As authors of Implosion: Never Lose Hope and Voez, in particular, the Rayark team has already shown that they have numbers and are able to bring curated titles and excellent production values on mobile platforms. Sdorica - Sunset is perhaps one of the most ambitious projects seen so far by the team, presenting itself as a real RPG that includes puzzle elements in the combat system and a complex mechanics of management of the characters and their evolutions that borders on the gacha with micro-transactions, even if it must be pointed out that it does absolutely nothing to force us to spend money. The premise is something very classic but the story is carried on in an interesting way: in a world where humans have decided to sacrifice their immortality for a precarious life but free from the dominion of the Sdorica dragon, there is still someone who maneuvers into the darkness to return to the old regime and awaken the mighty creature to return eternal life with the ancient status quo.
The setting halfway between the classic fantasy and the fairy tale with typically Japanese tones is illustrated with care and a very particular style that recalls the Vanillaware productions, above all thanks to well-drawn characters and never too banal dialogues. Of course this is not a particularly original story, but the way in which it is told helps to rhythm it and make it perfectly digestible, being a game that focuses above all on something else, namely the fight and the evolution of the characters. While the first is based on a very intuitive puzzle-style system, apparently too simplistic but with a minimum of strategic construct, the second element is probably the most profound and complex, in some respects even a bit cumbersome.
Action and evolution
The combat system is structured in turn as in the classic JRPG, but to unleash blows and spells (attack and support) we are faced with a sort of puzzle based on the association of colors: acting on two parallel lines, visible below of the battlefield, we must associate various "gems" by color by forming pairs or "squares" for more effective shots, with each color corresponding to the action of a particular party character. It is an extremely intuitive and dynamic system, perhaps even too simple due to the presence of only two lines and types of combinations, but which still requires a certain strategic approach in calculating which spaces to free to trigger more powerful shots and select which enemy to strike to anticipate the counter moves by opponents. The relative simplicity of the combat system is counterbalanced by a rather complex character management, which is also replaced by a stratified micro-transactions system that requires a certain study, fortunately all well explained by an exhaustive progressive tutorial. The game offers a large amount of content between the story-supported main quest and side missions, some of these proposals on a daily basis and particularly generous as rewards (but obviously present in smaller quantities, imposing the wait between one day and another) and others more suitable for grinding by offering short and less demanding challenges, in addition to quests linked to the stories of the individual characters that help shed light on every aspect of the complex game world.
It should be noted that there is no energy bar that forces you to wait or to forced purchases to be able to move forward: in the end the micro-transactions come into play only to more simply obtain upgrades for the characters or some specific fighters through the system. of gacha, but the developers have done a great job of keeping these aspects apart from the standard progression of the game, so it is possible to advance without even considering purchases other than to support the team. Simply, the expectations depend on the different availability of the missions that are "richest" in rewards, many of which are offered on a daily basis and therefore run out within a few hours for each day, but we are far from the more Machiavellian mechanisms seen in this area. The progression system is based on several parallel lines for which there is an experience level linked to the player who advances in each fight and others corresponding to each individual character of the party. Considering that the amount of fighters is constantly increasing, the use of Soul Energy (with which to raise the level of a single character) and Resonance (which allows you to enhance the characters by also bringing out new skills) becomes of fundamental importance and requires an accurate management of resources, or the eventual recourse to purchase. Beyond the story, however excellently scripted also thanks to the wonderful graphic design and the interlude sequences in Japanese anime style, it is precisely in this complex management of the party, which leads to the pure collecting of characters, the main engine of Sdorica: Sunset.
CommentTested version Android, iPad 1.1.2 Digital Delivery App Store, Google Play Price Free Resources4Gaming.com
Sdorica: Sunset is basically just another of the many RPGs with hybrid elements between puzzle game and "gacha" set on the collection and management of characters who are having great success in this period on mobile platforms, but it is really made with great care and gifted of a specific identity which makes it superior to many other similar titles. The story is not the maximum of originality but it is well written and presented with a truly remarkable style both as regards the graphics and the audio accompaniment, with the Japanese taste to which Rayark has now accustomed us, and the free-to system. -play proves honest even in the long term. The battle system via puzzle takes some time to get going, always remaining rather simplistic, but if you have the predisposition for the collection and obsessive management of characters (which are well characterized at different levels), then this is probably one of the best titles that can be found currently in circulation.
- Lots of content between history and side missions
- Deep character management
- Nice to see and hear
- Slightly simplistic puzzle combat system
- Not very interesting story
- The gacha dynamics emerge predominantly in the long run