As you'd expect in most games of this genre, the battles progress as the player takes turns with the CPU to move their characters and execute moves to deal damage to the opponent. Winning battles awards you with loot and experience, enabling character upgrades and unlocking the next stage. However, it's not as simple as you might think; as the name implies, tactics are a major part of the game. Every monster and hero has one of three attributes (rock, paper or scissors) which provides an advantage over enemies of the weaker attribute. As well as this, attacking from the side or behind - or from advantageous terrain - boosts attacks in a similar manner. Best of all, if the target is within range of other heroes, they'll team up and perform a group attack. Combining all of these effectively will allow you to dominate the battlefield.
What makes Fantasy War Tactics stand out is the vast array of heroes that are available - there are a whopping 58 characters so far! Each of them possesses four unique skills, different stats, special costumes and their own storyline. Even more impressively, only one of them, Seira, requires an in-app purchase. Everyone else can be obtained from the main story, bonus levels or by collecting event items. With such a varied cast, it's easy to tailor teams to your playing style, making gameplay far more fun.
Speaking of the characters, it seems appropriate to mention the game's plot. Without giving too much away, the so-called protagonist of the game is the incredibly egotistical, self-proclaimed 'Lord'. He's hell-bent on taking over the world and yet, inevitably, ends up saddled with the task of saving it. Along his journey, he recruits - willingly or not - the aforementioned menagerie of characters to join his cause. This mixture of personalities provide frequent entertainment as they interact with one-another comically. Overall, the main story appears to be lengthy and rewarding, offering many hours of gameplay.
Aside from that, the game is generally well made. The graphics are pretty good, both for the 2D pictures and 3D models. The music is nothing extraordinary but there's little to criticise. Similarly, the sound effects are standard but well placed, emphasising various jokes and developments. Additional elements, such as guilds, PVP tournaments and daily dungeons add some variety to the game, whilst longer events offer the chance to obtain powerful heroes, equipment and more, regardless of your level. The only criticisms I can make are the odd (forgivable) spelling mistake and the need to repeat levels so often. Unfortunately, many heroes require the return to their boss level numerous times before they can be recruited. This is especially true of the Lost Island levels, which may necessitate hours on auto-retry before the characters can be obtained.
All things considered, Fantasy War Tactics is exactly the game I've felt was missing from the App Store for too long. Reminiscent of some of my favourite series, it lives up to the genre's reputation with an engaging and rewarding experience.
If you'd like to see some of my hints and tips on how to enjoy the game to the fullest, click below.
- You shouldn't need to purchase anything in order to advance. If you stick at it, logging in daily and levelling up characters, any level should eventually be feasible.
- Befriend some powerful allies. You can find some strong buddies by clicking names in the Global Chat channel and adding them as friends. This can help you to no end on expeditions or during boss battles.
- Buy daily event items when you can. The shop usually includes some great enhancement materials to quickly improve your heroes. The limited edition items are also worth saving up for, especially the characters or costumes.
- Don't forget to invest in Lord Skills. Hellfire and Heal are particularly useful, so don't forget to use your 'Mastery' points.
- Join an active guild. (And remember to mark your attendance!) This way you'll never run out of energy or gold and you'll be able to enter extra levels.
- Auto-retry boss levels to obtain 'genes' for heroes like Kai. You can only repeat most levels 3 times each day, so return to the important one frequently and you'll be doing your heroes a massive favour.