Egglia: Legend of the Redcap
Publisher: DMM Games
Platform: Android (Reviewed), iOS
Release Date: November 8th, 2017
Square’s Legend of Mana was an amazing RPG, despite the flack it got from some die-hard fans of Secret of Mana because it changed up the experience a bit. While the predecessor Mana title was more of a “traditional” Japanese RPG in a more standard world, Legend of Mana had you literally rebuilding a destroyed world, area by area. What’s more, each area had its own characters, stories, monsters, and stuff to discover. When I learned key staff from the Mana series were working on Egglia, I had to give it a try.
Egglia has some really fantastic art that directly hearkens back to the Mana series, and for a good reason. The game’s creator and art director, Shinichi Kameoka, is most famous for his work on the imagery and production art in the Mana series. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into another Mana game, specifically latter games like Legend of Mana.
Character art and textures are a wonderful blend of cel-shaded, anime-like quality – all of which are married under a 3D style that presents a cohesive, cute, but ultimately fun presentation. I really can’t find anything wrong or misplaced, everything looks wonderfully designed and like something you’d see in a quality console RPG, making this mobile RPG easily outshine others.
Animations are dopey and silly looking, but they once again match the overall whimsical look and feel of the entire game. This is an RPG meant to come off as relaxing and yet not settle for a cookie cutter visual style. The game really does shine and even backgrounds look wonderful via art from Koji Tsuda, also known for his work on the Mana series.
The main adventuring you’ll be doing in Egglia will be in various levels populated in the “Niebel egg” worlds that you can unlock. Just like in its spiritual predecessor, Legend of Mana, you’ll be slowly rebuilding the world by acquiring new fragments of the old world and unlocking them on a grid-like world map.
One of my biggest gripes with the game is that while you level up and can improve your character(s), the movement and combat in the game are both reliant on RNG. You literally roll a single die and pending whatever number you land, that’s the number of moves and/or attacks you can do per turn. If you run out of turns on a map, you lose. If you keep getting unlucky, deal with it.
You can improve the relationships with friends that can accompany you into the field, as well as strengthen spirits. Depending on which friends and spirits you bring with you on an adventure, you’ll get better materials and stat bonuses from your journey. As you recruit more people and tame more spirits, your town hub will grow and prosper.
Since this is a paid game, you’d expect it to not have any timers on things like free-to-play mobile or browser games have. Unfortunately, there are cooldown timers on a variety of things ranging from growing things in your town to how often you can take companions out on adventures. There’s also the mandatory internet connection, but that’s somewhat common on mobile games.
The soundtrack in Egglia was composed by Yoko Shimomura, and it really further cements the feeling that you’re in a cute and magical world. Overall tracks are well met to the environments you go through or match different scenes whether they’re serious or goofy. There’s a lot of variety in the score but it does mostly follow a central style that feels like something from the Mana series.
I will say that the soundtrack in this game doesn’t quite compare to what you’d hear in Legend of Mana, and while it’s not fair to compare two very different games designed for two very different markets, I kind of wish this game took more risks in its musical themes. It’s a great soundtrack overall, but it’s clear the budget wasn’t big enough for a real meaty musical score.
As I previously mentioned, the game is very much inspired by Legend of Mana and even its story takes pages from its spiritual predecessor. Your goal is to revive the Kingdom of Egglia following an apocalypse that sealed away the land into those eggs. The protagonist, a “redcap” goblin, mysteriously falls from the sky and loses his horns and presumably his murderous nature.
You quickly get picked up by an elven girl named Robin and her fairy companion Marigold, and the silliness ensues. You meet new characters in the different levels, each of which having their own personality, stats (if they’re full companions), and manner of talking. The translation and the script overall comes off well, despite it being insanely derpy and full of puns at times.
I feel like the game has something of an identity crisis, because it has lots of good content that is sometimes behind red tape. Overall Egglia: Legend of the Redcap feels like a very comfy version of Legend of Mana that mostly provides a good experience but is held back a bit from how it was adapted to mobile devices and on-the-go type gameplay.
I had fun with the game expanding the main town, customizing my house, recruiting more companions and spirits, all the while populating more of the game world by hatching those eggs. This is a solidly built RPG that was crammed into a mobile format, for better or for worse. It’ll be fun to play on your commutes and such, and provides a fun JRPG experience on the go.
Egglia: Legend of the Redcap was reviewed on Android using a review copy received from DMM Games. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.
The Verdict: 8
- Vibrant and lush visuals and art style
- Excellent soundtrack, by Yoko Shimomura
- Fun RPG mechanics crammed into a mobile format
- Despite being paid, there are still timers on things
- Mandatory internet connection
- Random factor in combat / damage due to RNG