Of Rats and Frogs, with a Dash of Bugs
The King’s younger son Redgi must prove his worth to inherit the kingdom by defeating his older brother in a trial by combat. Against all odds he does and just when the crown is about to be passed to him, invaders attack and everything comes crashing down.
Sounds like your typical revenge type game setting except that Redgi is a rat and the invaders who not only killed his father but also tore down his castle are frogs. It gets weirder as potions as made of bug juice and flying enemies come in the form of mosquitoes. Oh, and did I mention milk comes from giant bugs that behave like cows, down right to how the rat farmer squeezes milk from it?
Welcome to the mastermind from Odd Bug Studio that lovingly created this unique game world where combat is not only unforgiving, but highly recommends you play with a controller instead of a keyboard and mouse. Highly encouraging as in it straight up flashes a screen with a picture of a controller and text saying that use of a controller is highly recommended.
Needless to say, I didn’t fare too well on the keyboard and had to restart countless times. Combat is brutal as the “souls like” tag on its steam store page would have given a hint on how it will be. Thankfully some attacks have warning signs so its ok (or at least I keep telling myself) to die many times as long as you learn the attack patterns, even if it means dying even more times.
But discouraged I was not as the storyline was compelling and the narrative added to the immersion oh how Redgi must not only rebuild his kingdom but also avenge his Father. Main objectives are clearly marked on a straightforward easy to interpret map and even the board where side quests are picked up are also indicated.
What truly shines in the game is how the developers at Odd Bug Studio put everything together into a well-polished package. The whole game world feels alive as it presents to you the progress the townsfolk make in rebuilding their homes to the cleverly used layering to present a busy farmland.
Combat feels tight even through I took a while to get used to playing on my keyboard and mouse when a controller would have made a lot of difference, even on a 2d plane. Progress also feels rewarding as the game allows you to mix and match weapons which can be acquired through smiting, defeating enemies, or exploring the map. This also includes increasing the hit points pool via finding ingredients for the cook to whip up interesting dishes.
Interesting references to the real world can also be found all over such as references to famous wrestlers and even an epic space opera movie series.
Yet it is hard to give a perfect score to Tails of Iron as the only let down is the size and length of the game. With so much poured into bringing the game world alive and getting the player invested in its characters, the game is short. Short as in I cleared it in about 15 hours with 92% of achievements unlocked. I could probably spend an hour or so hunting for those last few weapons to complete everything and that’s about all there is to do.
Hopefully with 927 reviews (at this point of writing) with very positive ratings on the steam store, the developers will see the success of the game to give it more content down the road.
By Kenneth Wong
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