Developer: Odd Bug Studio
Publisher: United Label
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Switch, XBox One, XBox Serise X, PC
Reviewed On: PS4 Pro
Release Date: 17/09/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
I have always had a bit of a soft sport for rats, yes they get a bad rep, but they are so cute and loveable. So when Tails of Iron was announced I had to get it to review. It was better than I expected, even if it is a little rough around the edges.
You take on the role of Redgi, the heir to the Rat Throne. After beating his old and larger brother in single combat. It quickly becomes Redgi’s job to repair the desolated Kingdom after the United Frog Tibes destroy it. And their leader, Greenwart kills the king.
The story is told by both the rats and a narrator. The rats will show picture bubbles with images that show what is happening, all the while sounding like the Clangers. with the narrator adding context and feeling to the overall story. Not to mention the narrator is Doug ‘Geralt’ Cockle.
The core gameplay element is the hard soul-like action that will see Redgi blocking, parrying and attacking. Then, like all good rats
retreating to drink up to heal. While the attacks from enemies are very well telegraphed, there is plenty of room for error. White attacks can be blocked, red attacks need dodged and yellow need to be parried. One on one fight. These attacks are fairly easy to deal with, it gets are more difficult when extra bugs/frogs are added in to the fray.
In all good action games, there has to be good bosses. Tails of Iron deliver these in all shapes and sizes. Each with their own unique attacks and move sets. Not to mention their own animated kill sequence. Bosses are, of course, a challenge, so death is a high possibility. Luckily, rest beaches are always close to these encounters.
Something Seems Off
The combat has a one or two slight flaws. The main being these damned frogs don’t know what hit boxes are. Redgi gets hit when clearly he was nowhere near an attack. This happened to me a lot, and I died so many times when I shouldn’t have. Also, a few enemies here and there are definitely been getting steroids, as some will take an age to kill and some die by looking at them. The balance is off a little.
RPG, Rat Style
The RPG element is not the traditional level up system, it is instead all in the amour, weapons and good wholesome meals. Redgi can buy new outfits that will augment his stats, as well as give a defence boots so certain races, ie Frogs. Amour comes in three styles: light, medium and heavy. With light giving the most agility and heavy giving the most defence.
Weapons can be found on bosses, bought or made by the weapon smith. Each with their own style shield, swords, axe, spear and ranged. Redgi can carry a one handed weapon, a two-handed weapon, a ranged and also a shield.
While out and about saving the Kingdom, Redgi will find rare food items. Taking these back to the chief will allow Redgi to have a delightful meal and have his health improved.
I have to say Tails of Iron is just a simply stunning game, from start to finish. With beautiful 2D landscapes and engaging lighting make for some outstanding and mood setting art work. Mix in some fantastic sound and music quality, then you have something truly special to enjoy.
Overall, despite the few problems had while playing Tails of Iron, the game is fantastically done and has had a lot of effort put in to it. It fails to truly find its own feet except in the art department. But as the old saying goes, don’t fix it if it’s not broken.
I definitely recommend Tails of Iron, for any souls-like fan or rat fan.