STAFF REVIEW of RevErsi Quest (Xbox One)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016.
by Adam Dileva

RevErsi Quest Box art I’ve loved Reversi since I was a kid, I just never realized that’s what I was playing. I grew up with Othello, a ‘practically the same game’ experience save for a trademarked name and some very minor differences. Othello on NES was one of the few games that was at Grandma’s house when I would visit, so I became quite good at it and have loved it ever since. Many other people may recognize Reversi, but under the Othello name, but for the most part it’s essentially the same game.

If you’re unfamiliar with Reversi, it’s traditionally played on a 8x8 board with small discs that are dark on one side and light on the other (usually black and white). The game begins with a preset pattern, equal to both players, and you place your colored sided disc down beside the opponents opposite color, thus flipping them to your color if it surrounds theirs horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. You take turns going until you successfully flip all of the opponent’s discs to your color, or fill the game board completely. It’s a very simple premise, but there’s a tremendous amount of strategy involved.

RevErsi Quest for the Xbox One takes the traditional board game to a whole new level by adding in its own twists and layering a hefty RPG element on top. Complete with a story mode, a map to conquer, items to obtain, gold to loot and more, RevErsi Quest will surprise you with its depth and challenge. Even well over dozens of hours in, I’m still grinding away, learning how to properly use some of the units and items to their full potential.

There’s an overarching story to RevErsi Quest, one that revolves around two kingdoms fighting over the landmass they share. You’re simply someone from an outside realm and play an important part of trying to bring peace to the land once again. It’s honestly a little bit of a convoluted story, but it’s much more than I was expecting from a board game based title. You’ll continue playing to level up your character, gain new loot, and unlock special items.

You begin by choosing your character, male or female, and are shown an overworld map of the area you’ll need to battle on (stages if you will). Once you choose a stage you’re then whisked to another board game-like setting where you’ll roll dice to determine how many spaces you can move. Your goal is to reach the end of said stage to take out the boss, but doing so won’t be as simple as it sounds. Like any RPG you have health and mana points that are used, and can be refilled in various ways, in battle. In the beginning it will be quite straight forward and simple, but once you unlock more dice, items, and find secret paths, it becomes much more involved to reach each successive boss.

As you roll the dice you’ll land on specific stops on the map, some putting you into battle to earn such things as a new unit for more battles, items, healing, stores to purchase items, and more. If you land on a battle square you’ll see your opponent’s stats and you can determine if you should challenge them or not. You’re going to eventually have to uncover each block, as you’ll learn quite quickly that you’re going to need to grind for a while to progress in the latter stages if you want any hope of surviving. Plus, getting battle experience in is always a good thing as it takes some time to get some solid strategies formulated, especially when you start to plan 2, 3, and even more moves ahead.

Once you enter combat this is where the game plays most like Reversi. Instead of simple discs with two colors there are actual individual pieces, almost like chess, where each type has its own attributes, strengths, and weaknesses. I tend to favor a more aggressive strategy, so I loaded my army up with more attack units. These are the ones that deal damage to the opponent whenever you ‘flip’ their pieces by surrounding them.

There are healing units, mana gaining units, and a handful of others that I’m still learning how to use properly as I continue playing. If you can get your opponents health down to 0 you win the match, which is why I favor this more aggressive style. Don’t be fooled though, as you’ll need to also utilize healers and more since there’s a maximum cap on how many of each type you can have in your deck at a given time.

When it’s your turn, clicking on one of your units will show you not only each spot on the board where they can be placed, but where they can use their special abilities as well. White squares will simply flip the adjacent opponent’s pieces, where red will cause damage, green for healing, and so on. This is extremely handy as it can get quite confusing with an almost full board, but you’re given all the damage, healing, and other information by clicking on a tile before you confirm your action.

When you’re successful in battle you will gain experience points, eventually leveling up giving you better stats and a higher cap for pieces in your hand. If you lose you’ll have to replay the fight again, so there’s no massive downfall to losing aside from your time. It takes a certain amount of HP to enter a battle, and winning those battles will refill a portion of your lost HP. It’s an intricate system, but nothing that can’t be circumvented by a little bit of grinding.

Once you land on a square and win, you’ll gain that item or unit. The next time you replay the stage, that square will be blank, allowing you to progress further on the board without any HP loss for having to initiate battles. So, all you need to do is simply grind for a while to ‘win’ all of the board stops, then cruise your way to the boss if you were unable to do so beforehand. You’ll want to reply stages a handful of times again anyways, as new stages that are unlocked after beating a boss can only be played when the previous board has a certain percentage of it unlocked. Also, new stages are very tough in the beginning, so you’re going to want to grind some XP, units, and all ranks of items as well.

While I focus more on physical attacks, magic based strategies are certainly viable as well. You can unlock new spells as you progress, allowing you to utilize your saved up mana (by using the specific units) to cast powerful spells to heal you, damage the enemy, and even other events like powering up one of your units or completely randomizing the units on the playfield.

Items will also play a vital role to your strategies, as some give bonuses to HP, mana, damage, guard rate, and even more. There are multiple ranks of each item as well, which can easily be grinded out by replying stages; another reason to do so. You can equip 2 items, allowing you to buff up your primary stats, or make up for what you lack in. It’s completely up to you and will play a big role in your play style.

At its core, RevErsi Quest is classic Reversi with a layered and intricate RPG element on top, but there’s more to it than that. A deep strategy game is made even more in depth, and even though you’ll be forced to grind to progress, I’m still really enjoying myself, even after dozens of hours, as I’m still unlocking new units and finding new tactics to earn my wins.

While I loved the game as a whole, there are a few minor issues that need to be noted. First is the fact that everything is chosen with a cursor, so your Left Stick acts as the mouse. It’s slow and awkward and it actually took me a few hours to realize that I needed to hold the A button down while I dragged the cursor up to scroll down my item list once I had quite a few. It feels clumsy and isn’t as accurate as it should be.

There’s also very little explanations given outside of the beginning tutorials. Sure, when you encounter a new unit or special board piece it will give a brief outline of it, but after that you’re on your own to figure out anything else or best practices. A much more in depth explanation of not only units, but items as well, would go a long way to ease the learning curve. There’s still stats on the weapons that I have no idea what they mean. This brings us to the final minor issue with RevErsi Quest. While I couldn’t figure out a few things in game, I decided to use the built in Help Menu that accompanies any Xbox One game. While it does have some information, it’s as if Google Translate was used, and not very accurately. It’s not completely broken English, but there’s a lot that doesn’t make sense or is worded incorrectly. I still don’t know some of the weapon stats, but I’m slightly more confused after trying to use the Help feature.

Even with its minor faults, RevErsi Quest is an incredibly in-depth strategy game with many layers and intricacies. If you love Othello or Reversi in its traditional form, check this one out, as the RPG take on the classic is very well done and fits very well with the core strategies while adding many new ones.

Overall: 8.5 / 10
Gameplay: 9.5 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10


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