Tale Seeker is advertised as a puzzle card game using RPG elements, but really it’s just a random hodgepodge of different freemium elements that in no way mesh or make sense together. There’s no cohesive storyline, and nothing you do matters. This is easily the worst video game I’ve ever played (and I’m a professional game critic who’s played a LOT of crappy games).
Stolen Characters That Don’t Matter
First off, ignore anything about this being a card game and a puzzle game. Yes, there are “cards” and character leveling systems similar to WWE Immortals, Tekken Card Tournament, and other mobile fighting games you’re used to playing.
Tale Seeker’s cards, however, don’t do anything – they mean absolutely nothing, and leveling them in no way affects the battles. It’s simply a video game mechanic added to a game as a way to encourage freemium purchases.
While Sway advertises an evolution system reminiscent of Pokemon or Pocket Mortys, there’s no incentive to level anything because a) the “monsters” aren’t relatable, b) it doesn’t matter what team you bring with you on a quest, and c) nothing in the gameplay is in any way attached to the characters you bring with you.
All you’re doing by leveling characters and building a team is changing the barely animated animations happening above your tiny game board.
Tale Seekers does its best to make you care about leveling cards by mixing and matching whatever public IP it could find (characters are stolen from Alice in Wonderland, different cultural mythologies, and wherever else the developer could harvest free characters from), but there’s literally no point to it.
A Card Puzzle RPG That Does Nothing Well
Since the card and RPG elements of this game in no way affect the outcome, I can only assume Sway Mobile, Inc. and FunFun Studios only added them at the last minute to take advantage of the popularity of real role-playing card games like Hearthstone, Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic: The Gathering.
The real focus of the game is on the 4×4 puzzle grid which contains icons less detailed than your average text emoji. This tiny grid is a fraction the size of game boards you’ll see in garbage freemium games like Candy Crush, making this less than garbage.
Despite the smaller grid, even the gameplay manages to disappoint, proving not all things in small packages are good things. Instead of the rock-paper-scissor dynamic every RPG player is aware of, Tale Seeker uses a poker-style system, presumably because it’s the easiest thing to program.
Like poker, you can just pick any amount of random icons to form a pair, and then add random junk up to the maximum of 5 selected tiles. It’s the equivalent of playing Scrabble and counting “Pieqq” since “Pie” is a real word. Clearly the developers were dedicated to only doing the absolute bare minimum programming necessary to create an app that looks like a game. Really all it’s designed to do is panhandle for money from in-game purchases.
Here are a few screenshots of the pop-ups constantly bombarding you to ask for money.
For the sake of the review, I checked out some of the prices, and one of their “deals” was $79.99 for 12 items that (and I can’t say this often enough) change absolutely nothing in the actual game. Who in their right mind would spend $79.99 on an in-game freemium mobile game purchase that has no utility and isn’t even a vanity purchase?!?! I could purchase a triple-A console game a pack of cigarettes, a beer, and a burger for that.
The Final Notification
After being bombarded with notifications 24/7 from this app-disguised-as-a-game, I managed to put my head down and grind my way through in order to write this review. The only enjoyable part of the entire experience was the relief I felt when finally hitting the button to uninstall this convoluted, insulting mess from my Shield tablet.
No longer will I wake up in the morning to a pile of offers to buy items, monsters, or cards from this panhandler disguised as a game. I don’t dread my afternoons anymore because I’ll be back to playing real games with an actual point instead of this complete bomb of an RPG.
Tale Seeker: Puzzle RPG makes me ashamed to be an Android gamer. I regret even taking on the assignment to play it. I’ve never in my life played a game that actually made me long for the complexity of Candy Crush, and because of that, I can’t even give a fraction of a star to this unplayable garbage game.
If you work for FunFun Games or Sway Mobile, Inc., please quit your job immediately, and may God have mercy on your soul.