Final Fantasy: All the Bravest is a free mobile game that lets you scrub your finger across dozens of characters to get them to attack. That’s it. You scrub until you’ve won the battle. The enemies will slowly attack your party and pick them off. When everyone is dead, you need to use an hourglass which revive everyone in your giant party. These hour glasses cost real world money, but you can also wait three minutes per character to slowly revive them. Even with your party wiped out, you can return with more troops to ensure that no battle is lost as long as you put in the money or the time.
This game is legendarily bad for its micro transactions and nontraditional gameplay. Some suckers even tap each character rather than scrubbing the screen. I recommend using a stylus or you’ll lose the skin on your finger from scrubbing so furiously. With this method I was able to get a step up and get an edge over anyone else that’s ever played the game. Like most mobile games with a grind mechanic, the real way to win is to never play.
Final Fantasy and other role playing games have always boiled down to your decision, even if that decision is to always attack. There is no decision here, only attacks. You don’t even decide which enemy to attack. Even the healers and white mages will attack. There’s no reason for them to heal when your characters are instantly killed by any attack. Most enemy attacks kill off a single party member, but some boss attacks can wipe out an entire row or column. Plus there’s no choice, only scrubbing.
Each attack leads to a cool down period, which is the time your troops need to rest before they can attack again. That’s fine, but I mention that to mention the fever mode the game has every few hours or so. Pressing the fever button will let you attack with no cooldown for however many seconds it lasts. Once the battle is over, it’s over. I recommend saving it for bosses.
I played this game on and off for a day and I do really mean on and off. The game is broken into maps and each map has four points. It’s always the fourth point that is a crushing difficulty that’s over whatever level you have. It will always wipe you out, and you’ll have to return or pay for an hour glass. To be fair, when you win a battle, your entire party is resurrected.
Somewhere in my extensive play through I used previous points on the map to grind my levels up in the hopes that I will be powerful enough to defeat the fourth point without having to wait. It was fruitless. My troop of two dozen characters was always wiped out.
Outside of bosses there are battle points which have you facing random enemies through four or so battles. These feel easier at least in the early areas of the game. Each battle gives you experience and gold (gil), but I have yet to figure out what gold does. There is no sort of manual. There is a shop in game, but you spend real world money on everything. Perhaps gil is just a score.
To give you a sense of progression, you start with only the fighter class, then new classes are unlocked such as black mages, white mages, monks and so on. You’ll get more party members. Each class attacks differently and its so chaotic that the type of attack feels meaningless. Each enemy has the potential to drop a specific weapon. One weapon is all you need for each class to use it. Since finding weapon is utterly random, it gives the game a bit of replay value or need to grind through areas you’ve already surpassed.
As for the boss fights, they start with four lines of dialog that are slow and break up the frantic pace of the game. I just want to fight and get it over with. These lines of dialog feel generic enough to fit with any boss. Well… except for the octopus that mentioned its eight arms.
There is an extensive catalog of classes, gear and enemies so you can read more about them. Beyond simple words, the catalog is only useful to see what you still need to unlock or find. There are no stats for classes or enemies. At least the weapons show how they increase your attack along with what classes will use the weapon and which foe drops what weapon.
This catalog exists to let you know how much you’ve seen in the game and the fact you’ll never unlock everything without paying money. Yes, you’ll need to pay a dollar per character. These characters go beyond classes, but the problem is these characters are random.
I assume purchasing random characters will unlock legendary beasts and legendary weapons. Throughout the entirety of the game, I never encountered one legendary creature. Perhaps these creatures only unlock during a second play through, but once was enough for me.
Without much of a story, there wasn’t much of an ending to cap off the experience. You see the credits roll with all the classes walking across the land. Chances are good that All the Bravest is under an hour long game that’s padded out with cool down times and waiting across multiple days to complete it. I was able to save the initial ten hour glasses that the game is generous to provide you with, so during the final boss battle, I used five of them to expedite the tedium and see it through to the end.
Final Fantasy: All the Bravest feels like a major publisher had a game jam to Frankenstein the assets from the original Final Fantasies to make a micro transaction monster. I also find it staggering that five years after the game’s launch that it has a 4.3 rating on the iTunes store and a 3 star rating over on the Play Store with tens of thousands more reviews.