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Android App Video Review: ADVENA

by Andrew Koziara

Advena is the latest role-playing game from Gamevil. It’s a cross between a side-scrolling beat-em up and a classic KRPG, like Zenonia. It has a very basic and horribly translated story, but it also has Gamevil’s patented pixel art style, great music, and action-packed combat mechanics that barely resemble an RPG at all. It also pushes in-app purchases, as all these titles do these days, but overall it’s fun and worth a download.

You play as a simple warrior with a power-crazy brother who I’m willing to bet a million dollars is being controlled or possessed by some greater evil force. You are foretold to come along and save everyone from all the bad things and stuff. I did not care for the trite story set-up, and the erroneous grammar and spelling mistakes definitely don’t help preserve the immersion, although it could get better down the line. What I really liked about this game was the gameplay.

Rather than giving us an isometric or top down view, the game is viewed from a side-scrolling perspective like a classic arcade beat-em up. Rather than control one character, you get to play alongside two other fighters and can switch between them at any time on the fly. The game is less focused on spells and abilities and more on using the virtual d-pad controls to juggle enemies and avoid power attacks. While I had fun with it overall, it’s all very chaotic and hard to follow. You use abilities and team attacks, but with several enemies and three party members going nuts with their weapons, it’s easy get distracted, and the game becomes more of a button masher. Plenty of classic KRPG mechanics also make an appearance, from stat leveling and skills to equipment and inventory management. There is also an online mode featuring player versus player, player versus environment, and special raid modes.

Another flaw is in the pushy in-app purchases. The difficulty is often a bit too high for your current level, even when you do all the side-quests. This means you’ll probably die or have to grind out a lot to win. The fact that you can’t control your team mates makes this very frustrating. In order to revive your team without taking big penalties, you’ll have to pay real money for special items. It’s essentially the exact same in-app purchase system as Zenonia 4. Regular health recovery potions are also very expensive, and the app clearly just wants you to buy stuff. Overall, I enjoyed the game. It’s not worth spending money on the in-app purchases, but the fast paced and chaotic combat can be fun and the pixel art is vibrant and colorful. The app is completely free, after all, and definitely worth playing for a good while.

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