Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound: Rating:
Game Controls: Rating:
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Tales of the Adventure Company is a lite role-playing game that sets up dungeon-crawling as a minesweeper-like grid. Although the game feels very familiar because of its borrowed mechanics, Tales of the Adventure Company prevents itself from feeling like an also-ran with its unique party system, turn limits, and combat system.
In every play session of Tales of the Adventure Company, players must advance their party of heroes through a series of gridded levels in their quest to defeat a specific boss-like enemy type. This is done by tapping on a 5x5 grid to explore the dungeon, find enemies, and befriend new party members. Players must not be too thorough in their searches though, as every session of the game has a turn limit that produces a fail state if hit. This time pressure is largely what makes Tales of the Adventure Company stick out from other dungeon-crawlers, as players must be extremely strategic about how they choose to explore.
Another aspect of Tales of the Adventure Company that makes it interesting is the party system. As mentioned earlier, players manage a party of heroes as opposed to one character, and each of these heroes has their own set of powers and abilities to help players progress through the game. These heroes are largely cookie-cutter archetypes found in most RPGs (e.g. rogue, priest, archer, etc.), but they don't feel as boring as they may seem thanks to the leadership system present in the game.
As players are revealing blocks in the dungeon they can select a hero as the leader of the group, and this selection alters the way exploration operates. For example, having the priest as the leader heals party members as dungeon blocks are revealed, while having an archer as leader damages enemies prior to entering into combat with them. Once in combat, players can hot-swap between party members to defeat their enemies, which is useful as many enemies have their own unique powers as well. After completing a full dungeon another one unlocks, complete with new enemies and allies to discover and play with. Each level also has its own set of achievements that unlock more abilities, which make revisiting old levels or replaying a failed level feel more worthwhile than it would otherwise.
All of these elements culminate in what is overall a fun and satisfying experience. In long sessions, however, Tales of the Adventure Company may feel a little tedious because its RPG and progression elements are so light that the dungeon exploring mechanics can become repetitive and rote - especially after failing to complete a level within the turn limit.
That being said, Tales of the Adventure Company is still a very solid game. Although it may be best in short-bursts, it's still worth sinking some time into. Particularly for fans of puzzly roguelike games.