Aika Reviews: Tales of Androgyny
Hey all! Over time I'm going to do a few reviews of other games I've played. While it's way more likely I'm going to review the games I've liked to the ones I haven't, I'm planning to make the reviews honest and provide consturctive criticism where I think they have room for improvement. So without further ado, let's begin...
Get the game here: https://majalis.itch.io/tales-of-androgyny
If you like fembois, you must have heard of Majalis. In fact I bet many or most of you are already aware of the fact that for the last year or two they've been focusing on their game Tales of Androgyny, a rogue-light game where 95% of the cast has a big butt and a big dick. As with nearly everything Western nowadays, it's Patreon funded with a freemium model, so you get most of the stuff for free and if you want the newest, shiniest stuff then you need to pledge.
ToA takes the player on a procedurally generated adventure filled with combat encounters versus a variety of enemies that invariably want to use the hero (called Hiro) as a cum recepticle. You control Hiro and need to manage your hunger, health and so on as you explore. Most of the NPCs are not human but some kind of monstergirl (with additional penis).
It has all the normal things you'd expect from this sort of game - equipment, stats, classes, spells, items and so on. But what sets ToA apart from other XXX dungeon crawlers is that, just like TQ, the sex is not only in cutscenes but also part of the game mechanics. You can get boned in the middle of a fight and depending on how much Hiro has grown to love bum fun, or the taste of cum, or so on, certain encounters can become more challenging as Hiro's resolve weakens. This works perfectly in tandem with the stance-based combat system that can see you on your knees, on the floor or even airborne on any particular turn. Being on your knees is good for recovering fatigue and defending but might result in your mouth getting filled with a "meat sandwich".
Of course, there's another thing that sets ToA above the heads of most competitors, which is that it's not only got Maj (the writer / coder) but also Alis (the artist). Her ability to draw sexy feminine characters with giant butts is nigh-unparalleled and all the graphics and art and animations in the game are hand-drawn by her. So it all looks incredible. They are a couple in real life and so are in pretty much every sense the Dream Team.
I don't want to bore you with a massive wall of text when you can just play the game yourself for free, so, onto scoring! Since the game is free-to-play, the review score does not knock off points for a lack of content just because the game is in an incomplete state.
- Writing: 8/10. Maj writes like a professional novelist and manages to add a surprising amount of humour for something that is so sexy. Many cutscenes are about ten times as long as I'd expect which is always a treat. However I can't give it a top score because while the text flavour is great, there's not enough variation depending on gamestate. It doesn't feel like the sex scenes change depending on how your character feels and so on. This is the same reason I tired of Corruption of Champions.
- Visuals: 10/10. Alis is one of my favourite artists of all time and I love nothing more than a giant butt. I have literally zero complaints about her work!
- Gameplay: 7.5/10. Don't get me wrong - when you see other reviews I do you'll realise 7.5 is a very high score. I have a very high expectation when it comes to the game actually being fun. ToA offers a lot - some strategic diversity, lots of classes, and the merging of the Ero with the game mechanics itself. But it still suffers from many of the common problems of an H-game - not very well balanced, and it rarely makes strategic sense to take the slut option.
- Replayability: 6.5/10. This is something very important to me. How much do I want to play the game again and again over time? Generally the thing that makes this the case is a mix of randomly / procedurally generated content and strategic diversity. ToA has a bit of both of these, so why only 6.5? Well first remember that 6.5 means that I think it does it better than 65% of competitors. But yes, I do have reasons. Firstly I think it's because the text doesn't vary much. So after you've read it once, it can gradually become stale to re-read the same stuff over and over. Secondly, the decisions don't feel that meaningful. You just need one good plan for what you're going to do in every single combat (e.g. "I'm going to jump then faling strike then defend then recover then loop") and you rarely need to break from that plan, and it just either works or doesn't. Except for that, you soon learn that (apart from a few) most decisions you are given have a 'good' option and a 'bad' option. So after playing a few times, you rarely have a tough decision to make because you know which is the bad option, given your current level and stats.
- User Experience: 8.5/10. By this I mean "how annoying is it to play the game?" ToA doesn't have many shortfalls here, since you can use the mouse or keyboard, and the controls are basic. However there are a couple of things I'd like to see improved. I'd like it to be more clear what the effect of certain status effects are. What does it mean if I am an anal addict? What do I need to consider differently in the future when making decisions now that I am? And so on. Secondly, there's a number of ways in ToA to suddenly hit an instant Game Over. This personally for me doesn't feel very fulfilling - I don't want to have to start a new character in the middle of a play session. But hey, I'm sure others like it.
- Overall: 8.5/10. One of the best Ero-games out there. There are many things it does better than TQ, especially when it comes to user experience, mainly because Maj is a more experienced developer than me and Alis is one of the best hentai artists in the West. Where it could become even better in my eyes, is in replayability. But I am aware that Majalis currently intend to eventually call ToA 'complete' and then begin creating its spritual successor, rather than continuing to work on the same single game for a very long time. Which is fair enough!
So, now it's time for your say. Have you played the game? What do you agree or disagree with me on? Please comment below!