Review of Gamevil’s latest retro-style RPG for Android called Advena

This last week, one of my favorite game publishers were very generous to us. Gamevil released not one, but two retro-style RPG games. Being a Gamevil fan and lover of retro RPG, it seemed quite fitting for me to review at least one of them. So here we go.

Title: Advena | Developer: Gamevil | Genre: RPG | Players: 1 + multiplayer | Version: 1.0.0 | Size: 20 MB | Price: Free |

Advena is the game I chose, mostly because it was released first and almost has Xperia Play controls. I’ve been reliably informed play controls will be fixed in the next update. Here’s the play store details:

Two kingdoms lived peacefully in the land of Peradin: the magic users of the Nabe Alliance, and the common folk of Tems. But one day a Sacred Tree lying between their borders was found mysteriously desecrated. The two sides blamed each other, eventually leading to all out war.

Nabe struck first, but Tems was quick to answer. The forces of Nabe soon collapsed under the might of Tems, driving the Nabe King to seek the prophesized savior. And as foretold, a stranger from another world appeared in Nabe territory, with great powers and mystifying origins…

Advena is a 2D side scrolling RPG with a twist. It almost feels like a multiplayer game as there are several characters on screen at the same time, but the twist is, you control them all! You can freely switch between each character simply by tapping their icon at the top of the screen, or currently if you have Xperia Play and are reading this before the control update, simply press Up on the D-pad. The characters you are not controlling at the time take on AI controls which they seem to cope quite well with, however, I have noticed that during longer battles, the AI seems to like using your stock of potions quite needlessly. Keep an eye on your supplies folks!

The user interface is quite simple but with 3 or more under your control it can look a bit busy as it’s often hard to keep up with the action. The on-screen controls are pretty easy too, usual D-pad on the left and action buttons on the right. I’ve not played too far into it due to my busy schedule, so can’t really comment on the story too much, but being brutally honest, it hasn’t quite got my attention like the original Zenonia did.

Graphically the game does look good, not fantastic as you can imagine from a 2D side-scroller, but you can easily tell who’s who when in a big scrap. The animations seem above average too. That’s the Gamevil polish right there. The one big problem I do have with the graphics is also a slight story problem. Early in the game there is a sequence in which your enemy is stunned and you run away. Zenon, the big bad guy, recovers and “can’t find you ” yet you are clearly visible at the side of the screen completely motionless. If that happens throughout the game it would seriously detract from the experience I’m used to with Gamevil RPGs.

If the story implies you can’t be found, at least move the character off the screen completely, or behind a bush at the very least (nudge nudge Gamevil, we know you read these). Audio…. Well, let’s just say within 10 minutes of release I was asking Gamevil for the opening theme as a ringtone. The retro style visuals and gameplay extend to the audio too with very cool 8-bit sounding music. It made me feel 5 years old again.

In terms of gameplay, it does feel more like a button masher than anything else, as most of the work is done by a single button. A little disappointing but still it makes bus journeys less boring as you can pay the driver while still hammering the attack button.

That’s all I can really say about it at the moment as I’ve only done about 10 quests but no doubt as I do more I’ll either review again, or add to this review.  So to summarize, a good game with reasonable story, fantastic music and a few graphical annoyances. Also it doesn’t seem to be fully translated from Korean to English.

Final Score: 4/5, sadly its a low 4, plenty of room for improvement

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