the game, a few will be given as rewards for completing key levels, and others will rely on you spending your precious “Hero Stones,” the rarest in-game currency.
Hero Stones are earned slowly, so you’ll need to buy them with real money if you don’t want to wait. Nevertheless, the need for them isn’t great unless you want to unlock all the heroes, so patient players will be able to get by without purchases.
Along with the Tales characters, you’ll also meet new characters during your adventure. The most notable are the main characters, an adventurer named Sara and a creature named Lippy. They are on a quest to save the world from the Seeds of Ruin and find out who broke the seal that unleashed the Seeds in the first place. You do not play as Sara or Lippy, but rather enter the story as a third figure, a Savior with no memory whom they ask for help.
The plot is passable. It won’t keep you on the edge of your seat waiting to learn more, but it’s an enjoyable story as you play through the levels.
Heroes can be assembled into a nine-character party. Their artes will strengthen as you use them in battle, and you can level them up by spending LP earned from quests. They can also be fused together and equipped with gear.
Tales of Link has multiple systems that increase the game’s complexity. The player’s rank, heroes’ levels, equipment fusion, guardians, quests, missions, summons—it can be a bit overwhelming when you begin playing, although fortunately you don’t need to concentrate on it all at once.
In contrast, the battle system itself is quite easy to learn. Unlike the main Tales series, Tales of Link has turn-based combat structured similarly to puzzle games. Heroes appear on a 3-by-3 grid, each standing on a specific type of base. By dragging a line to link heroes with matching bases, you set up an attack.
Long chains are important, both because the damage multiplier increases further down the chain—so whenever possible, you’ll want your strongest heroes near the end of the chain—and because the number of links increases your LC gauge, which you use to trigger special abilities. All heroes have special abilities, although you can only set three to use in battle.
Tales of Link is primarily a solo game, although you can select another player whose heroes will join you in battle. Despite this, you can only play while online. Overall, Tales of Link is an entertaining RPG best played in small bursts, and one filled with familiar faces for Tales fans.
The Final Word
It may not be an epic story filled with memorable characters, but as a simple RPG to pass the time, Tales of Link delivers without heavy reliance on in-app purchases.
MonsterVine Rating: 4 out of 5 – Good