Nonstop Hacking and Slashing
Mobile gaming is a blast for a myriad of reasons. Chief among them are the quick, accessible and fun playstyles that developers tinker with. What results is major studios “inspiring” waves of cheap copycats. Still, some emulations of AAA mobile titles get the formula right while doing their own thing. Such is the case with Tiny Fantasy: Epic Action Adventure RPG on Android and iOS. Developer Minidragon apparently takes a lot of cues from Nintendo’s highly successful Dragalia Lost. Thankfully, this doesn’t feel like a plagiarized experience, but rather one that streamlines the gameplay in a satisfying way.
At Its Heart
Tiny Fantasy is easy to pick up and incredibly addictive. Controls are simplified to dragging anywhere on the screen toward enemies, with automatic attacks. Despite not having dodge mechanics, moving away from dangerous enemies is easy with a satisfyingly smooth movement speed. After taking down enough monsters, a simplified XP system will grant your character a random boon for that round. For example, your character may gain improved movement or charge their special attacks with elemental energy. Thankfully, this keeps each run feeling fresh in the rogue-lite style.
As far as action RPGs go, there isn’t a lot of customization of individual characters beyond the temporary boosts. Still, variety exists in the equippable “followers” that serve as your support party in slicing through hordes. What makes the experience feel a little more unique is that they have specific designs and weaponry. You also choose your main hero at the get-go, with more options available through microtransactions and gameplay. While not exceptionally customizable, these elements feel appropriately implemented for a mobile game.
As I mentioned earlier, one can’t ignore the similarities to powerhouse Nintendo’s own Dragalia Lost. However, upon replaying that title after a year or two, I found the experience to be pretty overwhelming. Instead of the straightforward action adventure RPG that I’d previously played, I was bogged down by the sheer number of new items, characters and abilities. Usually, more content is a good thing with an ongoing title. However, it made a returning player like me not want to put in the work to completely refamiliarize myself and play more. Gratefully, Tiny Fantasy’s stripped-down playstyle makes for a quick, easily digestible time on mobile.
Through its social media presence, it’s apparent that Minidragon is dedicated to continually tweaking and building this legendary adventure. With so many mobile games being blatant cash grabs, it’s refreshing to see developers committed to a living, high-quality game. Unfortunately, some bugs in the game still need to be worked out. At the time of writing, these include one that stops progression after the first level on certain devices. The development team constantly updates the game though, with in-game currency as a reward for players who stick it out through maintenance.
A Little More
Tiny Fantasy looks like a copycat on the surface but makes its own mark on the ARPG genre. Streamlined controls, gameplay and minimal story shape a well-tuned mobile experience that is fun and highly addictive. Minidragon has sought to step into the ring with The Big N in a classic underdog story to great success. Their dedication to their community is evident and admirable, and their follow-through is excellent. Also, the character designs are super cute. Adventure on, teeny warriors!
Is It Hardcore?
Tiny Fantasy finds the mold of popular ARPGs and manages to carve out its own space within. With an apparent, concentrated effort by the developers, this game has plenty of room for growth. Still, players can be confident that the creative team involved will stay invested!