Battleheart Legacy is cheerful and pretty, it's bursting with ideas, and its copious grinding is never a chore.
But what I love most about it is how accessible Mika Mobile has made the hardcore RPG.
In transposing unwieldy and unyielding JRPG tropes into a more direct action-oriented setting, and including a light narrative free of teenage melodrama, it's managed to make a sometimes esoteric genre utterly welcoming.
You start out on your adventure in a tiny village, learn the basics of movement and combat, and from there you're left to tackle quests in whatever order you like, so long as you meet the minimum level requirements.
There are mystical items to find, animal hides to collect, and bad guys to vanquish, and the plot is light enough that it doesn't intrude.
From small beginning
As with most RPGs, the three things you'll be doing most are fighting baddies, exploring environments, and building your character.
Character-building is simplified, but it's still as satisfying as in more complex RPGs. As you level-up you'll assign points to Strength, Charisma, Dexterity, and so on.
Each point added shows immediate improvement in battle, upping your chances of dodging a blow, or increasing how hard you hit an opponent.
More interestingly, when you talk with some characters they'll be able to teach you new skills to wield in combat.
This lets you grow your character into a magic user, bard, ranger, or straight up warrior, without limiting yourself to a single path.
The combat is flexible enough that it's easy to play the way you want to.
If you like to hang back and fire a volley of arrows then you can. Just tap the ground where you'd like to stand, target the creature you want to attack, and if you own a bow you'll start firing.
If you prefer to get up close and personal you can offset any damage you receive through armour, and tap the healing potion icon to restore health points.
If it all gets too much you can change the difficulty level to give you more potions, or if it's too easy you can do with away them completely.
Nailing the point home
While a lot of the skills you unlock are passive, others offer new offensive options.
Aimed Shot is a powerful ranged attack that knocks enemies back, Divine Hammer is an immensely strong close combat attack, and Charm will make a targeted enemy fight alongside you.
These powers recharge over time, and clever use of them will get you out of many a scrap unscathed.
You might still doing typical RPG things like opening chests, going on adventures, and exchanging blows with goblins, but the guff is gone.
You're not poring over stats or passively watching a fight play out - you're being an adventurer and buckling swash.
The game engine is lean and loads quickly, so it's perfect for quick bouts of experience grinding, something you'll need to do a lot of on standard difficulty.
There are a few complaints to be made, but most of them are minor.
There's little energy in the dialogue, few genuinely funny moments, and when you're given a choice of how to respond to a statement a lot of the options just sound plain dumb.
There are bugs in the game too, again mostly minor, but they're there nonetheless.
With its engaging combat, fast pace, and flexibility Battleheart Legacy is a simple, rewarding RPG that pretty much anyone will thoroughly enjoy.