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iPad  header logo

Tales of the Adventure Company

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone, Windows Phone

Pretty good company

Product: Tales of the Adventure Company | Publisher: Slothwerks | Developer: Slothwerks | Format: iPad | Genre: Puzzle, RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Tales of the Adventure Company iPad, thumbnail 1
There's a barbarian hiding somewhere in this block-covered desert, and I could do with his help. My rogue is battered and beaten, my mage can't take another hit, and my knight is just a gravestone.

I tap a block to clear it out, but there's nothing underneath. I tap another at random. There's a bulbous eye staring back at me, a tomb watcher, the sort of monster that would wipe out my party in its weakened state.

I don't have to fight it, but every block I clear costs a move, and I've only got a finite number of them to get through the 7 levels of the Egypt-themed dungeon I'm fighting through.

I try another tap and there he is, all shaggy pixelated overcoat and spiky hat. His image at the top of the screen shows me the shape he'll be in, a collection of unique squares. I clear them out and he's all mine. Now I can whomp the tomb watcher.

Short tales

Tales of the Adventure Company is basically a single-player Battleships roguelike. You're given a set of characters and set out through a series of grid-based levels to try and knock out a boss.

You clear out the grid with taps, revealing creatures, extra party members, exits, and healing camp fires as you do. Sometimes your tap won't reveal anything, but it still takes a move away from you.

The exits remain locked until you've killed the monster that's holding the key, and it's never obvious which of the beasts has it. Sometimes the first thing you kill will drop it, sometimes the last.

Once you've uncovered one monster you have a pretty good idea where the rest of the blocks that make it up reside, making it easier to find out whether any of the cadre of beasts was holding the key.

Different monsters have different special abilities, and you can find out more about units by tapping on them when you're in a fight.

Block busters

The scraps are simple numbers battles. Your heroes have attack ratings and health bars, so do your foes, and you tap and hack until one of you is dead.

Some monsters are stronger when more of their party has been revealed, some do nasty lumps of damage when they die, or do more damage to weakened heroes.

Your heroes have special moves as well. You can select one as your leader, and this has different effects on the gameplay.

Mages do damage to all revealed creatures when they kill something, wizards heal your weakest party member one HP for every square you explore, and the knight bashes down enemy's attack stats.

That added depth, mixed with the move constraints, makes you think about every square selection. Is it worth resting at the camp fire you just revealed, and giving up ten turns, or should you tap on and hope you reveal a new hero?

Monster patterns

Sometimes the end comes too quickly, and sometimes the random nature of play dumps a series of dull levels on you one after the other, but these are pretty minor complaints.

As casual roguelikes go, Tales of the Adventure Company is as light as they come without tossing aside all the trappings that make the genre so enjoyable.

It's still random, it's still cruel, and the simple tapping rhythm ensures you're snared in for another go.

It might not have the weight of some of the heftier examples of the genre, but there's enough here to see you through a few bus journeys, or waste a night or two on the sofa.
Tales of the Adventure Company
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 5 June 2014
A tap-happy roguelike with a puzzling core and a surprising depth, Tales of the Adventure Company is well worth a look
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