Tales of the Rays

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Tales of the Rays App Poster Image
Decent role-playing game breaks little new ground.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, but leveling up takes time.

Violence

Fighting is a big part of the game, but it's not bloody, graphic.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Free play is significant, but purchases boost progression. Based on a long running video game franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tales of the Rays is a free-to-play high fantasy role-playing game (RPG) based on the popular Tales video game series. Its in-game store lets you buy energy and expand your heroes' level caps. Quests let you bring other players' heroes along for help, and you can follow these players or search for players via player ID. There's no in-game chat or other form of communication. The app's easy-to-read privacy policy details the kinds of information collected and shared. To read the privacy policy in full, visit the Bandai Namco website.

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What's it about?

TALES OF THE RAYS focuses on two young heroes: Ix and Mileena, whose home has been destroyed by a meteor storm. The two come from a line of Mirrists, warriors who wield energy weapons that give them special powers. Young as they are, Ix and Mileena find themselves in front of a battle to save their world and must draw upon their friendship and inner strength to win it. Standard Japanese role-playing mechanics are at work here: upgradeable weapons, experience points, level progression, and changeable skills. In addition to that, you can swap character costumes, customize parties, and earn in-game currency to "summon" new weapons and heroes. Combat is the core of the game and is done with simple swipe/tap controls.

Is it any good?

There's nothing wrong with this clean little JRPG (Japanese role-playing game), but there's nothing remarkable about it, either. It checks all the genre's boxes -- a world in peril, a group of unlikely young heroes, some flashy real-time combat, a touch of quirky humor -- but in the end, neither the world, the heroes, nor the story are particularly memorable.

What Tales of the Rays mostly has going for it is an open-handed approach to rewards and free play. Going on quests requires energy, but the app generally gives you enough to play for a good long while without buying any. On top of that, daily login gifts keep you flush with gald (in-game currency) and the gems you need to summon new heroes and weapons. The app's second strength is its animated mini-movies. These provide comic relief and move the (admittedly unoriginal) storyline along. The app offers little in the way of innovation or surprises, and Tales fans and JRPG veterans could get bored. New players though, and players who don't mind repetition and who enjoy tinkering with their skills, costumes, and weaponry could be in for hours of free entertainment. Bandai Namco hasn't reinvented the wheel here, but because of that, Tales of the Rays is a reliable, if unexciting, ride.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about long-running game franchises. Do you and your parents share a favorite series?

  • Discuss the differences between playing games on a tablet or phone and playing on a console. Which do you prefer?

  • Think about Japanese role-playing games. What makes them so appealing to Western audiences?

App details

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