I was about halfway through the second world when I went back to check out the world map. When I did, I saw that there were at least eight more to complete after the current one. In a good game, this would have made me delighted. Even more fun to be had! I’ll be playing for weeks! Instead, I felt… defeated. I’ll be playing this for weeks?
Fading Fairytales (out now, FREE) by Dodreams and Crescent Moon is a turn-based RPG which sees you battling against the dark forces that have turned beloved children’s characters into evil villains. I’m just going to come right out with it: The premise is easily the best part of this game. I got a bit of a Shrek vibe playing through it, what with fairytales figures being turned on their heads, and that turns out to be a pretty good thing. The story itself, while not very deep, at least has a good idea of how seriously to take itself. (Not very, thankfully.)
The actually “game” part of the game isn’t terrible by any means. You choose your merry band of assorted animals and set out for battle. Fighting involves tapping squares to choose where your characters should go and where they should attack (or heal, or cast spells, etc.). Get used to doing this over and over, with little variety. And therein lies the problem: while the mechanics themselves are sound, nearly every battle ends up feeling largely the same. This is exacerbated by the fact that the game is grindy as hell, too.
Granted, I’m not the biggest RPG fan out there, but I know enough to know they can be a grind. Unfortunately, I think just about the worst thing you can do to a genre that’s already known for being grindy is to make it free-to-play and add an extra side of grind to your grind salad. Weapons and armor are priced fairly high in the shop, and new characters are also quite far out of reach most of the time. Compounding this is the fact that there is a premium currency as well, called Pages, which I almost never came across in the wild. Naturally, some of the best equipment costs loads of them.
It’s a shame that the developers didn’t push Fading Fairytales just a little bit further. As it stands now, the gameplay is average at best and tiresome at worst, with a fun premise and bubbly art that doesn’t quite make up for its shortcomings.
iFanzine Verdict: Fading Fairytales has a lot of charm and character, and even more grinding. You’ll play painfully slow battles over and over to afford outfitting your team with basic items, provided you don’t want to shell out some cash, of course. For an RPG fan looking for something different, story-wise, this may be for you. For everyone else, it’s an IAP-hungry wolf dressed like a kindly old grandma.