Board Game Tale Seeker Puzzle RPG Featured Hardcore Droid

Published on February 1st, 2016 | by Brian Penny

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Tale Seeker: Puzzle RPG Review

Tale Seeker Puzzle RPG Thumb Hardcore DroidAre you a fan of casual freemium garbage like Candy Crush and Bejeweled Blitz but tired of the depth? Thankfully Sway Mobile, Inc. has a solution for you with Tale Seeker: Puzzle RPG.

Tale Seeker is advertised as a puzzle card game using RPG elements, but really it’s just a random hodgepodge of different freemium elements that in no way mesh or make sense together. There’s no cohesive storyline, and nothing you do matters. This is easily the worst video game I’ve ever played (and I’m a professional game critic who’s played a LOT of crappy games).

Stolen Characters That Don’t Matter

First off, ignore anything about this being a card game and a puzzle game. Yes, there are “cards” and character leveling systems similar to WWE Immortals, Tekken Card Tournament, and other mobile fighting games you’re used to playing.

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Full house or random nothing – doesn’t make a bit of difference…

Tale Seeker’s cards, however, don’t do anything – they mean absolutely nothing, and leveling them in no way affects the battles. It’s simply a video game mechanic added to a game as a way to encourage freemium purchases.

While Sway advertises an evolution system reminiscent of Pokemon or Pocket Mortys, there’s no incentive to level anything because a) the “monsters” aren’t relatable, b) it doesn’t matter what team you bring with you on a quest, and c) nothing in the gameplay is in any way attached to the characters you bring with you.

All you’re doing by leveling characters and building a team is changing the barely animated animations happening above your tiny game board.

Tale Seekers does its best to make you care about leveling cards by mixing and matching whatever public IP it could find (characters are stolen from Alice in Wonderland, different cultural mythologies, and wherever else the developer could harvest free characters from), but there’s literally no point to it.

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Maybe a bunch of half-naked cosplay chicks will attract Trump money…

A Card Puzzle RPG That Does Nothing Well

Since the card and RPG elements of this game in no way affect the outcome, I can only assume Sway Mobile, Inc. and FunFun Studios only added them at the last minute to take advantage of the popularity of real role-playing card games like Hearthstone, Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic: The Gathering.

The real focus of the game is on the 4×4 puzzle grid which contains icons less detailed than your average text emoji. This tiny grid is a fraction the size of game boards you’ll see in garbage freemium games like Candy Crush, making this less than garbage.

Despite the smaller grid, even the gameplay manages to disappoint, proving not all things in small packages are good things. Instead of the rock-paper-scissor dynamic every RPG player is aware of, Tale Seeker uses a poker-style system, presumably because it’s the easiest thing to program.

Like poker, you can just pick any amount of random icons to form a pair, and then add random junk up to the maximum of 5 selected tiles. It’s the equivalent of playing Scrabble and counting “Pieqq” since “Pie” is a real word. Clearly the developers were dedicated to only doing the absolute bare minimum programming necessary to create an app that looks like a game. Really all it’s designed to do is panhandle for money from in-game purchases.

Here are a few screenshots of the pop-ups constantly bombarding you to ask for money.

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The least they could do is wash my windshield…

For the sake of the review, I checked out some of the prices, and one of their “deals” was $79.99 for 12 items that (and I can’t say this often enough) change absolutely nothing in the actual game. Who in their right mind would spend $79.99 on an in-game freemium mobile game purchase that has no utility and isn’t even a vanity purchase?!?! I could purchase a triple-A console game a pack of cigarettes, a beer, and a burger for that.

The Final Notification

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All roads lead to the shop…click the shiny shop…spend money now!!!

After being bombarded with notifications 24/7 from this app-disguised-as-a-game, I managed to put my head down and grind my way through in order to write this review. The only enjoyable part of the entire experience was the relief I felt when finally hitting the button to uninstall this convoluted, insulting mess from my Shield tablet.

No longer will I wake up in the morning to a pile of offers to buy items, monsters, or cards from this panhandler disguised as a game. I don’t dread my afternoons anymore because I’ll be back to playing real games with an actual point instead of this complete bomb of an RPG.

Tale Seeker: Puzzle RPG makes me ashamed to be an Android gamer. I regret even taking on the assignment to play it. I’ve never in my life played a game that actually made me long for the complexity of Candy Crush, and because of that, I can’t even give a fraction of a star to this unplayable garbage game.

If you work for FunFun Games or Sway Mobile, Inc., please quit your job immediately, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Tale Seeker: Puzzle RPG Review Brian Penny

Hardcore?

Summary: Tale Seeker: Puzzle RPG is an offensive pile of freemium garbage with no redeeming qualities. Avoid at all costs.

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Hardcore Sucks


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About the Author

is not a gamer. At least that’s what he told his parents after secretly dropping out of AZ State to play Smash Bros & Goldeneye. After two years of battling a crippling World of Warcraft addiction, he walked away from a successful career as an analyst in the mortgage industry to blow the whistle on corruption. When he’s not tea bagging fellow gamers, Brian kills time writing for The Huffington Post, Mainstreet, Lifehack, and more. He documents his experiences working with Anonymous, fighting the banks, and practicing meditation and yoga on his blog.



2 Responses to Tale Seeker: Puzzle RPG Review

  1. Batsugame says:

    I started this last night and have to disagree. While I was fairly confused for awhile, further tweaking of characters and observation showed that leveling your cards primarily serves to up your attack with their given elements (this makes a HUGE difference in “battles”), while maxing their level allows them to evolve into a higher level card. Enemies have a Pokémon-esque weakness pattern, so making matches that exploit the enemy weakness will do more damage than a higher ranked hand without that advantage (if an enemy is earth(grass) aligned, a full house featuring fire damage will be better than a 4 of a kind with water damage. You can also fuse cards together to gain levels, and fusing cards with the same skills has a chance of leveling up that skill on the resulting card. Beyond that, certain cards gain bonuses for making certain kinds of matches, and those bonuses stack for more damage. You can observe the card damage as you highlight matches to get a feel for how the bonuses add up. It’s fairly complex but seems to work quite well when you get the hang of it. As for stolen characters, the point of the game is that you are working your way through famous story worlds (hence the “Tale” in the title). They are in the public domain, so free for people to use as inspiration. No different than anyone else making an Alice or other fairytale or folklore game or movie.

  2. Brian Penny says:

    I understand the card leveling system, and concede that the different elements affected the damage of the “boss.” However, none of that affected the outcome of the battle. There was never a time when I lost a match, no matter how poorly I purposely did. Adding in all of those elements detracted more from the game than it added. There was never any reason to pay attention to the top portion of the screen while playing – it was just there for show.

    It’s not a complex system at all for players of RPGs and wasn’t used in a manner that added depth to the game.

    As for the IP they used, I’m aware of public domain, but there’s no rhyme nor reason to the usage of the characters. Just because the Mad Hatter and Ymir are both free to use doesn’t mean it makes any sense whatsoever to throw them into a game together.

    Take Smite, for instance. In that particular case, blending different religious mythologies makes sense. Although Zeus and Thor are derived from different mythologies, the idea of the game is to battle the characters from these mythologies. Tale Seeker didn’t provide that. While a 5-year-old child can make Barbie beat up Superman, for instance, that would never be an acceptable match-up nor outcome in the general pop culture.

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