Egglia Rebirth is a surprisingly dense game. The more I played, the more things began to fall into place. What I initially felt was just a mobile title ported to the Nintendo Switch quickly became a more in-depth and interesting turn-based RPG. While there are some of the signature marks of a game originally released for mobile devices, the quality of the gameplay genuinely surprised me. Gacha mechanics are present, but mostly in the form of recruiting Spirits. (These are the helpful creatures that can assist you in battle.) There are, of course, features that require a bit of patience as well.
For example, players can collect rare materials to level up or evolve their Spirits through plant and rock cultivation. However, obtaining these items takes time. Quite literally. You will need to wait for a certain amount of real-world time to pass after planting your rocks and various root vegetables. Sometimes it can take upwards of two hours to yield a harvest, which is mostly fine.
Egglia Rebirth is a game that encourages you to pick it up and play at your leisure. It was hard to accept that, especially since the kinds of mobile games I’ve played in the past don’t reward players for putting the game down for extended periods of time. After accepting that, I could just walk away from the game for a bit and come back to it later. Which meant I felt a lot better about Egglia Rebirth. Speed-up items are available, but I never felt inclined to use them for this reason.
It reminded me that productivity doesn’t always mean that you have to be active. Which is something I generally don’t expect from video games. Especially when you have something that was originally intended for mobile devices suddenly appear on a console. At worst, I expected Egglia Rebirth to have some sort of baked-in monetization. But considering the game was purchase-to-play on Android and iOS devices, I was pleasantly surprised it didn’t. Instead, players are tasked with grinding out materials to summon Spirits, expand their village, or to fulfill villager requests.
All of these tasks seem simple enough, but are fairly layered. By expanding your village, or rather improving the quality of life for your residence, the player character becomes more powerful. Players can do this by accepting quests from the individual villagers you will recruit through story progression. Sometimes they’ll be looking for an item you can obtain through specific maps, or maybe they want you to upgrade their house. In some cases, they will also ask for furniture. This gives players a lot to do, as grinding out materials to fulfill these requests can sometimes take longer than expected. That is largely due to the randomness of acquiring materials in vast quantities.
However, players can increase their chances of receiving certain types of materials by taking certain villagers onto the field with them. They more or less play a passive role as you explore, harvest, and take down enemies through the various maps. For example, taking Brown will yield a chance to receive more than a handful of different types of materials. Bringing a villager like the ore-eating Paru increases the chance to receive various ores during an excursion. Players will also need to keep in mind how much energy each of these guest characters expend. Don’t worry though. The characters will definitely let you know when they’re tired, as they will almost always be talking during a mission. And while players will have access to a shop that will unlock through story progression, gathering materials yourself is a better method.
Gameplay is relegated divided between fulfilling villager requests, and taking to the field and clearing out areas. What surprised me most about Egglia Rebirth was its combat system. Players navigate maps through a grid-based system. Movement is reliant on dice rolls. While it adds a certain level of randomness to it and makes Egglia Rebirth feel somewhat unique, this system can be a chore. If you are stuck with small dice rolls, sometimes completing a map can take longer than necessary. And maps must be completed within a certain amount of turns. This means that you will sometimes need to revisit areas to gain all completion rewards. That said, harder versions of these maps become available once you finish them. The difficulty really ramps up in these harder maps.
I found myself needing to grind before taking on a harder version of an earlier map. Which felt somewhat frustrating, since I would need to allocate time elsewhere to actually gain the stats to progress and harvest materials I needed to complete villager requests. It wasn’t something that ultimately stopped me from progressing, but it definitely had me put the game down quite a few times. Which ultimately wasn’t a detriment, since the passive mechanics in the game rewarded me for coming back when I felt like continuing.
The visuals and music in Egglia Rebirth are also quite nice. The character designs are interesting and provide a kind of flavor that I haven’t seen in most modern JRPGs in quite some time. They’re not afraid to be bold and sometimes ugly. Which I really appreciate, as it creates an interesting kind of variety. The music, while fairly limited in terms of selection, is also very pleasant. The only song I ended up growing tired of was the main hub theme. As it would start a new loop after every cutscene or when entering and leaving certain areas.
However, one thing I felt Egglia Rebirth lacked were general quality of life features. While players can look at items they need for crafting materials or requests, these are sometimes buried deep in menus. Not to mention the game lacks a proper skip function. This means players cannot skip cutscenes, which I felt was somewhat irksome.
Ultimately, Egglia Rebirth is a really fun game. It feels more like an indie JRPG than it does a mobile tile, which works in the Switch version’s favor. Players who spend a lot of time with it will potentially feel rewarded by its systems. Though, if you’re someone who wants to make the most out of their time, you might feel frustrated with how slow the game can be sometimes. That said, it’s an interesting title that feels standout in comparison to most modern releases. Overall, Egglia Rebirth is a game that rewards players with patience, and will surprise some with its layered mechanics.
Egglia Rebirth will release in North America and Europe for Nintendo Switch on February 10, 2022. It is immediately available in Japan.