Bungo Stray Dogs: Tales of the Lost Review

TsukinoTheHag: Hey everyone! I’ll be collaborating with Isalee for this article because we are really excited to talk about this game we’ve been playing for a few months!

Isaleebelle: I’ve been playing this game on a relatively casual basis, and I find it to be pretty fun! Who’s ready to immerse themselves in the mysterious ability battles with the Armed Detective Agency?


First Impressions

TsukinoTheHag: It was really my sibling that dragged me in. First impressions wise, I went “Whoa, this game seems… cool. Let me try to play it more.” The more I progressed in the game, the more curious I got about what was going to happen next. And Bungo Stray Dogs: Tales of the Lost has the honor of introducing me to the anime; something that I absolutely do not regret. The story adapts the anime’s story in a visual-novel format, which I find isn’t as lively as the anime. Nevertheless, it’s generally a fun game to play because the energy (AP in the game) refills fast, and it’s relatively easy to level up and obtain game currency such as the Ability Stones. Warning though, if you progress too quickly in the game like I did (I’m level 85 currently), it becomes more difficult to collect ability stones. You’d have to either wait for events or new areas to be released in the game.

Isaleebelle: When Bungo Stray Dogs first aired back in April 2016, I knew it was going to be one of the most intriguing anime out there. With a colorful cast and amazing character designs, soundtrack, voice actors, and edgy, comic-like animation, Bungo Stray Dogs easily made it to the top of my must-watch list every week. What makes Bungo Stray Dogs stand out is that most of the characters share the same names as famous literary figures in Japanese and English history. Additionally, these historical-figure-turned fictional characters all have special abilities that are uncoincidentally named after their respective literary works! With this backdrop, I was thrilled to start my adventure with Bungo Stay Dogs: Tales of the Lost mobile app game because it highlights all the exciting parts of the anime yet also includes game-exclusive characteristics that can’t be found anywhere in the anime or source material.

 


Game Modes

Currently, there are two main play modes in Bungo Stray Dogs: Tales of the Lost. One is the story battle mode that follows the original Bungo Stray Dogs storyline, as the player plays through each “chapter” of an arc. In addition to the story battle mode segments, players can read the visual novel-type sequences after every chapter. These scenes include character portraits, as well as hand-picked scenes from the anime. Since the story battle mode starts from episode one, it serves both as a perfect introduction for new players as well as a refresher for those who have watched the anime.

The second mode in the game is the event mode where events are held every few weeks and highlight new character designs that players can obtain. Some of these events include The Merciful Mafioso, A Walk Through Chinatown, Dead Apple Dragon Head, and Awakening Events. These events vary in nature, but usually involve completing stages in order to gain event points, which can then be used to purchase items including AP drinks, power up materials, and evolution materials.


Gameplay (Ability Battles)


While the app allows fans to immerse themselves in the Bungo Stray Dogs world with its anime cutscenes and dialogues that parallels the plot of the anime, the main part of the app nevertheless is the gameplay. Each playable character is affiliated to a certain affinity: crimson, azure, emerald, light, and dark. Each affinity has its own characteristics where it is strong against a certain other affinity but also weak against another affinity. For example, crimson is strong against emerald, but weak against azure. These affinity characteristics are important for the main gameplay which involves the traditional ball-fling game where players fire a ball to try to hit the affinity orbs. Based on the character’s affinity, the affinity orbs collected will determine the amount of attack damage inflicted on the enemy. Collected affinity orbs that are complementary will raise the attack damage while opposing affinities will lower the attack damage.


Game Basics

Ability Stones and coins can be obtained after completing quests and are used to unlock certain things, such as new characters, level caps, or character skills. Bungo Points are also awarded after certain stages, which can be used at the Bungo Point shop to purchase useful items like AP drinks which help refill your energy bar, power up materials that can increase a character’s level, evolution materials which can remove a character’s max level cap, and more. Event Points, which are obtained by doing event missions, can be used at the event shop to acquire materials that can help with leveling or be used to collect limited-time super rare characters.

If you go to the Menu icon located at the bottom right-hand corner, the icon will expand to show nine sections. The “Help” section has answers ranging from how to play, characters, affinities, and much more! It is a relatively comprehensive “Help” section for any new player.


Highlights

Here are some of our favorite aspects of the game:

TsukinotheHag: In my opinion, the game is fairly low maintenance. There is no need to constantly play the game. I could log in for the daily gifts and still do decently well through both story modes. You can collect a lot of ability stones in a short span of time, level up quickly especially at the start, and enable constant energy refills to play the quests. Old characters in the game aren’t necessarily “outdated”, that is, they don’t get overshadowed by newer characters and are still be useful in the long run. The SSR rates are fairly decent for a gacha game (3% for any SSR to appear); so far, I’ve gotten 10-11 SSR characters in less than a month. It could be due to beginner’s luck (I’ve not been getting SSRs recently), but having a decent pool of SSRs makes it easier to enjoy the game and keep up with the story. Do note this game has no auto-play mode.

Other than those points, the setting and character designs are very nicely done. I especially like [Youngest Underboss] Dazai Osamu and [Flawless] Oda Sakunosuke’s design. 

 

Isaleebelle: Like the anime, I love the setting and theme of the game. The art is extremely beautiful and stylized, while the colors contrast each other well to bring out the “detective agency” atmosphere. The character’s ability animations are extremely adorable and fitting based on the anime, and the short voice segments are also delightful to listen to. Overall, I find it very enjoyable to log in every day to obtain login bonuses, complete daily reports, quests, and power up characters by supplying them with special items acquired throughout the game. Lastly, I am extremely fond of the fact that the game encourages players to make and play with friends. Players are required to choose a friend’s character to start a battle. Not only does this expose players to new characters, but it also helps players create a more balanced team based on affinities, levels, and special abilities.


Final Thoughts

TsukinotheHag: Bungo Stray Dogs: Tales of the Lost has the honor of being the first anime-related game to get me into a particular anime series. Its characters made me more curious about their interactions in the anime, which partially fuels my hype for Bungo Stray Dogs 3rd Season, which is airing this Spring 2019! It’ll definitely be interesting to see how they weave Season 3’s content into the game, as the game has introduced some new original content. Fans of the Bungo Stray Dogs franchise will appreciate this game as it gives them more opportunities to interact with their favorite characters. Overall, Bungo Stray Dogs: Tales of the Lost is a more farming-based game, but for now, with the generous SSR character drops and cool character designs, I probably won’t stop playing any time soon.

Isaleebelle: Bungo Stray Dogs: Tales of the Lost is an entertaining game for fans of the Bungo Stray Dogs franchise, as well as introducing the characters and the premise for people who are new to the series. The gameplay and ability to collect characters, power them up, and battle with them makes one stay engaged with the game. I’ll definitely be looking forward to the game-exclusive content and events in the near future, especially those that will highlight the next installment of the series in Season 3.


Co-written by TsukinoTheHag & Isaleebelle

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