Developer: Unpossible Systems
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

It’s quite tricky to work out whether Fantasy Grind is awful or utterly brilliant. I’m leaning towards the latter, although, I can entirely see why others would hate it.

The idea is one that will lend itself to those who love the experience grind of MMORPGs and many, many other RPGs. There’s no story to speak of, no real evolution of features, nothing more than simply hitting one button on the screen, that correlates to a series of different activities. Fantasy Grind breaks down the concept of experience grinding, right down to its core and distinctly minimalist components. It’s an idea that can only be one of two things: brilliant or awful.

It does take some adjustment. At first, there’s that urge to try to explore the surroundings but Fantasy Grind offers no movements other than that one button. It’s possible to view equipment but even that can’t be adjusted, except at predefined moments within the game. It’s immensely simple, yet oddly compelling.

Players have a quest to undertake at certain times, as well as the chance to change weapons and equipments, but it’s pretty restrictive on the whole. Options to increase certain skill points after levelling up is the main way of having control over a character, although, again, it’s simple stuff.

There are gripes to be found, such as the promise of PvP combat that I never came across, as well as that occasional yearning for a bit more control, but Fantasy Grind works well as satire. Mocking the very ideas behind RPGs is a brave move, and Unpossible System’s title manages to do so with plenty of humor.

That’s not to say that it is a game for everyone, though. It draws one in but it is, ultimately, pointless. There’s a fair argument for that being the case with many experience heavy games, but it’s particularly noticeable here. It still hooked me, though, although I did sometimes question why, much like in the case of a freemium based city building sim. For less than a dollar, though, Fantasy Grind is worth the risk.

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