A World of Magic
Summon familiars and become the best Covenanter in this visually stunning RPG from HANO. Hundreds of years before the events of Covenant of Gardel, a war between humans and demons was ended by a powerful mage, the first Covenanter, using familiars. You are one of the many budding mages learning how to use familiars when the demons suddenly resurface. Upon waking from a dream, a familiar tells you that you are the new chosen savior of the world. A lot of pressure for one young mage, but you won’t be alone and you’ll have many resources at your disposal.
Starting with four familiars, you quickly learn the fighting mechanics needed to progress. Tap and drag familiars to the green zone on the battlefield to start the fight against a group of NPCs. Or tap Autobattle to have them show up and fight automatically. Each familiar has a health bar and a different set of skills. If their health bar depletes, they die and you lose a fighter. However, you are provided with a player skill called Recovery Circle, which you can drag onto the battlefield to heal several familiars at once. Familiar skills depend on the group they’re in: Nature, Barbarian, Abyss or Hell. A familiar in the Nature group, Pixie, is a support-type healer while a Barbarian, Lady Darknight, is an attack-type warrior. You want more than a few familiars, and some victories reward you with summoning scrolls. Spend scrolls at the Covenant Circle to earn random familiars.
All familiars in Covenant of Gardel are powerful. But that doesn’t mean you won’t want to improve them. Upgrading your familiars requires spending gold and healthstones earned after battles. However, upon reaching level 10, an additional resource is required to get them to level 11. Called soulstones, these can be obtained in the store or through minigames such as Soul Ruins and Infinite Spire. After reaching level 11, familiars can be upgraded normally again. This same back and forth will need to be repeated every 10 levels. Another way to improve your familiars is by equipping runes. These are also earned after battles, and every familiar has four rune slots available. You can either equip them at random or let auto-equip do the work. Every skill a familiar has, like attack and HP, will increase and make the familiar more powerful. The more power they have, the more reward potential.
Spoils of Battle
Once you reach certain player levels, more of the land of Gardel is open to you. Each new area comes with its own minigame with different rewards to earn. For example, the Misty Forest has you exploring a top-down dungeon area. Collect reward chests and their keys while random monsters follow you around the map to attack you. At the Infinite Spire, defeat enemies to ascend the tower and earn rewards like soulstones after victories. The higher the floor, the tougher the battles, so prepare your familiars accordingly. It’s easy to increase your player level, so exploring Gardel can be accomplished quickly. However, easy leveling isn’t as nice as it sounds. In fact, it makes things almost boring. This isn’t the only aspect of Covenant of Gardel that could be improved.
Players want some challenge when they face enemies, but that can be difficult when your characters are stronger than the NPCs. You don’t have to upgrade them, if you like constantly being defeated. But constant wins aren’t fun either. Without a challenge to keep players engaged, battles are over much too quickly. I just wish there were more balance between the different power levels. Additionally, your player character has a face and body but no way to change it. The character looks masculine, and I think it would’ve been nice if there were a feminine version as well. Also, there are idle rewards earned when you’re away from the game, but only for eight hours. I found this extremely odd as most idle rewards keep being earned until you get back to the game, regardless of how long it’s been. This was a very weird choice on the developer’s part.
Overall, Covenant of Gardel is a beautiful, entertaining RPG that could stand to have a few improvements. The familiars all have unique designs and powers, which encourage players to try them all in battle just to see what they can do. Different areas of the land to explore and play add to the fun. But it could’ve been better if there was a way to change how your player character looked, along with more challenging battles.
Is It Hardcore?
Beautifully animated familiars with different areas to unlock barely make up for far too easy battles and no character customization.