Zenonia is the newest of a group of RPG titles that have recently taken the app store by surprise. I personally felt like the RPG offerings in the past were relatively weak, and I craved a game that would actually deliver a Zelda-like experience. GAMEVIL developed such a game. I had almost given up hope that I would see an RPG title that met my high level demands this year. However, I am happy to say that Zenonia has the longevity you would expect in and RPG AND it delivers on the gameplay front. It seems that other RPG offering in the app store lack in either one of or both of these areas. I will stop here and summarize this review: If you are an RPG fan, this is the ONLY RPG you need to own. It is the most balanced, best RPG available as of the date of this review. I will also offer a quick disclaimer: Zenonia is not perfect. However, the flaws are very forgivable, and what it does offer is well worth the price of admission ($5.99 in the US at the time of this review).
I know there are many of you that have played your fair share of RPG title on consoles. When you start playing Zenonia, expect a mobile game rather than a console quality game. Most of the other titles that we (nodpad.com) have reviews as “Must Haves” are console quality. This is one exception where the gameplay is so good and the overall experiencing so fulfilling, we have no choice but to give this title top marks. I have put hours and hours into this game (so many that I have lost count), and I am not at all bored with the title or the storyline. I hope to see a game that provides this level of gameplay with console quality graphics. However, that may be asking too much. Only time will tell.
Storyline: I won’t go into too much detail here because I hate it when reviews give away the storyline of a game (just a frustration of mine). However, Zenonia offers a storyline and a series of personal relationships between your character and other villagers that are very fun and entertaining. Most RPGs in the app store had storylines that had me skipping through conversation. In this case, I actually read everything and was interested in the different revelations provided at pivotal points in the game.
Options/Upgrades: This RPG has a full upgrade system. From weapons to armor to potions…you name it, Zenonia has it. This is my favorite part of RPGs along with leveling up. Many RPGs in the app store have basic leveling systems, but Zenonia is the only RPG on the app store that provides an intricate inventory of upgrades.
Gameplay: The quests in Zenonia are not overly repetitive. Sure, there are times when you need to just level up your character to defeat a boss, but most of the quests that help you level up are fun. You often have to find your particular target on the map and then find strategic ways to get that enemy into one-on-one battles. At first Zenonia seemed overly easy, but the enemies do get harder as you progress. I probably had put in three or four hours before I started needing health on a regular basis. However, after that point, I found myself being forced to play and move in a smarter fashion.
Confusing at Times: This isn’t necessarily a negative because most RPGs are confusing at times. However, I never like feeling like I don’t know what I am doing. There are some points in the Zenonia experience that you will feel a little confused or bewildered. I had one such encounter that frustrated me so much, I didn’t play the game for about a full day. However, I finally figured out the solution, and I was a happy camper again.
Virtual D-Pad is a Little Small: There are times when you will need to move quickly, and you will just miss the virtual D-Pad. That will frustrate you at some point. This is the only issue that I would like to see fixed in an update. If the developers just make the hot spots for the D-Pad a little bigger, I will update the review (I hope the devs just read that)!
Another Proof-read Would be Nice: There are quite a few different small mistakes in the spelling or grammar within Zenonia. If you are a grammar freak (I am not), this may bother you. If not, you won’t notice or care. There is a lot of text (thus a lot of storyline), so I think a few things just slipped through the cracks. Luckily, nothing was missed in the gameplay department!
Zenonia blew away my expectations. Whether that is because my expectations are too low or because Zenonia is so great, I am not one hundred percent sure. However, I can say that this is THE RPG to own on your iPhone or iPod. I would recommend this to any fan, and I would also recommend this to anyone even remotely interested in an RPG.