Many people drink coffee. Some prefer tea. Somewhere in the world, a spiced shot of fermented yak's milk might be on the menu. Should someone be derided for liking something different to you? Of course not.
And while I wouldn't want to compare Immortal Odyssey to such a beverage - I don't even know if it exists - it's fair to say that, while it won't be everyone's cup of tea, Immortal Odyssey is a compelling example of what it sets out to be.
Although, it isn't really what it claims to be either. Billed as an MMO (you'll see other players, but rarely and barely interact with them), Immortal Odyssey is a free to play 2D RPG, with gorgeous artwork and effects clearly inspired by Muramasa Rebirth.
It's what people fond of buzzwords would call a 'midcore' title, meaning its experience is almost entirely a casual one, albeit one that could be played in sessions both big (if paying) and small (for everyone else).
Based on the classic Journey to the West, your quest begins with selecting one of four character classes. Naturally there's barely a single clue as to which offers a playstyle best tailored to your needs.
Picking from a Ranger, Fighter, Mage, or Knight, you'll venture through stunningly-rendered albeit functionally-simple towns and villages, solving problems for those you encounter via the method of walloping demons, dragons, demigods, and just about everything in-between.
Such traversing and walloping is pleasingly simple, to the point where pretty much anyone could pick up the game and do well. Pressing the glowing 'Route' button in the upper right of the screen will send you to the next quest-giver, or to the area you'll need to pacify next.
Combat is a turn-based affair, with discrete speed stats determining the order of attacks. With up to five combatants in each party, the front row must be defeated before the rear row can be attacked (with some exceptions), offering some light tactical gameplay.
And for less-savvy players, tapping the 'auto' button lets the ropey AI muddle its way toward victory. Fine against single foes, but less advisable against squads.
More than meets the eye
For all its accessibility, not to mention its generosity (the game continuously showers you in gifts, coins, and new party members, without you spending a penny), there's still a fair amount here that those new to RPGs will find obtuse.
For instance, a wealth of in-game items affect all manner of character stats, but with zero explanation of what any of the stats mean. 'Magic Leech' baffles me, for instance, so I'd imagine the target audience here would be mostly lost at sea.
Other quirks irritate. An energy system ensures that freeloaders like me can only play for relatively short bursts - fine for anyone with minimal time to play games, but hugely limiting for those 'midcore' players seeking marathon sessions.
Arbitrarily level-locked missions sees grinding become essential too, but shortcuts minimise tedium - if you have in-game energy and raid tickets, previously conquered dungeons can be beaten with a single button press.
More annoyingly, certain areas and rewards are only available during narrow time windows tailored to East Asian markets. Hopefully later updates can make Immortal Odyssey more welcoming to other time zones too.
In short, Immortal Odyssey is handsome, straightforward, and welcoming. It's far from perfect, but thoroughly pleasant throughout. If you don't mind enjoying it in dribs and drabs, and can abide sussing out its intricacies with minimal guidance that is.