Symphony of Eternity from Kemco Games is a blast from the past.

A reminder of the good old days when, instead of being sodden with angst and melodrama, Japanese role-playing games were renowned for their charm.

Dressed up like a 16-bit classic, the game takes its cues from Chrono Trigger and the Final Fantasy series, then adds touchscreen functionality and a cast of likeable, familiar characters.

It'll never win awards for originality, but that's not what it's aiming for.

This is old skool gaming at its finest. A mix of nostalgia and playability, held together by some excellent modern additions.

Kreist Almighty

The game tells the story of Kreist, a loveable adventurer with a heart of gold who, along with his Golem friend Dauturu, is on a quest for Regratlute, a fabled stone which grants whoever holds it his heart's desire.

Kreist and Dauturu are joined in this endeavour by Laishutia, a Princess from the kingdom of Eashtend who, at the start of the game, escapes a coup by the skin of her teeth.

You guide Kreist and his friends through volcanic wastelands, windswept vistas and forest clearings, battling magical ninjas, evil plants, and green globules of slime, gaining experience and treasure as you go.

Nostalgic Sleeves

The game is split between exploration and fighting, although, unlike other examples of the genre, battles in Symphony of Eternity aren't random.

Creatures are represented on the map, allowing cunning players to sneak up on them, or avoid a conflict altogether if they're running low on health.

The turn based battles are controlled with a simple on-screen cross, which lets you choose the attacks, potions, stances, and specials you use to combat your foes.

It's a neat, streamlined system that works wonderfully well.

There's a good deal of character micro-management under the surface, too.

A tablet-based class system allows each of your adventurers to learn new skills and roles, and points awarded when you level-up can be allocated to different attributes.

Progression feels rounded and natural, and the difficulty levels are expertly managed.

As the game goes on, your characters become individuals, which inevitably leads you to caring about them even more.

On top of all this, the graphics and sound add to the nostalgic vibe. Symphony of Eternity isn't afraid to wear its influences on its sleeve and the experience is all the stronger for that.

New Classics

But Symphony of Eternity isn't without its flaws.

The on-screen dial you use to control Kreist is an unwieldy beast that often leads you in the wrong direction, and sometimes you walk through enemies, turning what should have been a pre-emptive strike into an advantage for your foes.

Despite these niggles, Symphony of Eternity is a huge success.

The intuitive battle system is a treat, whilst the cast of engaging and interesting characters will keep you playing long into the night.

It's odd that such a resoundingly old skool game can be a breath of fresh air, but that's exactly what Symphony of Eternity is: a reinterpretation destined for the giddy heights of the games it so lovingly apes.