Well met, warriors: Curious to see how much fun we've been having with all this hero-shuffling? Check out our Terra Battle review!
Terra Battle is a strategy-based puzzle RPG that is accessible and addictive, yet multi-faceted and challenging, so take heed of these hints and tips before you and your squad head into dangerous, uncharted territory.
On the Battlefield
Terra Battle's fighting system is based on a form of Rock Paper Scissors, in which certain weapon types can outperform others: swords have the advantage over bows, bows can dominate spears, and spears can best swords. Remembering this cycle is key in deciding which squad member to use in the next attack. The staff simply highlights a mage character with healing attributes but no attacking ability.
There is a time limit in which each movement must be completed, so try to plan a movement in advance - particularly if it involves displacing another tile into a better position for chain support or a direct attack. If you're smart about it, pre-planning a route and approaching multiple characters from certain angles can set up multiple chain attacks were before there was none.
In some way or another, most Japanese RPGs owe something to Final Fantasy. But with Terra Battle, the now-common mix of Western medieval fantasy with Eastern anime aesthetic feels earned. After all, its developer, Mistwalker, was founded by the Final Fantasy mastermind himself, Hironobu Sakaguchi. While this upcoming strategy game is definitely more modest than its ancestors, it’s still worth noticing when a company with this pedigree flexes its muscles. So that’s what we did in this latest edition of It Came From Canada!
As modern RPG plots become as integral to their respective games as they are incomprehensible, Terra Battle harkens back to an earlier time when fighting monsters was as good a reason as any to recruit tavern patrons to your party. There is a story, but those who choose to skip it can still find the game worthwhile.
And besides, the vast majority of the time is spent in the battlefield brawls that make up each chapter. Terra Battle's take on turn-based strategy feels like a cross between Fire Emblem and a board game like Reversi. Enemies and party members appear as squares on a grid. During each turn, players can move one square wherever they like while they still have time. To attack, players simply flank an enemy with two units.
The game also uses a weapon triangle system where certain attacks trump others, like rock-paper-scissors. However, proper positioning is the real focus. Beyond basic movement, players can explore other tactical options and quirks like passing units through each other to shift their locations or creating larger support clusters to attack multiple foes at once. Occasionally, powerful orbs will materialize on the grid, and by working those into their formations players can unleash even more devastating attacks perfect for boss fights.
To improve their party, players can also participate in daily challenges in special zones to earn more experience or loot. But really, the deep, intense, and highly strategic combat is the draw. It’s so good players may not even notice or care how lovely but generic the illustrated artwork is or how dull the barren grid itself becomes after staring at it for countless hours.
Terra Battle may not be some endless epic about saving the world from calamity, but it is a tight little test of wits. And it’s coming to the App Store soon, so be on the lookout.