Two days ago a new game was added to the Google Play Store, Tales of Illyria: Destinies RPG, the third game/chapter in the Tales of Illyria series, from indie dev team Little Killerz. If you’re a fan of story/quest driven games with turn-based battles that allow you to make use of varying skills and spells, and with a large variety of equipment, then I highly recommend this one. Quick note: I can only speak for the US Play Store, don’t know if it’s available in other countries. (Updates are for regular game content & IAP, and can be found in that section below).
As the title states, this is not an unbiased review, it’s a recommendation. I do not work for Little Killerz, and am not receiving anything in the way of bribes or kickbacks, but I am a big fan of this series, and the dev team itself, and would like to see them and the game do well.
The best way to explain the game is to copy and paste from the description on the Play Store.
Tales of Illyria is a party-based RPG hybrid where you manage your supplies and fortunes while traveling in a challenging, open-world environment. Each party member has their own quest, and distinct personalities that will react differently to every hard choice you make on the road. What will your story be?
*A Note on the IAP Content - Tales of Illyria: Destinies is perfectly playable without the IAP content. The quest packs are merely expansions for those who want even more content, but both fans and new players can still experience thrilling gameplay from just the core game
The game is only $0.99, which is a steal for how much play time you can get out of it. The claim is for 25+ hours, but there is a lot of replay value since you can choose from 6 different starting kingdoms, make different choices on the various events and encounters, and choose to go down a path of good, evil, or somewhere in the middle. I’ve spent more time on this series than console games I’ve paid as much as $60 for, so it feels like a steal.
Based on my personal experience with the game, I can vouch for the IAP not being necessary to make it through the game. This is not Pay to Win. The expansion pack quests (and some of the gear) will carry over to any new games you start, or even other devices (as long as you’re signed into the same account you used to purchase them). I’ve paid more for less with console game DLC.
As mentioned, this is the third chapter in the Tales of Illyria series, and while I highly recommend playing the first two as well, you can absolutely jump into Destinies first without having played them. So far I’ve only seen one passing reference to some of the characters from the first game and what came of them, but it won’t spoil the story for you too much if you play it later. Chapters 1 and 2 are much more connected to each other, compared to Chapter 3.
Destinies is much more open world than the previous chapters, with the option to take on jobs (or refuse them if you want to hold out for a better or more convenient one), and gives you more options on your starting character. Another new addition is some of the bigger cities/castles will have an arena where you can fight your way to the top. But keep in mind, you will always fight groups of 6, so wait til a few other characters have joined your party before you enter.
Art is, of course, subjective, but this game has a unique look, that can be described as “one of a kind.” Mainly because all of the art and game design is done by one man (Jon Smith of Little Killerz), so you won’t see the exact same style from any other developer team. And he’s pretty good...
And now it’s even more picture time. Here are a few screen shots to give you an idea of what you’ll get for your $0.99, and hopefully convince you to buy the game (and maybe some of the IAP packs).
After you’ve installed the game, you will then be prompted to install the full game package. Here are the size for each file based on the resolution (the game will also let you know your device’s resolution). You can choose based on the best display for your device or a compromise between that and how much space the game will take up.
When you start off, you’re given a choice of which Kingdom you’re from.
Selecting each Kingdom will take you to a description and image of their flag and the option to choose it or go back (hint: take a screen shot of each, it might come in handy). The game starts with your birth. You’re then be able to choose your gender and the name of your character. Anything goes.
You will then be given a few life events where you choose how to act, which will set your moral compass.
You will also get to choose what you’ll start off as, a sword fighter, an archer or a mage, and which 2 skills you’ll start off with.
Update 9/4/15: Two new skills were added to the game today. Head Shot is a one use per battle (per character) archery skill.
And Coup de Grace is a one use per battle (per character) melee skill.
Then, as you reach adulthood, based on if you chose to be male or female, you can then pick your look from a few design choices (if you don’t like the clothes you get, don’t worry you can buy some new ones later).
After that, you get a different starting storyline/quest based on which kingdom you chose. I suggest starting in either Kourmar, Feylanor, or Tortha because they have more neighboring kingdoms and are less isolated than Vasena, Nycenia or Hysperia.
Here is a quick rundown of the starting story for each Kingdom, so you know what you’re getting into:
Tortha - you start surrounded by fire, wake up in a forest with no memory and a dead body nearby.
Hysperia - you get an inheritance from dead relative, and are asked to visit another relative to find out more.
Nycenia - you start off restrained, gagged, and with a bag over your head, about to be sacrificed in a blood ritual.
Feylanor - you are led to a dungeon where a Fey is held prisoner by your father who turns out to be a “Purifier”.
Kourmar - you start off at sea, and immediately get shipwrecked, and are sent on a search for your estranged father.
Vasena - you wake up in the desert with amnesia.
If you’re so inclined, you can start from one kingdom, play until you get to a save point, and then start another new game from a different kingdom and repeat until you have 6 different games going. Just keep track of the name for each character because that’s how you’ll be able to load each save.
You’ll start off with a little spending money, which you’ll need to use for supplies, and to increase various skills (for sword fighting, bow & arrow, spells, and other skills like engineering, alchemy, hunting, discernment, persuasion, stealth, and scouting).
There will be plenty of encounters along the way, so if you have a good one, I suggest saving right after. If you lose a battle, hit the retry button. The game is designed so that each battle will get easier every time you retry them, so you can move on and keep playing.
As you make your way across the lands, you can tap on certain plants and animals in an attempt to use them as sources of food or water. You’ll also encounter characters that may end up joining your party, if you don’t end up killing them.
As mentioned, there is IAP in the game, but none of it is needed to play through the game (they weren’t part of the first two chapters). There are 3 categories: equipment, quests and gold.
As you can see, the quests, and some of the items (the Ring of Three and Amulet of Doom) are a one time purchase and will carry over to any new games you start. The armor kit, which also includes a weapon, also carries over to new games.
But the really great deal is the Mega Bundle. For $9.99 you get all 4 expansion quests (each $1.99 separately) plus 5 of each type of bomb ($0.99 for each set), a Ring of Threes & Doom Amulet (each $3 separately), and you’ll be equipped with one of the best horse and saddle (you can buy these in-game but they’re pretty expensive and usually not affordable until later in the game).
It’s a great deal, especially considering everything will carry over to new games.
My recommendation is to buy the Mega Bundle, and the Ebon Mirror kit (the armor will be too heavy to wear, but you can sell it, and keep the axe that comes included, which will be very helpful. But keep in mind once you sell it you can’t use it for that game since each kit can only be purchased once per account). Like I mentioned before, I’ve spent a lot more than the $13 total it will end up as on console games that are now collecting dust after playing maybe an hour’s worth.
Update 8/8/15 - Additional IAP has been added: new armor/weapon kits, a bundle for the Ring of Threes & Amulet of Doom, and smaller expansion bundles for just all the Quest Expansions or just the Guild Expansions, each with few extra goodies. I still highly recommend the Mega Bundle because you get better extras and you’ll probably decide you wanted all those expansions after all anyway.
First the new gear kits.
As a reminder, none of these are necessary to get through the game, but they sure do look cool. The Nightstalker, Loxely and Jester are more immediately practical in that they won’t be too heavy so you can use them right away, and they also have cool weapons. The Stone Titan isn’t quite as heavy as the Ebon Mirror but might still require some Strength level ups. The Bling Bling is a 2 pack of the Ring of Threes & Amulet of Doom for less than buying the 2 separately. All of these kits will carry over across new games and other devices signed into the same Play account, and each can only be purchased once per account.
If you’re willing to pay the money, you can however get 3 each of the Ring of Threes and Amulet of Doom, by buying them individually, through the Bling Bling kit, and as part of the Mega Bundle.
And the smaller separate bundles for just the Guild Expansion or Quest Expansion.
They each give you some handy equipment, but nothing like what you’d get from the Mega Bundle, so if you’re even considering either of these, stop fooling yourself and just get the Mega Bundle. End Update.
Update 9/2/15 - Some new IAP has been added. Two spells, Resurrect & Meteor Strike. And a new armor, Metallurgist. Screenshots, including descriptions, below. As with other IAP, once purchased they will carry over to new games or to other devices signed into the same Google account.
If you’ve already reached the level cap and can’t add new spells, not to worry, there’s a Temple of Forgetting (part of the game from the start) that lets you respec for a price (in-game). End Update.
Additional spells, and a new armor bundle and skill bundle. The armor bundle includes the Freya, a female armor only available in the bundle.
The armor bundle:
The skill bundle, including an individual screenshot of each new skill:
So go to the play store, get the game, and end up spending most of your weekend on it.
As I also mentioned, Destinies is the 3rd Chapter in the Tales of Illyria series, and the other 2 games are also worth playing, and are only $0.99 each.
The first chapter, Tales of Illyria: Fallen Knight follows the story of Elric, a king framed for the murder of his family, on a quest for revenge against the usurper who set him up. You’ll meet a few characters along the way who will join you in your quest, and have side adventures too. Several hours of play, and good replay value as you can choose between a path of justice or cruelty.
The second chapter, Tales of Illyria: Beyond the Iron Wall follows the story of Kepri, a preistess of Vasena, the only kingdom blocked off in the first game by (as you may have guessed) an iron wall. And just when you think the game is over, you’ll find it’s just getting started. This game takes place not long after the events of chapter one, so there’s more of a connection to it. It also adds a few new creatures like djinn, lamias, and sandworms.
And if you like dungeon crawler games with fun quests and various skills, but prefer something more action-oriented and less turn-based and with less reading, check out Legends Arcana, a game best described as an action RPG. In it, you play Recks, a down on his luck dungeon crawler who is given a job to work off his debts and try to become a hero again. It’s a precursor to Tales of Illyria, and you can see a lot of the skills and spells that ended up in that series, but it’s more action oriented with a virtual d-pad for walking around and the fights aren’t turn based.
I’ve interacted with the Little Killerz dev team for their various games both in forums and directly by e-mail (but using my real name), and they’ve always been good about interacting with their fans, and even their non fans (I’ve even seen them offer refunds when they couldn’t work things out). They seem like a stand up group, so if you’re tired of endless runners, or games where you fling or swipe at things, give their games a try and show some support to a good team of game devs.