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Android App Video Review: Inotia 3: Children of Carnia

by Andrew Koziara

Inotia 3: Children of Carnia, developed by Com2Us, is a classic style JRPG designed for mobile devices, and it works quite well. The graphics and gameplay are great, and the story is pretty well done, even if it's full of JRPG tropes and clichés.

The game puts you in the shoes of Lucio and Ameli, two children from the village of Carnia who are about to have their bar mitzvah. During their ceremonial quest, they come across a dying orc with some magic gauntlets, and everything just spirals out of control from here. You both take the gauntlets and venture forth to find a safe place for them, since some bad dudes are trying to get their hands on them. To make things more interesting, you'll get some visions of the future, with a bad-ass adult Lucio and the things going on with him. This is a classic coming of age story full of tropes. Children killing wolves and woolly mammoths with ease, somehow smacking around corporeal wind creatures, and then there's the dwarf they call Colon. Also, Lucio's face is perpetually frozen to look like he had just walked in on his parents in the act. It's all great fun though.

You start the game out by picking one of six classes for Lucio, all across the typical RPG class spectrum. The best way I can describe the gamplay is a mixture of World of Warcraft with old school Final Fantasy. The monsters just roam around the maps and you walk around fighting them. You have an all-purpose interact/basic attack button as well as several abilities. Your abilities have cool downs, you have a limited amount of space in your bags, etc. But it's all put on an old school JRPG 2D grid. You can switch between your three party members with a simple tap if you'd rather focus on healing or whatever. As you fight and complete quests, monsters drop gold and items for you. For some reason all the monsters in the early game seem to be carrying Link's hat from Legend of Zelda. As you gain experience and level up, you'll unlock new abilities. The game seems very well balanced in this regard. You never feel like you have to excessively grind levels to continue, and plenty of potions and resurrection scrolls can get you through the tougher fights.

As you unlock new abilities, you can assign them to one of the several hotkey slots. It's really annoying to rearrange your hotkey attacks, which I imagine will only get worse as you near the end game. Still, the upgrading system is decent. After you get past two skills, make sure to be cautious with your mana use. You'll find yourself running low if you just spam all your abilities. Throughout the game, you'll get several opportunities to hire mercenary party members, which can be switched out whenever your party members die or become otherwise unavailable, which reminds me... I love how you carry your dead teammates in your bag until they can be revived, and they only takes a single bag slot. You can upgrade and equip mercs just like your normal party members. I like that the armor and accessories actually show up on your characters in this game. It's a nice touch.

The game isn't perfect. The movement controls can feel unresponsive at times. The dialogue and menu progression feels slow and laggy a lot of the time. I recommend lowering the graphics settings for a smoother game. I didn't even notice a difference in the graphics anyway. The game can be very glitchy and buggy, and it froze on me a handful of times. Luckily, the auto-save feature saved me from losing any real progress. The game has good music and great colorful sprites and animations. It's definitely a quality title, which is also completely free. As you move between areas in the game, you will be hit with full screen advertisements very frequently. It can get annoying, but it's not so bad. You can make an in-app-purchase of three dollars to eliminate the ads, which is basically like buying the full version of the game, I suppose. I recommend playing for free if you can tolerate the ads though. Check this great RPG out.

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