So Terra Battle came out a few days ago on the 9th, a mobile game by Mistwalker. Sakaguchi Hironobu had a few interviews about this decision to pursue a mobile game instead of a console game, and I found it all rather interesting. It’s also pretty neat that Terra Battle had a worldwide release, since I’m used to Japanese games taking months/years to reach Western shores :P
Anyway, Terra Battle is a digital strategy board game played with a party of units that level up and have stats. The closest game for comparison is Puzzle & Dragons, the gameplay itself shares the use of dragging and displacing that PAD has, but otherwise it’s very different. Your objective is to bookend enemy units with your own units, which does damage to all enemies bookended. Think Othello/Reversi/Connect 4. Aside from this simple concept, units also can have one of 4 different types: Sword, Bow, Spear, Staff. Sword-Bow-Spear have a rock-paper-scissors arrangement, where Sword units deal more damage to and take less damage from Bow units, etc. down the chain. Staff units are weak to all weapon types, but they have the ability to cast spells that supplement your offense or provide healing and support.
It’s such a simple concept, but throw in various skills and spectacular artwork and music and you’ve got something both enthralling and fascinating. One thing in particular that I like about the game design is that it takes 5 minutes to regenerate 1 stamina, twice as fast as PAD. Combined with the one thing I dislike about the game, that each stage takes way too much time and effort to complete (or maybe I’m just being really anal about it), and I find that, unlike other similar mobile games I’ve played, I never feel like I need “maximize” my stamina use and always have it on cooldown. Since it regenerates so fast and it’s hard to spend all at once, I don’t feel bad that I let my game “waste” stamina regen. I don’t think this was intentional design, but it works for me since I feel a lot less pressure to have to be playing the game.
I’m currently on chapter 9, which is not too far considering I could probably be done with the main story by now, but it’s been a lot of fun, and challenging to boot. Looking forward to more content being added!