I’m always a little wary when a mobile game gets a premium release on console, especially since they’re often designed to demand both patience and a fair bit of grinding from the player. Egglia Rebirth did leave me optimistic though, especially since its original mobile iteration wasn’t free-to-play (though it did have some microtransactions). Plus, it’s got staff that worked on the Mana series at the helm, which is always a plus in my eyes.
How has it fared on the Nintendo Switch? Well, it’s certainly a charming RPG that’s easy to get absorbed in, but it also FEELS like a mobile release; not from a production value perspective, but rather the way that it will really test the patience of gamers with some of its gameplay mechanics.
Check out a gallery of screenshots down below:
Egglia Rebirth puts players into the role of a redcap goblin, who are known for being some of the more vicious and nasty creatures of the world. It seems you’re the exception to the rule though – not only have your horns been chopped off, but you’ve also lost your memory and can’t remember who you are. Imagine that: an amnesiac protagonist in an RPG… now that’s old-school.
It doesn’t take you too long to find yourself on a grand adventure though, with the player working with a cheery fairy to try and help restore the world of Egglia. See, it was sealed away into pieces in eggs, with the player having to discover these eggs, break them to restore the land, and then traverse across it to discover more eggs until Egglia is back to its former glory. It’s a quirky and fun story that’s complemented by some charming characters and entertaining interactions, with a surprisingly robust cast of characters to meet across the adventure that’ll pull the player into all sorts of strange scenarios. It’s entertaining and kept a smile on my face throughout.
“I’ve played plenty of RPGs that require a fair bit of strategy and nuance in your approach, but this was simpler and it made for a more relaxing experience.”
The main gameplay loop comes from traversing the new areas of the world you reveal, though this isn’t done in a deep exploratory manner. Instead, each area is made up of a hexagonal grid, with the player rolling a die to determine movements. There’ll be resources to gather along this grid, items to collect, and enemies to encounter too, though combat is also determined by the roll of a die so it isn’t especially complex.
This could be a good and bad thing. On the positive side, the casual nature of simply having to roll a die to attack made Egglia Rebirth perfect as one of those quick ‘pick up and play’ games. I’ve played plenty of RPGs that require a fair bit of strategy and nuance in your approach, but this was simpler and it made for a more relaxing experience. There are spirits that you can summon to help you out in combat too, with these bringing with them different spells that can be used to bring a bit more depth to battling.
On the flip-side, combat might be a little TOO simple for RPG veterans. It’s easy to find yourself in a loop of simply mashing the dice roll button and waiting to see what happens, with not much thought required from the player. You get into a loop of just doing the same thing over and over, which doesn’t always make for a good time. The random nature of the dice rolls can be unpredictable too; whilst you might be levelled up enough to take on a particular foe, all it takes is a few bad rolls of a die to completely screw you over. RNG elements aren’t uncommon in RPGs, but when there’s just a six-sided dice to determine your fate, things can get frustrating if lady luck isn’t on your side.
Outside of exploration, you’ll also spend time building up a town, gathering materials to expand it, and bringing new characters to the town by helping them out in the game world. It’s a satisfying loop that offers a real sense of progress as your town grows in size, whilst being able to plant seeds, build new structures, and grow relationships with each character felt equally rewarding. You’ll even be able to bring these characters out with you whilst you explore the world, giving them the opportunity to gather resources on the side and help build up your supplies.
“The random nature of the dice rolls can be unpredictable too; whilst you might be levelled up enough to take on a particular foe, all it takes is a few bad rolls of a die to completely screw you over.”
Whilst the general gameplay loop is enjoyable though, Egglia Rebirth utilises a few mobile-like mechanics that really felt like they hindered the experience. Between items you have planted taking a set amount of real-life time to grow, characters having to re-charge with an in-game timer to support you, the elemental spirit summoning also having a timer, and the necessity to grind some of the same areas over and over again to gather materials and experience points, it was hard not to feel frustrated when playing the game. Sure, there are one-time potions you can use to speed up the process, but it feels like a problem that shouldn’t be in the game in the first place – especially as a premium release on the Nintendo Switch.
I like to sit down with an RPG and stick a good few hours in at a time to really absorb myself into the experience, but Egglia Rebirth felt like it was actively pushing back against me. The difficulty spikes can be REALLY nasty too, and with no indication of what level you should be to face challenges, it was easy to find myself dying over and over again. I don’t mind a difficult RPG and working to achieve success, but when combined with the already frustrating mobile-style grinding and waiting, I found myself actively discouraged to play the game.
It’s a shame because I did enjoy the core gameplay experience. It looks the part too, with some fantastic visuals on show that really make it easy to immerse yourself in the world. It’s vibrant and charming, with the quirky fantasy setting full of cute characters and colourful landscapes. If I’m being honest, it reminded me EXACTLY of Legend of Mana (game logo and all), but given how pretty that game is it can only be seen as a compliment.
Egglia Rebirth Review
Egglia Rebirth has some neat ideas and a charming world, but it’s held back by mobile-style wait times and some rough difficulty spikes. It’s almost like it left too much of its mobile roots in the console release, leaving players waiting to progress or getting pummelled if they try to push forward a bit too early. It’s a shame too because I enjoyed playing the game – I’d have just enjoyed it so much more if it let me play at my own pace.
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed)