Man, I love this game. It is a charming gorgeous 2D RPG with, and dare I say, souls like gameplay and difficulty. Yes, this is an easy recommendation, get Tails of Iron. Hmm, I think this is a first for me, recommending a game at the start of the review, as I usually do that at the end… it should really tell you that I absolutely loved this game.
Oh, you want to read the full review now? OK.
So all was fine and dandy in the Rat Kingdom. But everything changed when the Frog Nation attacked. The rat army decimated, the rat castle and village destroyed, the Rat King murdered and the young prince Redgi is left for dead. But Redgi doesn’t die and vows revenge against the frogs…
As you might have guessed, in Tails of Iron you are Redgi, and for the next seven hours, you will rebuild your kingdom brick by brick, help your fellow loyal rats, slain all sorts of frogs and other creatures, become the next Rat King and finally get your sweet revenge against the Frog Nation.
You will travel and explore a beautiful world that changes as you progress through the story and complete the different main and side quests. This is an aspect of the game that I absolutely enjoyed as the world changed, it got better as a result of my actions. For example, the village after the frog assault was destroyed, but as I completed the quests, the buildings got restored, shops reopened and the rats got back to their normal lives.
This journey of revenge takes Redgi into some weird and unexpected places that expand the world even more and come as a surprise not only for Redgi, but also you, the player, cause it’s unexpected and so fricking cool. I don’t want to spoil things, but be prepared to fight against WWE legend “Hulk Molgan”.
Yes, combat, it’s good. Now, of course, it is not Hollow Knight's level of great, no game has reached that level of perfection IMO, but as I said it’s quite good. In Tails of Iron, you can’t really brute force encounters meaning that you can’t just spam the attack button and win. You can try, but you will quickly well, die. Even the most basic of enemies can and will pose a challenge. Again, even though the game does not consider itself “souls-like”, its gameplay is more souls-like than most of the games that plaster those words all over their marketing hoping to sell copies to fans of the genre.
You need to pay attention in combat, learn the enemy attack patterns, and time your attacks if you want to succeed. And as with all true souls like games, do not get greedy. Otherwise, you will die, a lot of times, as you can see me fail a lot of times against the final boss as I was trying to rush through the fight in the video below.
Two quick light attacks or a charged heavy attack and retreat. Shoot a couple of arrows, dodge roll, and incoming attack and go in for a combo of light attacks and back off. Retreat and drink some beer or ale or whatever that yellow liquid is to restore some of your health. Shield up. Parry an incoming attack, poison up your blade, hammer, ax, spear, whatever you are using, and execute a couple of heavy attacks while the enemy is stunned for some big damage. Always consider your timing. Rinse and repeat. That’s what makes a souls-like game fun and engaging and Tails of Iron perfectly executes all of this.
You will die, a lot of times, especially during boss fights, in which there are quite a few of them, but that’s ok. You will start to see and understand their patterns, see the different ticks they make before a specific attack, see where their attacks will land and how big their area of effect are. Then you will murder their ass and the execution animation for the bosses are all quite charming to see cause you know, you are a rat donning a full armor set equipped with a sword or an ax or a spear or Thor’s hammer for god’s sake.
The more you play, the more bosses you slay, the more you explore and find hidden chests, the more types of armor, helmets, and weapons you will find or unlock. And there are a lot of weapons to find, collect and try to see what fits best to your style. But don’t worry, as there are no numbers filled scary-looking UI menus where you need a Master's degree in Mathematics to understand how these numbers will affect your build. Nope, nothing like that in Tails of Iron. Instead, you will only see if an item affects the overall defense or attack power, the total weight where more weight slows you down. Armor can also have specific defense buffs against a specific type of enemy, be that frogs, grubs, mosquitoes, and zombie rats… yes zombie rats.
I absolutely love Tails of Iron. It has great combat, exciting and tough boss encounters, and an ever-evolving world with a gorgeous hand-painted art style and some lovely character animations. It is an absolute blast from start to the 7th hour it took me to platinum it. I am not even joking, it’s a GOTY contender for me. Get Tails of Iron. Thanks for reading.
A PS5 review code was provided for this review by the publisher. Tails of Iron is now available on Playstation, Xbox, PC and Switch.