A Strategic Card Game with Lots of Clutter
Tales of Yokai, the latest from Leniu Games, is an idle turn-based JRPG android game with rapid character card evolution. Right off the bat, you are earning coin and other important resources while you explore and familiarize yourself with the game. The player’s job as onmyoji is to strategically prevent antagonistic Yokai spirits from jeopardizing the fragile peace between humans and Yokai. Largely in line with traditional Japanese folklore, shikigami are unique Yokai spirits that can be summoned by and bound to the onmyoji’s will. The shikigami are beautifully designed, but their stats are unnecessarily complicated especially in leu of their potential for a rich narrative. Extraneous detail is unfortunately not limited to the cards and hinders the flow of gameplay.
Gacha! Card Collection
The Machi Center is the hub where players can shop for items or summon and upgrade shikigami. The gacha based summons are fun and keep you engaged during automatic battles. The player can use shikigami fragments or summoning scrolls collected through daily and weekly quests to summon random shikigami. While the card draws are completely random, there are concrete ways to refine cards. Equipment upgrading and shikigami leveling require specific material or the sacrifice of cards, respectively. This process is straightforward albeit lackluster without much customization. All cards can be reset for free which allows players to test out different strategic formations.
Where Does Strategy Come in?
The game play is enjoyable, but pretty standard. There are 6 factions: Sylvan, Marine, Heya, Hades, Divine and Devil. The first four have a circular counter relationship and the Divine and Devil factions counter only each other. The strategy revolves around the configuration of your chosen line up over a max of 15 rounds. There are a variety of arenas, but they are rather similar, unless a player is at the top of the leaderboards. If players want to combine forces as onmyoryo, essentially a guild, they can complete specific missions, coordinate and buff stats.
Quest to Clear the Clutter
There is always something to do and to collect in between battles. In fact, constantly clearing the sea of red notification dots sometimes overshadows the actual gameplay. This does allow free players to gather resources regularly, but it is cumbersome enough to push pay to play. The card game itself is straightforward, but the UI itself is misleadingly complicated. This can feel overwhelming especially without clearly accessible information. The music is charming but uniform. The designs are beautiful but hidden. The game is engaging but cluttered. Overall, Tales of Yokai is delightful to play but falls short of its full potential.
Is It Hardcore?
Tales of Yokai has the potential to be a stellar game, but the lack of narrative, unneeded complexity and cluttered interface often overshadow gameplay. It is mid-core and enjoyable for an idle game.