Worst Birthday Ever
Brother and sister Ulf and Lucia are having a normal night in, celebrating Ulf’s 18th birthday, when out of nowhere they’re ambushed by a witch and her minions. Lucia manages to hide but Ulf suddenly transforms into a werewolf and gets captured. So starts the epic magical adventure that is Legendary Tales from FIVE-BN Games. Also called Legendary Tales: Stolen Life and Legendary Tales 1, find all kinds of hidden objects and solve puzzles to acquire the items you need to progress. Animated cutscenes and believable dialogue are just the tip of the iceberg for this adventure game.
Useful Hidden Objects
Each environment contains different items you need to move forward in the story. Tap around and you’ll find random objects such as a knife, matches, figurines and more. Once you tap them, they’ll be added to your inventory. Some items will have a plus sign, indicating that they can be combined with others. Usually, you’ll need to look for what they combine with. If you can’t find the combination, tap the hint at the bottom right. Try to use hints sparingly, as you only start with so many at the beginning. One hint costs one coin, and you can get more coins either by watching ads or spending real money. The downside is that one ad means you only get one coin. And if you come across a difficult puzzle mini game, it costs ten coins to skip. Unfortunately, mini games must be completed to progress and retrieve needed objects.
After scouring the terrains in Legendary Tales for hidden items, you’ll sometimes get a short cutscene. While not the best quality animation one can expect from a modern console game, it’s very good by mobile game standards. One scene features Lucia riding a horse to chase after the witch that took her brother. The movements are just realistic and fluid enough to match the rest of the game’s quality. Another scene that has more going on is when Lucia and a friend are walking through living vines to free her trapped brother. The vines don’t stop moving the entire cutscene. The amount of work that went into making sure the vines didn’t glitch is astounding.
You’re not just looking for things you need; you’re also looking for special objects. Every location will have items that will be hard to find if you don’t look closely. These include historical manuscripts, morphing objects and random collectibles. Historical manuscripts will have tidbits of the game’s lore written on them, like interesting facts or info on various mythical creatures. Find all of them to unlock an achievement along with a mini game. Morphing objects are constantly changing their shape, so they might not be that difficult to spot. You never know what they’re going to morph into but collect 30 and you’ll get an achievement and unlock a bonus game in the extras section. Collectibles are a bit different in that there are multiple collections. These range from flowers to necklaces and more. Around seven to 13 items per collection are required to earn achievements and unlock new puzzles.
I wanted to like Legendary Tales more than I did. I’ve been playing a similar game for some time called Unsolved, and I have to say it’s just better. This might be because hints cost energy instead of coins in the latter. Sure, energy depletes faster, but at least you’re not watching ad after ad to get one coin at a time. Legendary Tales is a beautiful and interesting game, but the pay-to-play method is holding it back from any real replayability. I would love to know for sure if Lucia saves Ulf, but not if I have to watch a bunch of ads or spend real money just to get past a mini game I’m stuck on.
Is It Hardcore?
A well-written story and stellar animated cutscenes can’t save this title from its annoying pay-to-play function.