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EGGLIA: Rebirth is a Simple Turn-Based RPG That's Held Back By Its Mobile Roots

EGGLIA: Rebirth is a Deep Turn-Based RPG That's Held Back By Its Mobile Roots

The studio behind EGGLIA: Rebirth has an interesting history. It started as a studio called Brownie Brown, and it was responsible for the release of games like Fantasy Life. However, after Nintendo took over, its founder Shinichi Kameoka, who had previously worked on games in the Mana series, left and started a new studio called Brownies. Though I have no fondness for games like Legend of Mana, I do have great respect for them and what they mean for the gaming industry as a whole. Keep that in mind as you read my thoughts on EGGLIA: Rebirth because while I appreciate the art style of EGGLIA, it doesn't come with the nostalgia that it may have for other players who grew up playing games in the genre. For me, when I approached EGGLIA: Rebirth, I was more focused on how the game has been translated to the Nintendo Switch from its mobile counterpart.

In EGGLIA: Rebirth you play as Chabo, a redcap who falls onto the world with broken horns and is soon tasked with finding eggs that contain parts of the old world. Without diving too deep into the backstory, Egglia is a richly diverse world occupied with lots of different races, but after the great war, chunks of the world, and the people in it, have been trapped in eggs that only Chabo can open. Thus begins your journey to hatch more of the world and build up the only town in all the land.

The odd thing about EGGLIA is that I am not quite sure who the target audience is. The game has the boings and dings of a children's show soundtrack while having writing that seems to be a bit more suggestive than I would have expected. Don't get me wrong, I definitely chuckled during some of the more interesting exchanges, like a whole quest where some characters dramatically speak in quack quacks, and I do appreciate the self-aware nature of the writing that seemed to make fun of genre tropes. However, at the end of the day, while I learned the names of the numerous characters, I never found myself too attached to any of them. On top of that, I never found the dialogue choice system to be too dynamic with one choice I made early in the game pretty much neglected in continuity.

EGGLIA: Rebirth Story

There are two main elements to EGGLIA's gameplay. The first is in the town, where you can freely walk up and down its short length, talk to characters, interact with objects, and grow things necessary to power up your spirits. The other is the turn-based combat which has you rolling dice and progressing across the stages until you clear them. Both have their complexities, while not being too overcomplicated for newcomers like myself. The town is small and there's not much to explore, even as the town starts to grow. You can interact with any of the characters to gift them an item, give them a requested item, or start on a new quest, but other than that it's just a small area in the woods. You can also build, expand, and decorate all the houses, including your own, and while I wasn't too interested in those features personally, I think fans of Animal Crossing might find it more interesting. In the late game, more town upgrades will be made available and for players who love to grind for the aesthetic, there is great value packed into EGGLIA: Rebirth.

The other half of EGGLIA's gameplay is combat, which also comes paired with party management. You can charge into the field alone, but having up to three spirits and up to two friends with you will greatly impact your odds of survival and the acquired loot. Once you step foot on the hexagonal grid, you can only move and attack with dice rolls. This requires a bit of forethought to pick your best course of action when moving through a stage and in some of the more sprawling levels of the late game it can be quite challenging. This was the most engaging part of the game for me. I enjoyed the responsibility of picking who to take with me on my adventure and plotting out a course after entering a new area. Each stage also has optional objectives to complete that encourage replayability. However, even they only negate the repetitiveness for a short while.

Before I move on from the note of gameplay, I do really want to emphasize just how open the game is to new players. I really am not good at games in this genre and in the past, I have found them intimidating to enter. However, EGGLIA is full of handy tips that help guide you in the right direction. When you want to expand your house, for example, you need to acquire a few different materials for that to happen. If you click "Y" on a given item, the game will show you all the places on the map where that particular item can be found. And if you ever skip or miss (or simply want to revisit for some reason) dialogue, the game even has a backlog of all previous conversations and cutscenes for you to watch again.

EGGLIA: Rebirth on Nintendo Switch

EGGLIA retains much of the elements that are in its mobile release. This is primarily seen in the waiting mechanics that are baked into the game. Want seeds to sprout to level up your spirits? Have to wait for them to grow. Want to go on another action-filled adventure? Have to wait for your teammates to recover. As you play the game, you'll get used to seeing timers that can range anywhere from ten minutes to two hours. Perhaps the biggest learning curve when it comes to EGGLIA is actually not any of the turn-based combat mechanics, but learning to wait between stages.

These wait times are pretty common in free-to-play mobile games that want to encourage players to buy items that reduce the wait. However, what's confusing is that EGGLIA was never free-to-play. It originally hit mobile storefronts with a price tag of $10. On the plus side, the waiting mechanics are not too aggressive and if you want to play the game in bite-sized chunks, returning to it occasionally as you go through your day, you might not even care about them.

Then there are the visuals. With such notable names as Shinichi Kameoka, who is the director and character designer on EGGLIA, and Koji Tsuda, who created the backgrounds, behind the game, there are clearly going to be fans of this style. Playing on my Nintendo Switch Lite, I really liked the simple but vibrant art on display. Even in the early hours, when the town is half-finished and NPCs wander aimlessly, the game had a strong style that it showcases proudly in all aspects of its design. The music, from composers Yoko Shimomura and Yoshitaka Hirota, matches the tone of the writing, but the aforementioned wacky children's cartoon sound effects that back up the score are more distracting than effective.

In the end, EGGLIA: Rebirth is a simple turn-based RPG that is inviting to players who might not have a firm grasp of the genre. The game also has a lot of town-building mechanics for players who want to put in a lot of time to build out a town to their heart's content. However, due to elements of the game that remain unchanged from its mobile release, it will mean you have to space out your time with the game so as to avoid its numerous waiting mechanics. It may sound like I am critical of the game, but the truth is, I had a good time with it. I don't know how memorable I will find the game as we continue through this year, but over the last few days, I found myself frequently reaching for my Switch when I have some free time to run through a stage. If you think this sounds like a game you'd enjoy, EGGLIA: Rebirth is out now Nintendo Switch. A code was provided by the publisher for review.

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