With ex-Square Enix employees riding on the back of this little mobile JRPG, one would have high expectations of Egglia: Legend of the Redcap.Thankfully, the game exceeds mine wonderfully. 

Despite being a mobile game (and a paid one at that), Egglia has a chockful of fun gameplay features. It almost feels like you're playing an SNES title. With a storybook-like aesthetic and soundtrack that reminds me fondly of Final Fantasy IX, Egglia is definitely an ode to classic RPGS.

The game's protagonist is a goblin named Chabo, who mysteriously wakes up in a small town in Egglia. It is here where he meets a faerie and an elf who bring him up to speed on the current state of the world. Egglia was once a lush land inhabited by all kinds of races. However, destruction befell the kingdom as a race of ogres invaded. To preserve it, sections of Egglia were magically sealed away in eggs.

As it turns out, Chabo is the only one who can crack these eggs open. Hunting these eggs becomes your main goal as you strive to bring Egglia back to its former glory.

Each egg contains a particular section of the world which becomes explorable once you hatch it. Every piece of land you unlock contains stages. These levels contain enemies to slay, trees to cut down for resources, and treasure chests which can be used to expand the little town you stayed in (more on that later).

Conventional RPG combat mechanics would have you running around until a random monster appears, but Egglia employs something different.

In what I feel is the game's weakest feature, Egglia uses a turn-based combat and movement system with a hexagon grid spread across the floor of each stage. The number of steps you take is determined by a die roll. Evidently, this also controls how much damage you can inflict.

Chalk it up to personal preference, but I dislike a battle system that relies purely on a random number generator. Although this system is commonly used in tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons, it doesn't always translate well into video games. Despite Egglia's leveling system that adds points to specific attributes, you still have to hope that your die lands on the highest number possible.

Though you can revisit stages to level up and gather resources, replayability isn't a big feature. While replaying stages to get more items is nice, they would be more fun to play if they were randomly generated. As it stands, levels have a set amount of enemies and items that can always be found in the same location.

On the flip side, one of Egglia's strongest points is its likeable cast of characters. Each has his or her own quirk: you've got an incredibly stuck up pixie, a faerie who's addicted to gambling, gremlin sisters vying for world domination through capitalism, and so on.

Each new character brings a different dynamic and seeing them interact with one another is entertaining to watch. They may seem like your stereotypical RPG personas, but a witty dialogue or two will have you thinking otherwise soon enough.

To put further emphasis on the characters, a Harvest Moon/Stardew Valley-esque mechanic is employed where you can raise your friendship level with a character by giving him gifts or bringing him along on side quests. This gives you the chance to know each character's story and interests. As an added bonus, improving your friendship with characters will either unlock additional side quests or reward you with uncommon items.

These characters eventually settle in the same town Chabo found himself in. Naturally, the town expands as more people come in. This makes developing the town your secondary goal. You can build houses for the town's inhabitants upon their request. Chabo himself is also awarded his own home, which you can decorate and fill up with furniture.

The last big feature of the game is the ability to collect and use Spirits. These are like the summons in the Final Fantasy franchise which aid you in battle with magic attacks. Three sections of the town are dedicated to capturing, developing, and evolving them. There are over 140 Spirits in the game; so if you're a completionist who likes to collect monsters, then this is a nice addition.

Apart from the lackluster combat system, the biggest downside I have with Egglia is that it requires an internet connection to play. Though this feature allows you to visit other players' homes and gift them with items, there should be an option to turn it off.

Internet connection and RNG battle system set aside, Egglia is a more than decent mobile RPG that places its charming characters and rich lore at the core of its gameplay philosophy. If you're willing to invest on premium mobile games that require time and effort, this is one title you should place high on your list.

About the author: Stef Atega

GameGulp's current overlord. Stef is obsessed with cats and anything horror. She also likes shounen anime and Japanese food but refuses to be called a "weeaboo". She believes in the power of indie games.

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