TAILS of Iron Review: REDWALL MEETS RED SOULS (PC).
Tails of Iron by Odd Bug Studio is a 2-D souls-like that presents a young rat king’s struggle to rebuild his kingdom and defeat invaders. It’s also a joy to play! It’s full of charm, engaging stories, fun games, and beautiful art. It’s a great experience!
Tails of Iron, a 2-D souls-like, an indie game developed by Odd Bug Studio, and published by United Label, CI Games, is my latest obsession.
This game was recommended to me by a friend.
It’s magical to see tiny creatures trying to survive in a big world.
I take this idea and create a Redwall-Esque medieval society. It is a story of a kingdom that has fallen apart, and it is both charming and dangerous.
STORY – THE RISE AND FALL of the Rat King
Tails of Iron starts with a brief history lesson. Since the beginning of time, the toads and rat people have been at war. King Rattus, who united all the kingdoms of rats under one rule, defeated the toad invasion. However, as all things do, King Rattus gets old and must choose a successor. Regi is the minor son of King Rattus and is determined to be king. Your greatest ambition becomes a reality after defeating your brother in a tournament. You are now the king. The toads then invade, kill your father, and decimate your kingdom. You are left to pick up the pieces.
Most soul-likes reach a point where they question why they are doing this. Why do I want to save a world which doesn’t want to be saved? I have a beautiful answer. Charm. Charm. All the adorable little rats are doing their best. Even the moles and toads in the last game have a certain charm. It was my heartfelt desire to save the world. This isn’t all that sells, however. It’s amazing how the writing balances funny and dark with great creativity.
There are a few issues that I can see people experiencing. It is very short. It took me 7.5 hours to reach 85%, which might be a problem for some. It’s a great thing, however. The problem with most RPGs is how they expand the game’s scope, which can lead to the player losing sight of their original goal. Tails of Iron offers a more focused experience without giving up the world-building that side quests may offer. Although the story could have been more profound and more consistent in tone, you will be able to experience the charm and creativity for yourself.
GAMEPLAY – RAT SOULS
Tails of Iron, as I mentioned before, is soul-like. All the usual suspects are there. These checkpoints are in the form of benches that not only save the game but also bring back the enemies. This flask, filled with bug juice, can replenish your health. Pattern learning fights with visual prompts that let you know what to expect. Yellow for parrying, red for dodging. There are light, heavy, and ranged attacks. You can also customize your build with enough equipment. Do you want to be a heavy armour rat and a spearman? You can do it.
Although it might seem dismissive, this is still a fun game. The attacks feel heavy, platforming works well and dodging is reliable. Although it can be challenging to unlock multiple foes, it is usually manageable. The introduction of two-handed weapons was a great addition. They can both break through barriers and protect you in combat. The problem is that combat is 90% of the game and never changes. There are tons of weapons available, but the real challenge is learning how to attack and patterns.
Some fights feel trivial later in the game. There are many enemies to choose from, including warrior toads, feral bugs, and others. There are moments when certain enemy types shouldn’t be present. It feels repetitive to fight the giant beetles in the final level if I have proven my ability to kill them repeatedly. Despite this, the game was fun. You won’t feel bored by the kill animations, and everything is designed to make you feel great. The “easy” difficulty is a little too easy, so I recommend normal or higher levels if you are looking for a challenge.
AUDIO AND VISUALS – REDEFINING RATTY
The “feel” of a video game is where Audio and Visual design shines. The almost fairytale-like aesthetic of ToI captured my attention. This aesthetic lends itself to darker moments, with its slightly grubby feel but magical charm. It significantly impacted gameplay by adding visual indicators to fight enemies with no health bars. Although it might seem low-tech, blood splatters and cuts appearing on players’ bodies are a great way to let them know they are close to winning. The visuals are great!
The audio also played a significant role in affecting combat. The music perfectly suits the game’s tone and adds weight to fighting with satisfying thunks, showings and sighs. However, there are some flaws. There are also faults. The speech bubble shows images, and the narrator gives details. This works well for the most part. However, some of the squeaks or squawks can be irritating. This is a minor issue, but it’s not significant.