Sinoalice Review and Guides
Everything you need to know
Is it worth playing?
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I’ve been waiting for SINoALICE for quite some time now and, after its global release date finally happened, I am not sure if I should be happy or hire a priest to purge my mobile phone. Jesus this game is weird. It is the definition of weirdness if I ever saw one and that is only apparent at the patch loading screen and the game’s intro. Further into the game, you will only find more darkness and soul-crushing fear, but I am compelled to play, for it was a long time a game actually affected me emotionally…
From the mind of Yoko Taro, who is a renowned video game director and writer known for Nier series, Drakengard, and others…
SINoALICE has come to the western market on July 1st, 2020. Square Enix promised a global release date in July, which is almost 3 full years after it came out in Japan originally. And, boy, were we lucky. Asian players had 3 full years of living in fear of this game. This western version came out fully up to date with the Asian version, with all updates and additions made. It was developed by a studio called Pokelabo.
This recent global release date was predated by an incredibly successful pre-register campaign, with over 2 million players preregistering for both Android and iOS. SINoALICE comes from the mind of non-other than Yoko Taro, who is a renowned video game director and writer known for Nier series, Drakengard, and others. He is the president and CEO of Bukkoro and for this game they also employed Keiichi Okabe, Keigo Hoashi, and Shotaro Seo, renowned composers, to produce a great and original soundtrack. It is for these reasons and more that this game enjoys such high praise and critical success in the Asian market.
As far as the reception goes, it is better than anyone could imagine! On the iTunes App Store, SINoALICE iOS currently stands at a very good 4.8-star score our of several thousand votes! On Google Play, SINoALICE Android has a slightly lower but still very good 4.4-star score and the game was already downloaded over 500 thousand times. It appears that the majority of the game’s audience are iOS users since the other million and a half and more downloads are through iTunes.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Weird, weird, weird… This game is freakishly strange and ominous…
Weird, weird, weird… This game is freakishly strange and ominous. When I downloaded the game app and entered for the first time, I was greeted by gloomy music right away and it kind of introduces you to the atmosphere, but the weirdness really begins when you are greeted by two baby puppet angels, hanging on strings, but still alive, like Pinocchio (we will get to that later).
They are speaking to me while I download the updates, which actually writers “downloading desire”. They welcome you to the “worst of all worlds” as you are looking at what appears to be a stage. The puppet angels are called Parrah and Noya. They actually continue speaking to you as you download the update saying things like “not finished downloading?” “It just won’t end” etc… and, then they tell you some creepy generic story, with a bad ending…
They ask you your name, which is where you enter your nick. They immediately ask you if it is REALLY your name, which gave me the creeps… I mean, am I signing a deal with the devil? And, I entered Alec, which is my pseudo… I hope I am not cursed now because I do feel kind of empty…
Parrah and Noya introduce you to “The “Library”, a world of stories and their lost characters. A place where all stories converge if you will, and it is where SINoALICE is set in. They give you Grimoires to open and you do the “summon” mechanic right away, with reroll available on the spot, no need to start the game over.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Once introduced with the library, you are offered the various in-game modes, among which is the mandatory story mode…
I was positively delighted to see my own country in the list of virtually all countries in the world supported by this game, sorted by continents. Seriously, this game covers all from Yemen to Togo. This kind of attention to the community I greatly appreciate, especially because I often can’t find my own country listed in a similar fashion on many other games, but this time, even smaller and more remote countries are included.
The game offers two servers to choose from. One for Asia, but I can’t know at this point if it’s shared with the people playing the Asian version of the game, and one other server that is shared by Europe and the United States. This is also good, grouping up people like this. The game also offers Data Transfer with an ID or linked Social Media account, which is good to know.
Once you start, you first have freerolls or pulls, before you even enter the main game interface menu. You can roll and reroll as many times as you like until you are satisfied with the results. You toll out 11 books, of which a certain number can yield SR items. I got 3 on the first try, and 2 or less on every other, so if you get 3, I suggest you take what you get and quit while you’re ahead.
Once introduced with the library, you are offered the various in-game modes, among which is the mandatory story mode. It offers you a choice between the stories of:
- Snow White
- Sleeping Beauty
- Red Riding Hood
- Princess Kaguya
All storylines are unique, but they do intertwine at some points and some of the characters even share entire chapters, which is fun. They are all naturally adjusted to the game’s style. Alice wields a great hammer and so on.
You need Blood to do battles, it takes the role of Stamina in similar JRPG games. It is obtained by doing the Purification scenario, which is basically a clicker stage where you just tap the targets that appear on the screen and your character obliterates them. It is timed and the more you click the better you are off.
There are plenty of more modes and things to discover in the game. The UI for this out-of-combat part of the game is neatly organized and cool, but there is a flaw I found. There is no button or icon to tap to get back to the previous menu, you have to get your Smartphone’s default “Back” icon to appear and tap it to backtrack.
SINoALICE combat uses turn-based strategy mechanics with rock-paper-scissors advantages. Managing these weaknesses and resistances is crucial, for it can increase or decrease your damage output for up to 5 times. Weapons in general are perhaps even more important than the characters in this game and their effects are crucial as well.
For every action in combat, your characters use their SP pool. Taping an enemy twice will cause your character, who is currently taking its turn, to do a normal attack that costs 10 SP. Abilities all cost more and also have a cooldown. Abusing enemy weaknesses and using your advantage to the fullest is the name of the game if you want to go far.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
SINoALICE is a wonderful fairytale-style visual presentation…
SINoALICE is a wonderful fairytale-style visual presentation. Character models take center stage and they look very cool. However, animations are a bit low, as the characters and all other animations in the game are all minimized to the motion comic style. You tap a target, your character flies to it pretty much looking the same as it does while standing still, and an animation of the blow happens. No much, but it is okay.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The toned-down animations are, in fact, the only thing that is saving my smartphone from melting while running this game…
The toned-down animations are, in fact, the only thing that is saving my smartphone from melting while running this game. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to touch it. The amount of model detailing and textures would have been impossible to support if it were a full-motion animation. This way, with the moving images and 2D style, it is accessible for much weaker phones and a wider audience. The game requires Android 5.0 and up or iOS 10.0 and later.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Since this is such a story-driven game, oriented around the characters and centered on the lore, spending isn’t really required…
Since this is such a story-driven game, oriented around the characters and centered on the lore, spending isn’t really required. People who want can purchase packs, mostly yielding weapons or twilight crystals and ranging from $1.99 to $79.99. but, the core of the game and all of the features are accessible for free and you don’t need to have the most powerful class weapons to enjoy it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This game has a beautiful art style, that follows the creepy theme, and it really doesn’t look like any other game on the market in this respect…
SINoALICE is a weird and atmospheric experience. The whole game feels like a creepy dream, but it is not a horror game. It is a JRPG with turn-based combat, and with rock-paper-scissors weakness and advantage mechanics. It uses some of the most famous fairytales as its lore, but with a twisted touch to them of course. It has a beautiful art style, that follows the creepy theme, and it really doesn’t look like any other game on the market in this respect. The music and other effects also help out the atmosphere really well.
SINoALICE guides and TIPS
How to improve your gaming experience and gameplay…
Since SINoALICE is new to the western market, the vast majority of community sources is aimed for Asian players. But, new information sources for the rest of the world are springing up as I write this, and I thought to give my contribution to the cause. I will focus on answering the frequently asked questions about the game players have so far, which are mostly basic beginner stuff.
Use links below to jump to the guide sections. Use links in the lower right corner to jump back.
Farming levels for weapons and armor, later on it becomes invaluable for progress. Farming events for the increased EP and items is the best option, so always keep tabs on current events. Also, it is good to use any free characters given during the events, because of their abilities. Some of the keys only last around 10 minutes, so once you want to farm them, commit, and kill as fast as you can. Otherwise, the storyline is a good source of experience, with quests and the other gameplay modes.
In SINoALICE, rerolling is done before you begin the game officially. Right at the start, once you run the game app and download the patches, you will be given your first rolls. You can reroll this as much as you can. I recommend you to be satisfied if you get 3 SR results, especially if one of them is a melee weapon.
Transferring your SINoALICE account between devices is easy. You just need to link it with your social media account or mail, like Twitter, Google, Facebook, etc… You do this by going to the menu, then Data Transfer, and then you’ll see the option to link an account. Once you are on a new device, when logging in to the game app, just choose the method you used, like login via Facebook, Twitter, etc…
2B is known to all who played NieR: Automata, a game directed and written by Yoko Taro. 2B is also a playable character in SINoALICE, but her availability is a bit dodgy. She is not available currently, as of this writing.
2B was available throughout the NieR: Automata event that lasted from July 16 to August 6th, 2020. There was a special event that unlocked 2B during this time. We don’t know at this point, but hopefully, this will be a recurring event.
You change the game’s language from the in-game settings menu. You can choose between English, French, German, Spanish, Korean, and Thai.