Despite the relative lack of fanfare, this one looks to be another free-to-play title worth watching.

by Jason Venter

This week, without more warning than a press release, Square Enix brought a new game to the App Store. It is called Masters of the Masks and you can download it for free.

“Masters of the Masks is being billed as a ‘drag-and-drop’ RPG,” writes Joseph Leray of Touch Arcade, “which is a fancy way of saying it uses gestures instead of menus to navigate its turn-based battles. Otherwise, it’s got the staples you would expect: health bars, magic spells, equippable weapons, and a high-fantasy plot involving characters with names like ‘Ethraban.'”

By Leray’s reckoning, what sets Masters of the Masks apart is its crafting system. Battles award the player goodies that they can use to create masks, provided they have the right combination of ingredients. Those masks offer stat improvements, and they can even be combined with one another to further enhance the potential effects.

The masks actually serve as the basis for the game’s free-to-play elements, according to Leray.

“Each skirmish costs ‘Stamina,’ and crafting a new mask takes five minutes unless you pay a few gold coins,” he explains. “I don’t quite know how workable the ratio of real money to coins to Stamina is yet, but so far nothing stands out as particularly egregious compared to other free-to-play games.”

The game’s listing promises “epic turn based battles” and “cell-shaded art style new and unique in mobile RPG gaming,” along with a skill system that is “easy to pick up, yet challenging to master.” If all of that sounds like it might be worth a shot, at least the price of admittance is right…

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