Tails of Iron Review (PS5)

 1 year ago
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Tails of Iron Review (PS5)
very good

If you get past the initial awe after learning that Tails of Iron is narrated by Geralt of Rivia actor, you will discover a very interesting and challenging game that mixes the best of two worlds: side scrollers and action RPGs. The difficulty is almost soulslike, while the tale is dark and riveting, with enough variety to make you want to rebuild the entire rat kingdom.       

Although the difficulty is challenging, the second game developed by Odd Bug Studios is not a Dark Souls inspired creation. Tails of Iron walks its own path following a medieval fantasy theme set in the world of animals. From the very first minutes of the game, you will realize that this a brutal frog eats rat world. Though he has older and bigger brothers, after the rat king is killed, it falls to Regie, our hero to save the kingdom.

The task will be daunting, because after you manage to recover your brothers from the clutches of the evil frog clan you will have to deal with the problem of a destroyed castle and the surrounding lands fallen into disarray. You will have to take up the sword or any other weapon you fancy, hold on to your shield and fight your way through levels that will remind older gamers why thy fell in love with Castlevania.

Tails of Iron focuses on the story and the combat, keeping the other elements light but entertaining. The gameplay does not get overcomplicated as you progress through the 2d environment in a sequential order. The battles are challenging, but fair, and the developers have not been stingy with the save points and the bug juice that replenishes your hit points.

During your adventures you will discover new tools that will help you access areas that were off limits before and as such you will do some backtracking and discover more about the story behind the game. A great part of the atmosphere next to the hand drawn visuals and whimsy happenings is the voice of Doug Cockle. Known to most as the actor who voiced Geralt of Rivia, Cockle does a great job narrating the game breaking somewhat the tension of the tragic story.

Next to exploring every nook and cranny the most important part of Tales of Iron is its combat system. You will have to learn to read your opponents in order to parry or evade their attacks. As long as you remember your basic from the tutorial, you prioritize your defensive actions and time well your attacks you should be fine. Of course, this is easier said than done, especially when you have to fight simultaneously groups of different enemies. Paying attention to the different patterns of 3 or 4 enemies is no walk in the park.

To make things more balanced you will be able to gather better and better equipment. Regie will wear an armor, a helmet and a shield, while his arsenal is completed by 1 handed, later on 2 handed and a ranged weapon. The better the defenses they offer, most likely the heavier the gear will be, which in turn will affect the speed of Regie. The only problem is that the equipment system is not very well balanced: there are many items that have only slightly different stats.

As a result, towards the end of the game the combat system will become somewhat monotonous, since you will already have found your favorite strategy and you will stick to it. At least when it comes to regular enemies. The boss fights are something else and will always keep you on your toes, offering some truly memorable moments. There are no two boss battles alike and each one will make you feel that you fought hard for the victory.

The visual style of the game builds up the haunting and doomed atmosphere of Tails of Iron. No matter where you go you will feel on Regie’s shoulders the weight of the unfortunate events. The hand drawn characters and backgrounds work very well, even though some of the combat animations seem silly. The soundtrack dos a great job amplifying the atmosphere, while the performance of Doug Cockle is praiseworthy.

The Good

  • Challenging combat system
  • Brilliant voice acting
  • Very satisfying exploration

The Bad

  • Combat can become repetitive
  • Side missions are often fillers
  • Clumsy combat animations


Tails of Iron is a good game, although it cannot actually fit into one certain genre. It is not very deep or complex, as developers rather focused on implementing well a few elements. Thankfully, the exploration and combat system work like a charm and turn this rat tale into one worth experiencing.

Its 2D world is truly engaging, while the challenging combat offers plenty of satisfaction once it is mastered. Tails of Iron might not be an overly ambitious game, but it is entertaining and rewarding.

Review code provided by the publisher.

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