Square Enix have previous when it comes to good-looking RPGs, you need look no further than the Chaos Rings series for justification, and fans will see plenty of familiarity if they pick up Drakerider.
The game sees you take control of the mysteriously and somewhat amusingly named ‘silver-haired lad’ and who spends most of the game astride his ferocious sidekick, a dragon named Eckhardt.
It is the combination of these two that provides Drakerider with it’s unique control system when in battle.
Instead of commands of button combinations, players use swipes of the iPhone screen to control the reins of their dragon, and tempering his attacks as such.
The chains along the bottom of the screen go with a status bar at top which is colour-coded, each shade representing a different mode of battle.
Pull the reins in tight to restrain your dragon and you can heal his wounds but cause no damage to your enemy. Let Eckhardt too loose however and his primal instincts will take over and you’ll soon become the target.
It’s a very different system and one that takes some real getting used to. Your first battle outside the tutorial will more than likely take several retries before you succeed.
The key is patience and use of strategy – all out attack or solid defence will get you nowhere. Instead you need to find the balance between guarding onslaughts, striking back, and being patient and taking the time to heal.
What this means is an extended amount of time spent battling, and this can be no bad thing when the visuals are this good, and the control set-up this unique and engaging.
The only sour point for some might be the in-app purchases and the end to spend £14.99/$19.99 in order to unlock the full game beyond Chapter One.
This seems a little steep for an iOS game, even one that is as immersive as this.