The most consistently I’ve ever played a mobile game was Jetpack Joyride in 2011, and ever since I burned out on it, finding a solid mobile game has been slim pickings. For the last two weeks, Terra Battle has been the first mobile game I’ve found in these three years that is not only good in the first place, but simultaneously mindless enough to easily fill in the gaps in the day, and complex enough to sustain itself.
Terra Battle is best described as a casual puzzle game with some action and RPG elements. As you can see in the image, the main game takes place on a grid for you to drag your characters around on and attack enemies by surrounding them with two. The premise is that you can only move one character per turn, but when you drag one character over another they switch places, allowing you to leapfrog as many people around the screen as you can before time runs out. You can also make use of other characters’ skills besides your two attackers to boost their attack power by lining them up. This is where real tactics and skill come into play, and in such an accessible yet challenging way I haven’t seen much elsewhere on the App Store in so solid a package.
New characters can be recruited using either generously low amounts of in-game money or its uninvasive microtransaction currency, and specific monsters are also dropped like loot for you to use. Each character can switch between three individually leveled jobs containing different skills, and there’s a Fire Emblem-like rock-paper-scissors counter system for you to occasionally remember to use.
The character portraits are beautiful, and the damn game has music by Nobuo Uematsu. It’s going through a system similar to Kickstarter stretch goals, in that every several thousand downloads earns some kind of extra effort from the developers. A Nobuo Uematsu soundtrack was the 100,000 download reward, and future rewards include a PVP mode, even a console game of some kind at 2,000,000 downloads.
I really want that console game, guys. Download this game, then proceed to not regret it.