A Tale Of Survival is an open world RPG developed by Dynamic Zero. The premise is to survive for as long as you can by gathering food and objects to craft weapons/armor. Standard objectives in what strikes me as a substandard game.
What A Tale Of Survival gains in its character creation, affordability (only $0.99), and charming 16-bit art-style, it loses in its uncomfortable controls, shoddy fighting mechanics, unhelpful game tips, and overwhelming feeling of pointlessness.
A Tale Of Survival opens with a menu that allows you to customize your character. Some games skimp on this part—allowing only minimal customization until you unlock more. However, I was pleased to see that A Tale Of Survival gives you a good amount to start with. You can be a human, a skeleton, an orc, or an elf and each option includes a variety of skin tones. You can also customize your eye color, type of ears, type of nose, and hairstyle. And as an added bonus, Dynamic Zero allows you to choose your world size (Small, Medium, or Large). I found this to be a refreshing take on the typical easy, medium, hard set-up we are used to as gamers. It is also worth nothing that a play can have up to 3 different character files. While A Tale Of Survival didn’t inspire me to play for very long, I can see the world size option and multiple files increasing the play value for anyone who does get into the gameplay.
The controls of the game include touching the screen to pick up objects or hit enemies. As well as opening up a sidebar menu to eat food you’ve gathered or use objects to craft weapons. I found it really difficult to select exactly what I wanted because the menu was so small, even for my tiny hand. By pressing on the left-hand side of the screen the player can make a joystick appear, this is how you move around the world. What I really appreciated was the environment A Tale Of Survival takes place in. The ghosts that appear during nightfall are by far my favorite part of the game. But the sloppiness that comes with combat (done by tapping the screen) frustrated me to no end. And, though perhaps it was a glitch, I was able to walk on water for short periods of time before becoming only partially submerged. It was an awkward experience.
Upon launching your world, the game gives you the option to have “in-game tips.” I took A Tale Of Survival up on this offer but was sorely disappointed. The in-game tips were really basic and unhelpful. I was told to “touch objects to pick them up” but was left with little to no instructions when it came to crafting weaponry and armor. During my first nightfall the game mentioned that starting a fire would save my character from freezing to death but failed to give me any instructions on how to start that fire.
In the end, my character was wandering around, eating apples, crafting basic weaponry and quickly losing feeling in their limbs. And all I could think of is, what’s the point? What’s my motivation to play this game? There’s not really an end… it’s just how long you can survive. A Tale Of Survival taught me life is a challenge that can be cut short at any time. And with that being said, life is too short to spend any of it playing A Tale Of Survival.