Version Reviewed: 1.1.4
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
The Order of Souls is a turn-based, free-to-play role playing game set in a fantastical world that melds science fiction and fantasy elements. Throughout the course of the game players can expect a surprising amount of interactive story elements, but most of that requires them to grind through a middling series of combat scenarios that really drag the whole game down.
The Order of Souls' various elements include head-to-head multiplayer, crafting, singleplayer combat, party management, etc. Most of these systems and mechanics seem familiar to those that have played RPGs before, but the game does very little to do unique things with them. It's almost like the developers were more concerned with checking features off a list than they were thinking about how they might add a unique dimension or dynamic to the game. This is not to say that it has any seriously flawed mechanics, but they just aren't as interesting as they could've been.
The one thing that The Order of Souls does get right, however, is the way it chooses to reveal its story. As players progress through battles with rabid dogs, robots, and increasingly more menacing foes, story beats are revealed as their own missions. Most of these unfold with lightly animated illustrations and dialogue choices that do a good job of yielding apparent consequences. Some of these decisions even require some Dungeons & Dragons-esque ability checks. From the very start of the game, players are presented with these choices, and they give a real sense of weight and agency to the player in the moment.
Although the story content for The Order of Souls could be a strong pull for players, the game unfortunately spaces these moments out a bit too thinly, meaning players have to spend most of their time trading blows with enemies using a combat system that is neither visually nor mechanically compelling. On top of this, The Order of Souls has a free-to-play structure that includes a stamina mechanic, which stops players from making progress unless they pay or wait for their stamina to recharge over time.
Overall, the imbalance of interesting story content with all of its other mediocre mechanics and systems keeps The Order of Souls from being as interesting and fun as it could be. As a free game, it could be a good casual distraction for someone looking for a new RPG experience. However the game doesn't seem to have a lasting draw, as progress gating systems and increasingly-difficult-but-not-interesting combat eventually turns the experience into a slog.