Beast Quest Review

Beast Quest Android

Beast Quest is a completely new thing to me. I only discovered it earlier this month but apparently there are a whole series of books on par in sales with stuff like the Harry Potter series. The Beast Quest books were released by Scholastic and targeted for children. I was not aware that this game was based on such a popular series of books before I did a bit of research into it. Also, Beast Quest is coming to Windows computers, Playstation 4, and the Xbox One (though it obviously looks more impressive than on Android, based on early screen shots). That is later though, and right now, you can grab a copy of Beast Quest on mobile devices such as Android, iOS, and even Windows Phone (though don’t bother if you have a budget Windows Phone with 512 megs of RAM – it won’t work). I am using a couple of devices to cover this review. I am using a ZTE ZMAX 2 cell phone, Nextbook Ares 8a, and a GPD XD gaming device.

Apparently, an evil wizard has enchanted all the Beasts of Avantia and your task is to free them. That is the basic back story for Beast Quest. I have not read the books though I plan on reading at least the first couple sooner than later as the game is quite interesting so far.

Beast Quest Android

You start out in a frozen wasteland area where your crashed ship has washed ashore. Early on you are fighting wolves that are not exactly friendly (remember they are enchanted by the evil wizard). These battles will help you learn the techniques you are going to need to survive later against larger and more evil creatures. At key points, you will fight this monstrosity of a beast – don’t worry, you will know when this happens and will have a sense of “something is about to happen” moments as you play.

Battles are the key piece for any role-playing game. Beast Quest takes on an active turn based system of sorts. You can attack as many times as you want in between timed attacks from your opponent. If you can deplete their life bar before they attack then you win. Since this is highly unlikely, you will have to do one of three things when they attack. 1) Avoid the attack by dodging left or right via the buttons on the screen. 2) Block the attack with your shield. 3) Simply take the hit and hope you survive the attack. You can also drink potions to recover health if you have them available (or diamonds when your potions run out). If you die in battle you have the option to use diamonds to recover and continue the fight where you died.

Beast Quest Android

I suggest holding your diamonds like Uncle Scrooge holds onto cash. Why? Because diamonds are used to open new areas to play. Now, you are going to have to get diamonds one of two ways in Beast Quest. One is to grind and earn diamonds as you play. Keep in mind they are incredibly rare, as most things like this are in mobile games today. The other way is to buy them via In App Purchases (they are not overly expensive unless you have none and want to open both new areas at once).

Grinding is not as bad as it sounds. There are secrets throughout Beast Quest that reward the player with a keen eye. There are areas in walls that have sparkly effects on them, if you repeatedly tap on these areas you can discover hidden treasure. Along the way you can pick up additional money and health, even a few diamonds if you are lucky.

Link has his chickens to mess with and in Beast Quest, you have rabbits. Unlike the chickens in the Zelda games, the rabbits here actually serve a good, quest completing, purpose. Scare them and they will run and dig a hole in the snow and bury themselves. If you repeatedly click the little hole that the rabbits make you will receive gold, sometimes potions, and rarely diamonds. All for just going around and scaring a rabbit into making a hole to hide. As you travel the world you will see some rabbit holes appear here and there – go ahead and click those too.

Beast Quest Android

Rabbit holes are not the only ways to get passive assistance in the world of Beast Quest. Scattered around the land are Arctic Herbs and Blue Mushrooms that will give health and experience points for picking them up (not much of either but still, it adds up over a few hours of playing). Sometimes the difference between having to revive at your last camp site used and continuing your journey is that Blue Mushroom or Arctic Herb you passed on back at the bottom of the hill you are exploring.

One way that Beast Quest keeps you playing is the tons of quests and little achievements you receive as you play. Walk five miles? Achievement, now go do 15. Collect 500 coins from the environment (from those rich rabbits) get an achievement. Now go get 1,500 or 5,000 coins. Tired of fighting enemies? Check your achievements because a few more baddies under your belt might net you some valuable diamonds or more gold. This digital collecting is strong in my mind when I am looking over my phone for something to play – I find myself opening Beast Quest, even knowing I only have time for a few battles, just a couple.

Beast Quest Android

Beast Quest is quite an amazing mobile role-playing game. Everything is laid out in an easy to understand layout across the screen and it just works. I would not mind seeing the control mechanism used here ported over to some First-Person Shooters on mobile devices. The left side of the screen has a boot, touch and hold that and your character runs – there is no walking. The right side of the screen is used to look around. Since you are stationary in battles you don’t need strafing like you would in FPS games. Beast Quest is just a great mobile RPG and one that is very much worthy of more installments, expansions, or something – don’t let the game world end with this first game.

Beast Quest Android

Device Specifics:

The GPD XD plays Beast Quest the best from a hardware standpoint. It should as it is slightly faster than my other two devices. Unfortunately, what you would think would make Beast Quest a beast (sorry for the pun) of a game to play on the GPD XD is also what makes it cumbersome. Physical controls. True, while you can map on screen buttons to hardware buttons and boy does that change battles to be more console feeling, it hurts navigation around the land. Using the right analog stick to “move” the camera and change your direction/viewpoint, you are left with a stiff jumping camera that almost makes it unplayable (you are not going to be doing any running around with precision). You can always use the touch screen for navigation and switch to physical controls in battle but this is less than ideal based on how the GPD XD is designed. GPD XD’s go for about $180+ (eBay prices) so it is not a cheap option for most gamers.

Beast Quest Android

The ZTE ZMAX 2 phone, a budget phone available for less than $80 in most Walmart stores, if you can find it, or about $130 or so on eBay. Playing Beast Quest on this phone is a great experience. There are no hiccups, there are no stilted moments when exploring, everything just runs smooth. Plus, the screen is slightly bigger than the GPD XD screen and is infinitely more comfortable to play. The button layout on screen is done in such a way that your fingers are never in the way.

Beast Quest Android

The Nextbook Ares 8a is a budget tablet I got at Walmart for $35 (they sell on eBay for about $40 with free shipping). I am including this piece of hardware in this comparison to give an idea of how Beast Quest will run on hardware with 1 gig of RAM. It runs surprisingly well. There are moments of pausing and jumpiness as the hardware catches up. This doesn’t happen all that often during battles, where the game is pretty controlled, but does happen a lot when exploring the 3D open world. If you are just wanting to play Beast Quest on the cheap, the Nextbook Ares 8a is your cheapest option from my experience.

Available on these platforms:
Android
iPhone
Windows Phone