An RPG gacha spinoff of the Touhou series, Touhou LostWord puts players in the role of a girl transported from the outside world to Gensokyo. Throughout your adventures, you meet the girls from the Touhou series. They join you and help you look for a way back home. The characters are charming and the music is beautiful, but the amount of resources and options you have during gameplay can get overwhelming.
In Touhou LostWord by mobile game developer NextNinja, you battle phantoms, fairies, youkai and more with the help of your friends. The characters that join you are all from previous Touhou games, so fans of the series will recognize a lot of them. Part of the fun is building a party of all your favorite characters. You receive new characters and story cards through a gacha lottery system of prayers. You receive characters and story cards through the same lottery system of prayers. When you perform prayers, you open Seal Crystals, which contain one or 10 story cards and characters depending on what type of prayer you perform.
The biggest problem with this method is that you’ll almost always get story cards. The rates for getting characters are incredibly low. I performed about 100 prayers and only got one character card. This wouldn’t be so bad if there were another way to receive characters, but I couldn’t find any other way to get them. I was unable to gather enough characters to create a full party. Normally the story missions give you a few guest characters, so you don’t always need a full party, but I wish I had the option to have one. At the very least, it would be nice to have more choices when it comes to party members. I always brought the same characters with me because I only had four.
The best part of the game has to be the story missions. While the gameplay is interesting and the characters are cute, nothing really beats the character interactions during the story mode. Watching Marisa and Reimu’s antics as they try to gather the Seal Crystals is fantastic. They just bust down the door of every location and brute force their way to the crystals they’re looking for. What’s even funnier is the game recognizes this and they bring it up, mentioning that what they’re doing is basically a crime. The story of the game isn’t complex, but it’s about the fun and cute moments. There are also plenty of nods to events from previous games in the story mode. Characters will frequently mention or comment on things fans of the series will recognize and remember.
On the other hand, one of Touhou LostWord’s biggest flaws is that it has too much going on. The unit and resource management system feels flooded with random aspects. The battle system in the game has too many elements to consider while playing. It’s an interesting attempt at turning the bullet hell genre into an RPG genre, but it needs to be simplified.
There are two regular attacks a character can use: normal bullets and special bullets. Normal bullets collect more energy, which you can expend to make your attacks stronger, but special bullets deal more damage. Then there are spell cards, which unleash a unit’s special abilities to do more damage. On top of that, there are Last Word cards, which are even more powerful spell cards. Each character also has skills that give you a passive stat buff or heal your allies. There are also barriers, which you use to protect against incoming attacks, but you have a limited number per level. Then there’s also the system of switching units in the middle of battle, where you can swap out a unit in play out for one in your reserves.
If you’re feeling confused with all these aspects, don’t worry. I am too. There’s just too much going on. The game would be better if they removed the redundant attack options. If your options were basic attacks and spell cards, that would be easier to keep track of. In my experience, many of the options in combat aren’t necessary.
The resource management system adds to the confusion. There are so many resources and you get so much of each resource that it feels pointless to keep track of them. They’re all different ways to power up your characters, but why are there so many methods? Why can’t everyone be upgraded with one resource? It doesn’t make sense.
Overall, Touhou LostWord is a cute game that’s overwhelming to play. The combat and resource management needs to be more focused. The character interactions are where the game shines best. Fans of previous games will have fun playing, but new players might struggle with the complicated mechanics.
Is It Hardcore?
Fans of the Touhou series will have a good time playing with familiar characters they love, but new players will be overwhelmed with the complicated game mechanics.