Platforms: Android, iOS
Release Date: October 9th, 2014
Producer: Hironobu Sakaguchi (Mastermind behind classic Final Fantasy games, The Last Story, Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey etc)
Music: Uematsu Nobuo (Composer behind Final Fantasy I to X, The Last Story, Fantasy Life, Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey etc)
Character Designers: Fujisaka Kimihiko (The Last Story, Drag-on Dragoon/Drakengard etc), Suzuki Nakaba (Nanatsu no Taizai), Yoneda Hitoshi (one character in-game: Jaguna), etc.
What is it?
A mobile puzzle/strategy/action game by Mistwalker, from the original creators of Final Fantasy. Great gameplay, great design, fantastic music. Just a little draggy in the story but enough surprises to keep you interested.
Humans, Beastfolk and Lizardfolk reside above ground. Stories of a Maker exist in every race’s culture. Our heroes embark on a journey underground to probe the existence of the Maker, and uncover dark secrets which they never knew existed.
The story is written in 2nd person form (“you”) and as the story progresses, important characters from the story join your party with unique strengths.
Each character’s profile tells his/her/its story (3 paragraphs each, unlocked by unlocking jobs), and I highly recommend reading them. *cough* Samatha *cough*.
Gameplay is explained in official videos here and here. To sum it up, attacks occur when your characters “sandwich” enemy unit(s), and chaining/combo-ing is done by placing your other characters along the other three directions on the grid from each “sandwich” ally character. Only one ally can be moved each turn, and the moving character has a ability to switch places with other ally units while crossing them, a la Puzzle & Dragons for those who have played it before.
Small portion of the numerous characters available.
You can increase your party variety by either recruiting characters from the tavern or with a small chance, recruit monsters you defeat in the game. Monsters usually have few skills, but they are rather powerful ones which only high level human/beastfolk/lizardfolk/stonefolk can use.
The randomness of recruitment coupled with the ability to equip skills from other jobs of the same character (think Bravely Default or Final Fantasy Tactics) increase the individuality of each player with unique strategies and possibilities varying from player to player. Drop rates are decently high and Mistwalker is generous in giving out “energy”, which is a currency for recruiting rare characters.
Protip! Get to know the skills and identify useful AoE/effect skills which can turn the tide in a battle. Also, remember the special zones and use them to your advantage to upgrade and strengthen your characters:
- Metal Zones: The zones you will visit the most. Very handy for levelling up characters and their new jobs.
- Pudding Time: Useful for rings and ores. Bring your best magic and spellcasters!
- Tin Parade: Useful for hunting class-specific items and tears. Defeat the monsters quickly before they power-up!
- Puppet Show: Useful for hunting race-specific items. Make good use of the limited 12 seconds movement time you have!
The soundtrack is headed by Uematsu Nobuo (he composed almost every classic and timeless track in the Final Fantasy series), and he does not disappoint. Officially they have released 4 samples for listening (one of them right above!), and because we have hit the Download Starter for free OST release (more details below), we will soon get the full soundtrack!
What is “Download Starter”?
Pretty self-explanatory. The more people download this game, the more bonuses unlocked! I’m looking forward to the Sakaguchi boss unlock and the release of the OST!
For those who read this article as it was released, a Neo Bahamut event will be out today (31st Oct)! I have a Bahamut, and I can’t wait to face its cousin (or something like that).
As part of the Download Starter, a co-op mode will also be added in the near future!
Is it Recommended?
YES. YES. YES. I have been playing it since the release, and so far everything surpasses my expectations. It is definitely one of the highest grade mobile games this year. IAPs are not compulsory and the game can be progressed without purchasing nor grinding. It does not try any cheap trick to make you return to the game too, I return to playing it because I like it and want to.