Some people get sucked into Civilization. Some people play shooters. Some people like racing games. Final Fantast Tactics might be the game that I’ve played more than any other. I’ve played the original PS1 version over 99+ hours at least twice, and played various versions of the portable version too. Turn based strategy + leveling + persistent characters is my jam. I am usually not obsessive compulsive (much), about games anymore, but if I was playing a level in Final Fantasy Tactics and had a beloved character die, I wasn’t going to let that injustice stand. Hours, possibly days were lost when I stumbled upon random mobs of Chocobos when I was leveling different side characters so that I could see every class. (Note: I’ve never played Disgaea because I’d fall into a rabbit hole of leveling and never emerge).

I don’t have the patience or time for intensive turn based strategy games unless I’m playing a social board game of some time, and even then I have my limits (Game of Thrones: The Board Game SUCKS. BOOOOOO!) I was bored today, watching Glow and Arrow and decided to search the Google Play marketplace for something new to try out. The most interesting result I got was for a game “Like Final Fantasty Tactics meets Angry Birds.”

Squids touts some amazing 2D artwork with expressive character designs. While not as deep as Final Fantasy Tactics, there is some similarity in the way you can acquire different unit classes, buy equipment for them using a pearl currency (which is earned in battles, but can be purchases in real cash micropayments, naturally). The game has different special attacks, and levels of various types that keep the game from being too repetitive. Occasionally you’ll have a goal to reach, or need to survive a certain number of turns, or need to kill all the enemies. Each level also has bonus things like “finding the star” or “all squids survive” bonuses, which compel replays and mastery of the skills.

The leveling system is represented by a series of “hats”. You put on a hat to get bonuses to certain stats, then you can pay additional pearls to further level your characters. Upper level items look to be seriously expensive though, so it might become a grind to fully upgrade everything. Right now though, I’m playing through the story and want to see how far I can get without having a unit die in battle. Right now the game play is fairly strategic, usually pretty “fair”, and unique. Playing on a tablet, compared to a phone, seems like a benefit. Each battle lasts around five minutes, unlike the hour long struggles of more difficult maps on FFT, so you won’t need to worry about your battery dying before you can finish a round.

I’ve only gotten an hour under my belt, but it’s worth the huge 330+ meg download. I like the game a lot, and while it isn’t Final Fantasy Tactics, it’s pretty awesome.