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Adrian’s Tale Review

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Growing up and exploring the big, wide world is an important milestone in anyone’s life. The scale of this can vary depending on age and the person themselves, from building a den in the nearby woods to setting off around the globe with only a backpack for company.

It’s this thirst for adventure that has inspired countless developers, indeed even Shigeru Miyamoto has said it played a part in the inception of The Legend of Zelda. I can immediately see parallels with Adrian’s Tale. This role playing adventure game reminds me very much of the early adventures of Nintendo’s green capped hero, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Adrians Tale review 1
A new Zelda-ry adventure

You play as the titular adventurer, who is on the hunt for his town’s missing animals which have seemingly disappeared overnight. Adrian’s village is the first area to explore, and before long you’ll nab yourself a map. This gives you a pretty clear outline of each area, along with points of interest that will progress the story. Although rather oddly I don’t remember actually saving any animals. Anyhow, it’s on here where several of the dungeons will be marked too. These are pretty simple when it comes to the puzzling elements, but are well executed and fun to play on the whole. You may also run into a boss character who will offer a little extra challenge too.

The bog standard enemies can be vanquished using Adrian’s sword, or bombs and other weapons as you unlock them. The combat is basic, but happens in real time, and ammo can be purchased from merchants in each area. These will also sell apples and other wares to help recover health lost in battle.

Boss characters can take more damage, and will have basic move sets that you will need to study, and then choose the right time to strike. Before heading into dungeons, I would advise stocking up on ammo and health just in case. If you get your timings right, the combat in Adrian’s Tale won’t pose any real challenge. Your progress is saved when you enter a new area, so doing this by design will reduce any progress lost if you do die. 

Adrians Tale review 2
Getting a big dark

However, there are a few occasions when figuring out the way forward can be something of a head scratcher. You’ll need to test those memory skills at times when thinking how to use certain items, but thankfully the environments aren’t too densely packed so tracking back is usually pretty straightforward. 

There are some secrets to be found off the beaten track, but for the most part you’ll be busy progressing with the task at hand, there’s very little else to do in Adrian’s Tale. Yes sometimes you won’t be able to proceed without specific items, so making a mental note of where to head back to is also a good idea. It would have been handy to have the ability to mark your map for this purpose, as not all points of interest are automatically highlighted.

That’s not to say that there aren’t any original ideas here. One such example is Karma, the fairy who appears if you deal any damage to the animals dotted around town. The mythical creature will quickly appear, resembling Mario if he was about to hit Canal Street to put on a show, and zap you by way of punishment. Moments like this are a good example of the sense of humour used in Adrian’s Tale, it’s not a game that takes itself too seriously.

Adrians Tale review 3
Chilly

Visually speaking Adrian’s Tale adopts a cutesy cell shaded style, very reminiscent of the remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. Being honest, Adrian looks more than a little like Link, and he can use his sword to cut grass and find hidden items just like the famous adventurer. Unfortunately, the soundtrack to Adrian’s Tale isn’t as memorable and becomes repetitive, a little annoying before long.

The game may hold similarities with many others of its ilk, but it can stand independently as a charming, but limited little adventure of its own. It’s a journey you may well have been on before. Adrian’s Tale is an ideal entry point for young gamers looking to branch out into the role playing adventure space. However, given that the game has been developed by one person (Badri Bebua) and is self published too, it’s not a bad effort at all. 

Adrian’s Tale is an average (if not charming) adventure, but there’s nothing here that most players won’t have seen before.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Attractive visuals
  • Simple but enjoyable dungeons
  • Charming tone
Cons:
  • Gameplay is very familiar
  • Basic combat
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Badri Bebua
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One (review)
  • Release date and price -2 February 2024 | £12.49
Darren Edwards
Darren Edwards
I have been playing games since a very early age, thanks to my Dad's encouragement. I've been an Xbox gamer since the very beginning, the Master Chief is to thank for that. I'm also a big Nintendo geek, and my other half is a PlayStation nut. I'll play pretty much anything in any genre (although FIFA and COD maybe pushing it).
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Attractive visuals</li> <li>Simple but enjoyable dungeons</li> <li>Charming tone</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Gameplay is very familiar</li> <li>Basic combat</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Badri Bebua</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One (review) <li>Release date and price -2 February 2024 | £12.49</li> </ul>Adrian’s Tale Review
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