For better or worse, Egglia combines a traditional JRPG adventure with the trappings of a mobile social RPG.
Egglia: Legend of the Redcap
Powerchord Studio / Brownies
Platform: iOS (reviewed), Android
MonsterVine was provided with an iOS code for review.
The lands of Egglia have been sealed away within eggs, leaving only a tiny island behind. When a peaceful redcap with the ability to open the mysterious eggs washes ashore, he joins the island’s inhabitants in their quest to restore Egglia and build a new community.
Egglia largely has two distinct types of gameplay, depending on whether you’re in a dungeon or in town. Whenever you break open an egg and place it on the map, you can access a new area. These areas use a turn-based exploration system. At the start of each turn, you roll a die. The result determines both how many spaces you can move and how strong your attacks will be. You have a limited number of turns to clear each stage, but since the stages are relatively short, this is rarely a problem.
Each stage includes enemies to fight, treasure chests to open, and trees to cut down for lumber. In addition to moving across the grid-based map, you can pick one action to perform each turn. Allies will also accompany you to gather materials as you explore. In between stages, you’ll be treated to story scenes. The story is fairly lighthearted, and its zany cast of characters makes every scene a delight.
When you aren’t fighting enemies and gather materials, you’ll be in your growing town. There, you’ll build houses, arrange furniture, and interact with the characters that move in as you progress the story. Fulfilling character requests and giving them gifts will increase your friendship level, which determines how many materials they’ll gather.
In this way, the core game creates a nice loop. You advance the story by exploring dungeons to gather materials and meet new characters, and then you use those materials in town to get new quests and eggs to explore more dungeons.
Unfortunately, despite being a premium game with no in-app purchases, Egglia uses many of the mechanics found in free-to-play mobile games. Your allies have morale meters that must recharge before they can enter dungeons. You need to collect and equip spirits, which can also be leveled up and evolved into more powerful forms. To power up your spirits, you’ll need to grow potatoes and stones, which run on real-world timers. And finally, despite a scant social system that lets you send lottery tickets to other players, Egglia requires you to have an Internet connection at all times.
With the possible exception of the spirits, these aspects feel wholly unnecessary, as if they were added simply because it’s a mobile RPG. This adds an unfortunate level of tedium to an otherwise fun experience. Egglia: Legend of the Redcap is full of charm, but it’s hard not to wish it stuck to its core mechanics and left the mobile trappings behind.
The Final Word
>Egglia: Legend of the Redcap has a fun premise and a delightful cast of characters, but the unnecessary inclusion of social RPG elements makes it less enjoyable than it could be.
– MonsterVine Review Score: 3.5 out of 5 – Fair