Developer: Brownies Inc.
Publisher: Brownies Inc.
Platform: Nintendo Switch (version reviewed), Android, iOS
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 10/2/22
A code was provided for review purposes
I’m often wary of titles that have started their lives off on mobile devices. Quite often these games offer simple, repetitive gameplay that never quite shakes off the shackles that comes with mobile gaming. While there are plenty of truly horrendous mobile ports on the market (I’m looking at you Afterpulse!), there are a few diamonds in the rough. One such title aiming to be a cut above the rest is EGGLIA Rebirth. And when it comes to the development team, Brownies have quite the RPG history behind them!
But is this rich history enough to make EGGLIA Rebirth worth playing?
The development team behind EGGLIA Rebirth is made up of former members of Brownie Brown Co. Ltd (now known as 1-Up Studio). Founded by Kameoka Shinichi, whose time at Square Soft (Square Enix) saw him work on the Mana series, Brownie Brown was soon brought under Nintendo’s umbrella as a subsidiary studio. This restructuring saw Shinichi and a few members of the team leave and subsequently form a new development studio; Brownies.
While 1-Up Studio moved on to create popular Switch titles such as Super Mario Odyssey and the recent Super Mario 3D World + Bowsers Fury, Brownies created the mobile title; EGGLIA: Legend of the Redcap. Now a few years later, EGGLIA: Legend of the Redcap has been rebranded into the title we now have before us.
The narrative behind EGGLIA Rebirth revolves around Chabo, a Redcap Goblin who happens to fall out of the sky into the land of Egglia. As a Redcap Goblin, Chabo is feared by everyone he meets due to the Goblin’s penchant for evil. However, Chabo is different as he seems to be missing his signature horns, and he’s also suffering from amnesia. To unlock his memories, Chabo soon teams up with a varied group of characters who all work together in rebuilding their settlement whilst simultaneously finding mysterious eggs that contain parts of the world.
The story itself is nothing too “extravagant” and is played out over various bite-sized chapters. The main bulk of the narrative focuses on hatching eggs to restore Egglia’s missing regions. Along the way you’ll run into a variety of characters who’ll often need some sort of help, then it’s back to collecting eggs, and so forth. While the story is fairly forgettable it’s made somewhat memorable by its cast of cute – and often – crazy characters. I won’t ruin who (or what) you’ll meet, but there are a few who leave a long-lasting impression!
Much like other titles with a mobile background, EGGLIA Rebirth is a very simple game to play. The main gameplay element sees you venturing across various hexagonal-grid landscapes to reach the end before you run out of turns. At every turn, you’ll roll a pair of dice which allocates your action points for that turn. This then affects how many spaces you can move, as well as how much damage you do to enemies and even harvesting crafting materials.
There’s not a great deal that you’ll be able to affect whilst you’re out in the world. Encounters are mainly RNG based, and as such every dice roll is random. This does make combat a little bit hit and miss as you’ll quite often string together a batch of bad dice rolls which will see even the simplest of enemies get the better of you. Encounters are also played out automatically which requires zero input from the player. This does make combat feel very cheap and unrewarding as the background numbers do the work for you. Whilst later on in the game you have the ability to slightly affect this by equipping a few spells, it’s still all about the numbers.
This general gameplay loop can also become a bit of a grind over longer sessions. You’ll often be repeating the same few areas in the hope of farming materials (more on this later), or just passing time.
When you’re not venturing through hatched locations, you’ll be at home helping to expand your village. It’s here where the characters you’ve encountered gather and get you to fulfil various fetch quests. These quests vary from having to find certain amounts of materials, to defeating different enemies. They’re not particularly taxing, but do get a little monotonous as the main adventure rumbles on. Completion of these quests is then used to build homes and other amenities for these characters which offer a light level of customisation.
Every time you help out one of your friends you’ll raise your relationship with them. Once your relationship is high enough, you’re then able to take the character out into the world with you. What each character does is different to the next, but they allow you to gain extra resources during that level. Who you choose to journey with you is also dependent on that character’s stamina. If you’ve utilised their talents a little too much, then they become fatigued which means they’ll need a few hours of rest before being selectable again. This process does take place in real-time, but can be sped up by using a pretty rare resource.
When it comes to presentation, EGGLIA Rebirth is pretty pleasing. Everything feels like it’s been plucked straight out of a PS1 title, with plenty of squashed sprites and colourful artwork. Character models are also a pleasure to look at with each having an impressive amount of detail to them. Naturally, the game does look better whilst played in handheld mode, but even docked mode manages to keep everything in proportion. The soundtrack is also well balanced with plenty of chirpy tones which match the word you’re adventuring through.
Before I wrap this review up it’s also worth mentioning that EGGLIA Rebirth has a few mechanics that feature a real-time function. This is mainly prevalent when it comes to villagers’ stamina, upgrading your spirits, and a few things around your village. Whilst these timers do naturally diminish on their own, their inclusion is a stark reminder of the game’s mobile roots.
While it’s not quite managed to shake off its mobile roots, EGGLIA Rebirth is still a fairly fun RPG. Its gameplay offers a fast and simple way to jump straight in without any over cluttered mechanics. While the gameplay loop can feel a bit of a grind at times, those who persevere will find a wealth of content with plenty of quests to discover.
Rapid Reviews Rating
3 out of 5
EGGLIA Rebirth is available now and can be purchased via the Nintendo Switch eShop by clicking here
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.