EGGLIA: Rebirth is an upcoming console port of the 2017 mobile title EGGLIA: Legend of the Redcap for Nintendo Switch. Admittedly, I was completely unaware of the original launch of this vibrant portable RPG. As an enormous fan and supporter of Brownies/Brownie Brown, I feel a little shame being so late to the party. However, thanks to some massive changes and improvements with the console version of EGGLIA, it seems like there's never been a better time to discover this gorgeous hidden gem.
I've spent the last few weeks playing EGGLIA: Rebirth on Nintendo Switch and, despite some of my reservations regarding its mobile game roots, I've found myself hooked by its charming gameplay loop. Created by Shinichi Kameoka, the iconic artist and animator of some of the earlier Mana titles, EGGLIA beautifully captures the magic of classic and criminally underrated RPGs like Legend of Mana, while introducing modern design elements from titles like Animal Crossing to offer an easily digestible Switch title. EGGLIA: Rebirth has quickly become a staple in my daily comfy gaming rotation despite my mountainous backlog.
Who is Brownies?
Brownies, or Brownie Brown as they were previously known, has had a fascinating video game industry legacy. Originally formed in 2000 as a subsidiary of Nintendo, Brownie Brown was primarily comprised of ex-Squaresoft developers who mainly worked on beloved titles like Secret of Mana, Trials of Mana, and Legend of Mana. Initially led by Kameoka Shinichi and Kōji Tsuda, this fresh studio started with a reputation for crafting some of the most stunning JRPGs of the era.
Under the Brownie Brown banner, this team delivered a series of popular titles exclusively designed for Nintendo's handheld hardware. Starting with Magical Vacation for Gameboy Advance 2001, the artistic and mechanical influences of Shinichi's and Tsuda's previous works were immediately apparent. Brownie Brown went on to ship further entries in the Mana series, such as Sword of Mana, and even partnered with HAL Laboratories to develop the cult Gameboy Advance title, Mother 3, in 2006.
After over a decade of shipping titles on Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS titles, the direction of Brownie Brown began to shift. Nintendo soon allocated them as a support studio for titles like Super Mario 3D Land under the name 1-Up Games. Following this restructuring, key figure Shinichi Kameoka left to form his own independent studio, Brownies, in 2013. Soon after, this new team began work on two mobile titles: Seventh Rebirth and EGGLIA: Legend of the Redcap.
The launch of EGGLIA: Rebirth on Nintendo Switch marks the beginning of a new chapter for Brownies. Studio founder Kameoka has stated that the company will be shifting away from mobile development and moving back towards more traditional games. While the next significant titles from Brownies remain a mystery, it's clear that EGGLIA: Rebirth shipping as a Nintendo Switch exclusive is a mission statement as to where fans and players can expect their games to launch in the future.
What exactly is EGGLIA: Rebirth?
EGGLIA: Rebirth is a fantasy RPG that incorporates elements of farming, turn-based combat, tabletop dice-rolling, relationship management, home customization, and crafting. Players take on the role of fallen Redcap, a mythical goblin-like species known for its pension for bloodshed. However, your playable hero is much friendlier than your typical Redcap because your terrifying horns are broken. After waking with a limited recollection of what caused your current predicament, you're approached by a Fairie and a woman named Robin, who ask for your assistance in constructing a village and rebuilding an isolated world.
In EGGLIA: Rebirth, the ancients have sealed sections of the land away in mystical eggs, and you're one of the only people with the ability to set these areas free. As you progress through the game, you'll unlock different eggs, which are used to open new locations to explore. These distinct environments serve as the primary gameplay focus for EGGLIA: Rebirth's unique spin on turn-based combat. They also operate as a crucial vessel for introducing the vibrant cast of diverse and often hilarious characters.
While EGGLIA: Rebirth introduces free movement in your village, mobility and actions are tied to dice rolls when out on missions. Each stage is divided into honeycomb-style grids, and the player rolls a die at the beginning of each turn. The outcome of this roll determines how many spaces you can move on this grid, as well as the amount of damage dealt when attacking enemies. It's a fascinating approach to traditional turn-based combat that borrows heavily from the randomized nature of classic tabletop games. Initially, I wasn't entirely sure I loved the system, but I quickly grew to appreciate its simplistic hook.
In between your expeditions to these egg-shaped lands, you'll head back to your home village to manage a host of captivating farming mechanics. Players can grow crops, harvest minerals, lure new partner spirits with food, and even customize their own house as they see fit. As many of these systems are tied to timers, they encourage a fascinating blend of active and passive gameplay. You are rewarded with items and resources for essentially everything you do in EGGLIA: Rebirth, and that always delivers a satisfying sense of progression, even when I was only able to play for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
Why EGGLIA: Rebirth is worth your time
While it can often be diminutive to compare one game to another directly, this RPG truly feels like so many of the things I love about Legend of Mana and Animal Crossing. It's no secret that I consider Legend of Mana to be one of the greatest JRPGs ever made, and a tremendous amount of my admiration for this title stems from its unforgettable presentation. This Squaresoft masterpiece presented one of the most vivid and original game worlds ever created. Every single character and environment was meticulously handcrafted. That care is undeniably demonstrated in every frame of Legend of Mana.
EGGLIA: Rebirth manages to tap into the iconic art direction of Legend of Mana in powerful ways. From quirky characters like Jazoo, who is quite literally a dog with a pair of pants for a hat, to the variety of lush, gorgeous landscapes, I immediately found myself enamored by the presentation in this RPG. Even simple things like consumable items or seeds for farming are oozing with attention and creativity. It's hard not to smile seeing some of the ingenious ways this team merged common foods and animals into entirely unique pieces of produce. The iconic water-color-inspired art style of titles like Legend of Mana is incorporated with modern 3D models to incredible effect.
For fans of Animal Crossing, the wholesome and soothing gameplay loop will feel right at home. In addition to some elements of action-oriented combat, players can view EGGLIA: Rebirth as a relaxed way to unwind at the end of the day. Outside of the dungeon-like stages, your home village will serve as your social hub for all the residents you'll recruit throughout your adventures. You can spend time getting to know them, give them gifts, and even help them redecorate their houses. If you've played Animal Crossing, this loop will likely be very familiar and very satisfying.
The deeper I got into EGGLIA: Rebirth, the more engaging I found the crafting mechanics. Gathering resources in an overworld stage would allow me to take those items and create new pieces of furniture for my own use as well as my residents. Much like Animal Crossing, furniture doesn't inherently affect the gameplay systems. However, it allows you to express yourself within the game. I'm not even at the end of EGGLIA: Rebirth's campaign, and I've already unlocked hundreds of customization items. It's too early to say whether or not this will be one of the best RPGs on Switch, but if you're looking for a beautiful RPG that's instantly comfortable and soothing to play, EGGLIA: Rebirth is worth putting on your radar.
EGGLIA: Rebirth is launching on Nintendo Switch on February 10, 2022.
Stunning adventure awaits!
A beautiful, relaxing RPG.
EGGLIA: Rebirth brings the magic of the original mobile release to Nintendo Switch. With more content and major changes, there's never been a better time to dive in.
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