This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
Square Enix released Dragon Quest Tact, a free basic tactical RPG for Android and iOS, in Japan on July 16. This is the first strategy game in the Dragon Quest series, and it has been getting off to a good start, with 5 million downloads and its first sales ranking at number one.
It's not too late to get started, as the game is still running several events about a month after its release, and beginner missions are still present. So, in this article, we're going to give you a brief introduction to the game for those who haven't played it yet and give you an update on the current state of Dragon Quest Tact one month after its release.
A strategy RPG where special skills and attributes are the key to success
This game is from the Dragon Quest series, but it is a Dragon Quest Monsters type of game where the protagonist = the player is not a hero, but rather the role of the player who gives instructions to the monsters to fight them.
The gameplay is a typical smartphone RPG and strategy game with a stamina system. Players place up to 5 monsters on a grid-like map and aim to clear the stage by giving them instructions on how to move, attack, and special skills. The general flow of the game is to strengthen the monsters by using items obtained from stage clearing rewards while making friends with them as the adventure progresses.
In this game, you will play through the story as well as the tutorial, and since the various elements are carefully explained, even beginners to this type of game can play without worry. Another highlight of the game is the light storyline with a comical touch that is typical of Dragon Quest, set in a monster world where there are no humans, which is rare in the Dragon Quest series.
The key to clearing each stage is the party structure and abilities of the monsters. There are various types of abilities, including ranged and long-range attacks, attack and recovery spells, and more. Especially, the spells related to the attributes are important. The familiar Frizz, a fire attribute spell, and the Stormlord Slash, a physical technique with the attribute of lightning (ding) fall under this category, but the level of difficulty of the stage changes considerably depending on whether or not you can attack with the enemy's weakest attribute and whether or not you are not attacked by the target's weak point.
There is an indicator in this game called "Recommended Combat Strength" that can be used to compare your party's combat strength to the level of difficulty of a stage. If your party hits the enemy's weak points, you can often clear the stage easily even if you're on the edge of the recommended combat power, while if you challenge enemies with a party that has weaknesses attacked by enemies, even if you have reached the recommended fighting strength, you may end up getting wiped out. For this reason, I felt it was paramount to make sure to check the attributes of the enemy before the battle to make sure you have an advantageous party.
Also, as the difficulty of the stage increases, party synergy becomes more and more important. In this game, there are leader skills owned by monsters with high rarity that are effective when set as the leader of the party. Many leader skills increase the stats and power of certain allies, and building a party around them is the key to clearing difficult stages.
For example, if you make Kaiser Dragon, which has a leader attribute that increases the defensive power of allies' dragons in the range, as the leader and set your allies as dragons, you will be very strong against enemies that are mainly physical attacks, or if you make use of the leader characteristic of the Wight King, which increases the spell power of allies in the range, you can make a party of monsters that are good at spells. If your party is made up of monsters related to the leader trait, you can create a powerful synergy.
The difficulty level of this game is not that high at the moment, and basically you can get by by hitting enemies with their weakest attribute. However, if you don't have a useful monster on hand to hit your opponent's weak points, you'll need to place the monster initially, move accurately, use long-range attacks, and use auxiliary techniques to increase your allies' stats. Also, future updates may add higher difficulty stages to the game. Or, if you enjoy strategy games more in the tougher phases, you can dare to play attribute bound.
Any monster you train will not be wasted
Another key feature of this title is the game's training system. In addition to leveling up by using the experience value you get from clearing stages, you can strengthen monsters by using "Awakening Points" that you can get from scouts when the same monster appears, and "Rank Up" that you can use materials obtained by clearing stages.
You can also improve your status by strengthening or learning special skills, or by giving your character an equipment item or strengthening the equipment you gave your character. There are dedicated quests for obtaining materials and equipment, so if you're stuck in the storyline, you'll have to go around these to strengthen your monsters.
Most smartphone strategy games are mostly about raising strong characters and developing them to get by, and it's often a waste of time to raise low-ranked characters. In fact, this title's story mode is similar in that if you line up strong characters of high rarity with specific synergies, they are strong.
However, this title has content called "Master Ranks" and "Battle Roads" that make sense for the development of monsters other than the highest rank. With Master Rank, monsters of each lineage, such as Slime and Dragon, are strengthened when their total level reaches a certain level, and thanks to this system, leveling up low-rare monsters is not wasted.
Battle Roads are only open to certain monsters, giving more than just the highest-ranked monsters a chance to perform. Battle Roads do not consume stamina, and the leveling up of each lineage is a great way to increase your master rank.
After playing this game I found it to be a very "exemplary" game, for better or worse.
The graphics are very pretty and the tutorial is excellent, just as it is for the Dragon Quest series. Also, as mentioned above, the attention to detail, such as the system that allows even lower-ranked characters to take an active role, is a positive aspect of the game.
On the other hand, the basic game system is very orthodox, and I felt that it is a point of disagreement. Of course, the monsters are appealing and memorable for players of the past series, and the "long-established flavor" of the gameplay is the essence of Dragon Quest.
On the downside, this title doesn't yet have a PvP mode implemented, so I found it difficult to maintain the motivation to launch the game once you've completed the storyline delivered or made it to the end of a beginner mission. The PvP mode is scheduled to be implemented, so I'm hoping it will make an appearance sooner rather than later.
Also, it's just my personal opinion, but I found it frustrating that even though the maximum speed of the auto-game mode, "super fast", is only unlocked by paying for it, you can't try it out. Of course, the game is fun enough to enjoy even if you don't pay for it, and I'm sure many readers don't mind... In case you actually pay for the game, the "super fast" is really super fast. If you've been playing this game for a long time, please try to experience "super fast".
Anyway, Dracula Tact is a stable and enjoyable tactical RPG that lives up to the name of a major IP, so if you're curious, give it a try.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.