A Standout Action Adventure Title
Guardian Tales is a mobile action-adventure game developed by Kakao Games and Kong Studios. You take on the role of a rookie Guardian, ready to protect your kingdom from evil invaders. This action-adventure and JRPG mashup boasts a variety of gameplay and features, including a classic JRPG story, a variety of different Worlds to explore, town creation and maintenance, and over 50 different heroes to summon.
In a market saturated with shooters and gacha summoning, Guardian Tales stands out as an action-adventure game worth playing. Gameplay is easy to master, utilizing a D-pad for movement and an attack button dedicated to swinging your sword for simple combat. Enemies are easy to take down on their own but prove to be a challenge when they warm, so avoid getting ganged up on.
The game also features puzzles that reward players with new items that allow them to access previously inaccessible areas. During the first level, the player receives a drill that allows them to destroy stone blocks that previously prevented the player from progressing. This highlights the replayability of levels as players can return and use newly acquired tools to reach areas that were previously inaccessible.
A Classic JRPG Story
Congratulations, you’re a brand-new Guardian, ready to defend the kingdom! Unfortunately, it’s your first day and the kingdom’s being invaded. Now you must unite the 12 Champions and save the world! Along the way you will take on side quests, spending hours in each world until you realize your phone is about to die. The main story of a young new hero defending the kingdom from an unknown evil is entertaining, but it’s the side quests that stand out. One of my favorites in World 1 is the Lazy Fairy quest, in which you must talk to (and bother) a lazy fairy six times before she begrudgingly tasks you with finding comic books. Moments like these gave me a good laugh. The game does an excellent job of combining JRPG characters, humor, and story elements with dungeon crawling gameplay.
Summon Heroes and Grow Your Town
Guardian Tales uses gacha summoning to recruit new heroes to your team with 58 heroes available in total. Characters range from one to three stars, with 3-star characters being the most powerful. The character designs are fantastic. For example, there’s Rachel, a daring pirate captain, and Craig, a giant of a knight clad in golden armor.
After completing World 1 players can create their own town. Towns add a new level of engagement, allowing players to add new businesses, entertainment buildings, restaurants, and more. Summoned heroes will wander about the town and enjoy its features while players expand their town over time. Players can spend hours alone creating a large, booming metropolis for their characters to enjoy.
It’s extra features like these that really help shape Guardian Tales into an engaging experience for players. Whether you enjoy luck-of-the-draw gacha summoning or building your own bakery in town, there is always something to do in Guardian Tales.
A Full-Fledged Game for on the Go
Although Guardian Tales doesn’t require you to unload your bank account to continue playing, it does require you to invest a lot of time, with each world taking 2-3 hours to complete. That’s not counting the hours spent summoning, interacting with friends on FaceBrick, and building your town. The game does require a steady internet connection to play, which may be a hindrance for players with spotty Wi-Fi. Though there is a daily login bonus, the game lacks any free daily summoning, something other gacha games typically offer.
On that note, one of the biggest issues mobile games face is players’ frustration with pay-to-win microtransactions. Although Guardian Tales utilizes the energy-based system in which players must expend energy to play, I never had a Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery moment where I felt I had to pay in order to continue playing.
Overall, Guardian Tales provides gamers with an engaging dungeon crawler experience. Unfortunately, the need for an internet connection will impede gameplay for those without access to stable Wi-Fi. However, with sweet but simple combat, compelling side quests and an intriguing town building aspect, Guardian Tales will keep you engaged as you explore world after world.
Is It Hardcore?
Guardian Tales combines JRPG story and characters with dungeon crawler gameplay and mobile game elements to create an awesome single player experience that Zelda fans will love. Though it suffers a bit from clunky mobile needs, the game stands out as a free mobile game that players will enjoy.