Hidden Realm Mobile Game Review

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Intro
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If you wanted to see a gacha game that uses Western fairytales as its core theme, Hidden Realm offers a mobile game that has the lore and gacha done right. It was created by Black Magic Team, whose info about the game devs is limited.

I'll be giving away some Hive for the mini contest at the bottom of the post if you play the game.

Playing the game has been quite fun story and overall game action. This game is free to play friendly and not obnoxious with showing you ads.

It’s still on its early access at the time of this writing and I have been playing it for more than three weeks now. So far the experience has been great as a 9/10 Western themed gacha game.

I was curious about the team that made the game whether they were Western-based or Eastern-based as part of the review. It matters a lot as it ties to the aesthetics chosen for the game being tied to popular Western folklore and the choice of art style.

In a gacha gaming market saturated with cute anime girl waifu collection + story, this game uses the same elements but takes its own spin on the genre through investing a balance with the visuals and storytelling. I think I could sum the game as a gacha done right where everyone can enjoy for free.

Plot:

The player is a magician with amnesia thrust into the world of fairy tales and guided by “Grimm” (whom I have mistaken as Tinkerbell during the first impressions). The two embark on a journey to discover the dark forces that plague the world of fairy tales. They would encounter our favorite folklore heroes in their spinoff stories.


The Good

Even as a free player, you aren’t cheated out from the premium content as most of it can just be gained through grinding some levels daily.

The game has been generous when it comes to giving freebies of its premium currency in game, so much that I ended up spending it on mundane things like buying free gold coins (the free to play currency).

It has a lot of gold sinks and other resources sinks tied to upgrading your heroes. It’s one of the first games that made me want more free gold than the actual premium currency to progress faster.

The combat system is based on the an elemental triangle where fire beats wood, wood beats water, and water beats fire, dark beats light and vice versa.

If you played pokemon, you’d appreciate how elements can be used to your advantage in battle but you can mostly muscle your way with a higher level hero for almost everything. The battles can be switched from manual to auto so you can just tap your phone to start and leave it to do it’s thing.

The AI here is ok, the hero prioritizes enemies it is strong against first before attacking other enemies unless it’s a splash damage attack. So even if one enemy has one hit left, the hero would still attack the one with the higher health as long as its element is weak agains the hero’s element, this is true for automated combat.


The gacha parts of the game tend to be really generous to the point that it only takes you less than 3 days to have a decent starter set of SR heroes. The ranking goes like Normal<Rare<SR<SSR but in terms of actual rarity, SR heroes aren’t really that rare and may just be actually the real normal heroes. It still doesn’t mean their stats are crap, some are actually gems when used in the right position and team composition but most below SR are hardly worth leveling for.

It is fairly easy to obtain SSR heroes with some grinding and the most difficult part is probably saving up resources to upgrade skills, level them up, and advance their awakening rather than actually obtaining them for your roster.

The raid runs can be sorted out with one click with the expense of some energy. This makes the chore part more about clicking where waiting for battles to finish each round on levels you want to grind for. The rare resources here are materials you grind to upgrade your heroes’ skills as these rely on raid drops, guild boss hunts, quest rewards, and random shop restocks. Most of the game is left automated and the chore mostly comes from switching tabs harvesting some freebies.

There's a lot of benefits to get involved with other people like dropping them gifts and you get some friend points in return to be used later for friend point gacha. Whenever you give something to the guild or another player as contribution, you receive something in return like currencies for the guild shop or for free rolls. I spend the premium currency helping upgrading the guild levels and other perks for the community. The game doesn't punish you from being cheap and it's been really generous at dishing out premium currency that it makes me think how exactly are these people going to earn from all the free stuff they are shelling out?

As for the choice of art style, Hidden Realms aesthetics has a mixed of anime influences evident on the eyes but the use of cartoon thick lines make it more Western oriented. Unlike the gacha games with a lot of anime flare, the characters on this game (including monsters and other assets) remind me of Western comic book art styles which is a breather from what is usually flashed on my recommended gacha game list at Google playstore.

Hidden Realm doesn’t really have a lot of fan service characters or skins and yet manages to present their characters as an eye candy. I’m talking about the simplicity in rendering their forms giving the least amount of detail possible while communicating the essentials.

The facial expressions, the live 2d movements and even color palette used during rendering the form made their personality stand out more than just variations of a certain character. The backstories of how each alternate version of the character further adds depth to the lore behind the skin.

It has content and not the click for bewbs kind when it comes to its waifu and husbando line up.


The Bad

It still uses the energy requirement whenever you want to do some instance run and regenerating those energy points requires around 3 minutes each point (the game requires 6 points each round). There also a lot of information overload when it comes to understanding some skill sets a hero could provide to the team even with the visual indicator and short script mentioning what a hero’s usual role is.

While the game doesn’t really punish you from not knowing everything about the skills and efficient hero composition in PvE, those stuff do matter when you consider gunning for ranks in PvP where proper positioning and hero composition matters a lot in the outcome at higher levels.

While not inherently bad as it rewards those players really committed to be competitive, I think some of the skills just end up becoming too redundant and reused on some characters just to accommodate a new face to the game.

Dark Cinderella
Fire Cinderella
Default Cinderella

I can see a recurring trend of making alternate versions of the same character infusing a new element and skill set like how Cinderella has Wood, Water, Fire, Dark and Light versions (each representing the routes she took during the story play through).


Recommendations:

It’s for players that are into gacha games but want to try something different from the common Eastern based gacha games prominent on Google Playstore.

The game’s overall delivery isn’t something novel as it incorporates the good parts of gacha games into its system while simultaneously being creative about the common shortcomings tied to playing gacha such as gambling addiction to get your favorite waifu or husbando.

Mini Contest:

The first two people to take a screen shot of finishing the Cinderella play through completing all the routes and posting it on the comments would earn 2 Hive each, and a bonus of 1 Hive if they managed to finished it within the week. I would also need a screenshot of their in game name to confirm in game their levels. No need to upvote or reblog this post but it is appreciated.

If you made it this far reading, thank you for your time.

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