In January of this year, Aldorlea Games brought us Undefeated¸ an RPG adventure tale with a classic 16-bit look. Now it has arrived on Android to entertain us on the go. But does it hit the mark?
Right away the familiar graphics and dynamic music of an old school RPG catch your attention. Personally I was reminded of Pokemon and Legend of Zelda between the look and the sound of the game. The characters themselves have fully drawn busts when their dialogue appears, allowing the player to visualize their actions better.
For your main party you play as Marcus and his new companions, Bastion and Fela. Each have their own personality and quirks. (My favorite so far is Bastion because he’s a huge foodie and would rather use his axe to cut onions than enemies). They are new conscripts for their kingdom charged with protecting the people from dangerous animals, huge insects and even dangerous plant-life. But as the story evolves they discover a few key things that could prove dangerous to those they are protecting.
Moving the characters in their medieval world is best described as “occasionally frustrating”. It is understandable that to make the view large enough on a phone that it had to take up the full screen, which makes the “d-pad” and “A and B” buttons sit directly on your playing area. However it becomes a bit annoying when you need to go somewhere towards the edge of the screen and your own fingers block you from seeing. The directional buttons are also very touchy as I found myself repeatedly passing by the small trail between trees I need to go down or getting caught in a corner between a store and a stray dog. You can move the buttons around your screen by dragging them but it can only help so much.
At the start of the game they are charged with finding a trinket deep in the baddie-infested forest to bring back to their captain. (Have to break in ye old noobs somehow.) This is the “tutorial” mission and I use that term loosely as there are small notebooks that have the tutorials in them but you may choose to ignore them if you wish and just use your gamer’s instinct to play.
Depending on your choices from the beginning of the game, you could have visible or invisible enemies. I chose visible to see what it would look like. In the first forest, it looks as if I would be fighting a ton of tiny black ghosts. Beware to those who are looking to avoid a fight! Just like Joey the Youngster, once their eyes lock onto you, they will chase you until the ends of the earth. So be prepared to fight or attempt to run once they’ve caught up to you. Once I was caught, I found myself in a round with two large, green jelly looking fauna of some sort. Later on? A Jello mold again along with a HUGE spider (thanks, game). The enemies on-screen are quite detailed; impressive for an Android game.
The fighting sequence itself follows the pattern of any RPG; will you fight? Run? Would you like to attack or use a special? Do you have a spell? Perhaps an item is called for. Maybe you should consider guarding. All the usual commands found in any similar game, which makes Undefeated very easy to get into and start gaining some experience for the characters to level up. As expected, when they level up, they learn new skills and spells they can use in battle. It is a tried-and-true system that will never get old.
A bit about this particular app that I’m finding interesting is just how much of a true game it is. With about 30 hours of gameplay, it demands as much attention and care as a game on a normal handheld or console. From the beginning it recommends talking to everyone you see, even animals. As an RPG fan, I’m usually very ready to do that, but as the game is on my phone and I’m most likely playing just during a break at work, I don’t have the time to talk to every single person I come across or any dog that comes sniffing around. However I know plenty of people who would love to dive right into it full force and speak to anyone and everyone in search of items, quests and fun dialogue.
Undefeated definitely promises to be a quick favorite on Android as a lot of RPG heroes will no-doubt download it and drain their batteries on the storyline and familiar feel of the fighting system in their hands. And as long as they aren’t turned off by the touchy controls, I predict Aldorlea Games will have an on-the-go hit under their belts. Go Android adventurers! Fight all the things and rescue your people!