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‘Adventure to Fate Lost Island’ Review – Get Lost For Hours In This Great RPG

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Ten years. Ten danged years. That’s how long it has been, minus a couple of months, since I reviewed the very first Adventure to Fate game, Quest to the Core. It was a game with a humble scope, but what it did it did well. While not without its share of rough edges, it was a compelling little turn-based RPG. When the time came for a full-on follow-up, Adventure to Fate: Quest to the Future cleaned up most of the issues I had with the original game. It’s been around eight years since that game came out, and while the series hasn’t been in the deep freeze the entire time (Adventure to Fate: Future Arena came out a few years back), we’re finally seeing another full-blown follow-up in the form of Adventure to Fate Lost Island ($4.99).

So what has changed? You know, not as much as you might think. We’ve got a whole new quest here, of course. Lots of new enemies to battle, lots of places to explore, lots of new loot to find, and plenty of interesting combinations of races, classes, and abilities to tinker around with. A big box of new toys, and new reasons to play with those toys. For many of us, that’s more than enough. Particularly given we don’t really see many games of this nature anymore. A single, reasonable, upfront price. No IAP. No ads. Pay your five bucks, enjoy your game. Ten years ago that was only a little uncommon. Today it feels as rare as hen’s teeth, especially for a mobile-exclusive release.

The story of the game, such as it is, is that you’ve crashed on some kind of weird island. You need to find four goobers to get off the island, and each of those goobers is located in a different location. You can’t just Uber over to them, either. Each of them is waiting at the end of a veritable dungeon’s worth of exploration and battling, and if that isn’t enough, they’re also protected by a bunch of dorks who won’t hand them over without a fight. Luckily, fighting is the one thing you’re really good at. Well, I hope you are, anyway. You’re going to be doing a lot of it.

Like in previous games, the exploration part of Adventure to Fate Lost Island is relatively trivial. There are secrets to find and objects to interact with, but the path to your goal is generally linear and merely requires you to move from bite-sized screen to bite-sized screen until you reach it. It’s not boring or anything, but you won’t need to worry about mapping things out or anything like that. Finding treasure is always a good time, and running into NPCs and objects like Weapon Forges keep things from getting too monotonous. Still, the meat of this game lies elsewhere and I think it’s well aware of that.

Battles! Turn-based battles! That’s what Adventure to Fate has always been about at its core, and that’s where all the magic happens. Broadly speaking, the appealing aspects of this series and this game come from three components. You’ll need to learn the ropes of all of them if you want to have a smoother ride through the game, though you can to an extent brute force your way through a good chunk of the game by grinding if you’re pig-headed about it. I strongly recommend not being pig-headed. The first Dragon Quest game is right over there if you’re looking for that kind of battle system. There are a lot of random encounters in this game, but there are also a lot of fixed ones and it’s those that will give you serious trouble if you try to power through. Anyway, those three bits you need to manage.

First, your character build. Each installment of the series has given the player different kinds of options to build their character with. Lost Island essentially gives you the kitchen sink experience. You get ten races, twelve classes, six crafting specialties, a couple dozen pets, plenty of gear slots and tons of cool gear to fill them with, and a massive number of skills that you’ll earn as you gain levels. It goes without saying when you have this many variables at play, balance goes out the window to an extent. But finding those broken builds is a big part of the fun, and there’s always something new to challenge yourself with if you’re seeking more thrills. You have lots of character slots you can make use of, and I recommend experimenting to see which ones fit your needs best.

Next, preparation. This has been a major part of Adventure to Fate right from the start, and it’s no less vital here. You can only use items and skills that you have equipped, and you’re generally tightly limited as to how many of each you can have available to you in combat. Items are mainly consumable, too. If you forget to refill your pockets after using what was in them before your next fight, you can easily get caught out. Bringing the right mix of skills to take on a tough battle can make a seemingly impossible situation more than manageable. You’ll also want to keep on eye on what gear you have equipped. Pure defense and attack might be the order of the day in most fights, but you’ll also want to take advantage of various special effects and resistances for certain encounters. You’ll also want to keep on top of your shopping, and of course manage your health and ability points as you make your way through each area.

Finally, execution. The battles in Adventure to Fate are turn-based affairs, with you and your pet on one side and up to three enemies on the other. You’ll have a limited amount of stamina points you can make use of on each turn to take actions with, and so will your pet. You take your turn, then the enemies take theirs. Continue until either they’re all dead or you are. And that does mean your character. Your pet can’t keep the fight going on its own. Do not let your health drop to zero or you’ll fall unconscious and wake up back at the start of the area. In a straight blow for blow fight, you will generally be at a disadvantage. You have to make a plan, use your skills as best as you can, and gain the upper hand with your strategy. Basic battles don’t drag on too long, but you’ll have to watch your ability points carefully when things go on longer.

Frankly, this game is incredibly deep in these respects. I’m probably making it sound like it’s complicated, but the reality is that it’s pretty easy to get started in this game. It doesn’t give you too many options at the start, allowing you to get used to the proverbial water before it starts gradually turning up the heat. The UI makes a lot of sense and is perfectly suited to mobile, too. Want something you can play one-handed in portrait mode? This game has you more than covered. Since it’s all about besting each battle, one by one, it’s easy to dip in and out of. Those linear dungeon designs mean that even if you have to take a long break between sessions, you won’t be lost. And the blessed game auto-saves constantly, so if you need to pop out at a moment’s notice you won’t lose much, if anything at all.

Presentation-wise, it’s all quite familiar. The Oryx sprites make a return, but they’re not only quite scarce these days but actually pretty nostalgic. The UI does its job and give you all the information you need while making it very easy to do what you want to do. The game also sports full VoiceOver support so that visually-impaired players can have just as much fun as everyone else. No, it’s not going to challenge Final Fantasy XVI in terms of its production values. But it gets across what it needs to, and there’s certainly a charm to its no-nonsense approach to the RPG genre.

If you’re an RPG fan who likes a good battle system or character customization systems, you’ll find a wealth of enjoyment in Adventure to Fate Lost Island. If you’re looking for an intricate story, hot graphics, or a fancy world to explore, this might not be your cup of tea. You could certainly levy the accusation at Lost Island that it perhaps doesn’t push its design in new directions enough when compared to its predecessor, but what might have felt like going to the well one too many times in 2018 instead comes across as rather refreshing in 2024. Easily worth the asking price, and a game that will do a nice job of filling the RPG lover’s time for hours upon end.

  • Adventure To Fate Lost Island

    Adventure To Fate aims to find a perfect balance between casual turn-based RPG gaming and a deep replayable strategy gam…
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