App Reviewed on: iPhone XR
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It's hard to find a good role-playing game for your phone. Of course, there are lots of great mobile RPGs, but many of them are asset heavy and benefit greatly from being played on a larger landscape display across long play sessions. This is not the case with Untold RPG, a surprisingly convenient adventure that's easy to get lost in at just about any time.
Untold RPG is a text-based role-playing game where you take control of a character who has just woken up on a beach with little to no memory of who they are. Your quest from then on out is to figure out what happened to you, as well as reinvent yourself along the way.
The adventure you end up on brings you face-to-face with a pretty wide cast of characters across quite a few different locales, but you never really see any of it. The entire game consists of text laid over some static backgrounds, leaving you to fill in visual detail using your imagination.
To help flesh out the world, Untold provides a map to help you find your way around towns, islands, and other locations without having to memorize how points of interest are connected. The game also has a nifty menu system at the bottom of the screen that helps you keep track of your character stats, inventory, and quests.
The driving force of Untold's story is its quests, which do a great job of revealing more about the world while also giving you a surprising amount of options as to how or whether to complete them. Although many of these quests involve some combat (which is basically just tapping on timers), there are ways to craft your character so that you can explore and find alternate paths forward, and it's always fun to find these ways of subverting what seems to be standard conventions for RPGs.
Lost in memory
There's a lot I like about Untold--namely its convenient portrait mode presentation and surprisingly nonlinear gameplay--but the game does have a few issues that kept me from enjoying it as much as I would have liked. The first is endemic to tons of games like this, but nevertheless: The story just doesn't really end up anywhere satisfying. Despite coming up with a somewhat interesting twist on the "amnesiac protagonist," the long, winding path you take to resolution doesn't have a particularly rewarding reveal at the end.
Speaking of memory, Untold also has a somewhat tricky save system that takes some getting used to. Like older RPGs on console and PC, you have a few save slots to manage your progress in this game, and you need to use all of them as much as possible. Untold has a checkpointing system, but it's not great, and you can also save yourself into unwinnable situations, so you need to keep multiple save files going at once to make sure you don't have to restart the game or go back to a distant auto-save.
The bottom line
Persnickety save system aside, Untold RPG is a really solid and convenient package. It delivers feelings of grand adventure while allowing you to experiment and explore, and it does this pretty much all through text. It may not satisfy folks looking for a flashier, more action-packed experience, but Untold's restraint is exactly what makes it so impressive and refreshing.