On a system that's mainly used when travelling, role-playing games very rarely manage to adapt to perfectly suit their new home.
Either they take the traditional route and take too long to get into their stride - not the best introduction when a normal sitting can be measured in minutes - or they just come across as shallow imitators of the real thing.
Mika Mobile's tactical RPG Battleheart, on the other hand, manages to strike an almost perfect balance between instantly enjoyable gameplay, and long-term investment.
New dog, old tricks
The game involves entering a series of battles with four different characters armed with different skillsets. For instance, Knights are good at dealing damage but weak defensively, while Clerics are softies that can heal at range.
Battles involve moving the characters around the screen by tapping them and dragging waypoints so as to compose an idea fighting formation.
Tapping a character and drawing a line towards either destination or foe may seem simple, but doing it for four characters at a time is anything but.
The hallowed tank/healer/ranged interplay forms the bulk of the Battleheart's combat mechanic, but the game’s insistence on making sure you prioritise each character’s attack and special abilities is what makes the entire package work beautifully.Flies on a thoroughbred
Potential recruits vary from pirates to bards, and you’re going to need most of them. Or rather, you'll need their special abilities, only judicious use of which will bring the trickier bosses to heel.
Characters gain new abilities as they progress, as well as new equipment, but the economics and equipment-swapping are kept to a merciful minimum.
Slightly longer loading screens than advisable and the annoying oversight of not preventing the locking screen from kicking in, as well as the occasional off-screen enemy, are the only minor inconveniences to contend with.
But these are small fry. Battleheart is elegantly presented, beautifully designed, lengthy, and in all respects one of the better Android tactical RPGs.