This review is a long time coming but with things like a round of Covid, the Midwest Gaming Classic and a pile of orders from the MGC show exclusives, it slid down the deadline list. Now, we’re finally here with our review of Roniu’s Tale from Kunjee Studio and Mega Cat Studios.
We got Roniu’s Tale prior to it being announced having a Midwest Gaming Classic exclusive show edition and we reviewed it on the Switch. Gameplay will be basically the same on any system, including the NES which was the MGC version.
It’s awesome and reminds of another old school game that we haven’t been able to nail down but whose gameplay has stuck with us through the decades. Each level is a puzzle that needs to be solved so that the player can move on to the next one. There are multiple abilities you pick up as you progress that will help solve the puzzle. It’s a well thought out puzzle action game.
The Old School Review
Back in the day when we worked at various other places, reviews had to be a specific length. They had to touch on various parts of the game and then they had to be wrapped up succinctly. That’s the journalistic way. Nowadays I feel like reviews act as less of a way to sell games and more of a way to discuss them.
Roniu’s Tale takes every level and turns it into a puzzle that needs to be unraveled so that a solution can be found and executed. That last bit is the tricky part as there are parts where the player must time their action, they must understand the consequences of their actions and sometimes, just not press a direction one too many times (so many times!). It’s a great game in that way. One can either be very analytical in their approach, observe the level, the enemies and the patterns and sort out a solution, or one can brute force their way through by trial and error. I’m more of the former than the latter.
Here’s an example level. Roniu, that’s you, starts in the upper left. Various things on the level are obstacles, traps, or enemies. There are no enemies on this particular board, but there is a trap, the skulls shoot fire balls when you are directly in their line of sight. So, to solve the level you must get to the key to unlock the exit (lower right, and upper center respectively) and not die. You will note there are various pinch points and crossings you must make in their sightlines. And you cannot backtrack as the ground dissolves behind you after every step.
The solution to this level, which is fairly early, is pretty simple, but there are 2 crystals blocking the exit that have to be dealt with. Luckily, they’re the easily broken type and the skull can manage that for you if you’re clever. The purple blocks can be pushed, and you, as Roniu, have certain abilities you gain as you progress through the game. Utilizing all of that, the solution will present itself.
Here’s a gif of some gameplay so you can see it in action. This particular level does have enemies…and traps, and a large purple crystal.
As you progress you finish floors consisting of three to five or so levels. At the end of each group you get a password to continue from that point. You also get a new power at the end of each of the first several groups of levels. These give you more versatility later and are necessary to solve tougher puzzles.
As I said at the top of the article, it’s great fun and gets challenging.
The Midwest Gaming Classic Show Edition
Now, back in March the Midwest Gaming Classic teamed up with Mega Cat to offer show exclusive editions of four games (Roniu’s tale, Gluf, Guntner, and Yazzie). Each game comes with a special pack-in, for Roniu’s tale it was an acrylic pin, and an individually numbered coin. The acrylic pins are not astounding, but they’re nice. The coins are legit awesome though.
Gluf and Yazzie got holographic stickers, GunTner got an acrylic keychain. The other games came with t-shirts, enamel pins, patches or an actual flask in the case of Cathedral for the Nintendo Switch.
The acrylic pin (the protective film has not been removed so it’s slightly blurry).
The individually numbered coin. It’s larger than a silver dollar (2 inches across) and heavier than one too. On the one side is the game logo, the specific number and the MGC 2023 show version text.
All the coins have the same back with the dates and location of the 2023 Midwest Gaming Classic.
Other games had other pack ins and after the show, the inventory went over to JJGames.com where they put up an MGC Exclusives shop. No idea how long they will last though so if you want any of them, you might think about getting them sooner rather than later.