You hear a voice, the god Lucius telling you to defeat evil. As the light fades, you awaken in a grass field, with a spirit telling you to head to town. You’re a summoner, called from another world to save Grand Gaia from the dark god Maxwell. With a small army at your disposal you head off to right the wrongs of this world, while increasing your power and the summons at your disposal.
Brave Frontier is a squad-based mobile RPG based around luck, and grinding. You start with a collection of units, and go through the game improving them and getting new ones. You have a town that drops items and two forms of in-game currency, you fuse your weaker units to improve your strong ones, and you go around completing quests. The story is simply that you’re pushing onward to defeat the evil god Maxwell, and it’s kinda cheesy. But we’re really not here for the story anyway.
Gameplay is simple, but rather engaging. You conduct battle by clicking on your units, which sends them to attack; after each round enemies drop crystals which grant you access to powerful attacks your units perform, as well as in-game currency and healing items. However, if you time your attacks right you can perform a Spark which grants you increased damage on both attacks. This turns fighting into a matter of timing unit animations, and makes a simple mechanic pretty tricky. Units also have elements which can alter their effectiveness against each other, and can often turn the tides of battle. On top of that, units have several “classes” which can alter their stats greatly. So, while the mechanics of the game seem to be simple, they can be pretty rewarding and full of little mysteries.
The game’s artwork is cute, but full of tiny errors. Human units do not have noses or mouths, often have only one eye, and generally look deformed. Some of this is attributed to art style, but a lot seems laziness. That said, the artwork is still cute, and the female units aren’t all huge-breasted and in skimpy armor. Many, in fact, are wearing practical, full-body armor that doesn’t show off their breasts—a miracle for an RPG! There are a few that fall into that fault, but they’re far enough between that it doesn’t entirely ruin the game for me. The monster characters are all cute, but look like they’re trying their hardest to be awesome and fear-inspiring. In all, the art style is pretty cute, has some errors, but is charming enough for me to look past it.
The game’s method of monetization is to have you buy gems. Gems are then used for many things: to refill your PVP attempts, to refill energy (required to go on quests), to purchase stronger units, increase your inventory slots, or recover from a game over. Purchasing units is the most useful of these functions, but the process for that is through a random summon which might get you anything from a slime to a world-destroying god monster that you can’t include on your team due to just having started the game. This is to encourage spending, but it’s still disheartening because you don’t even have a guarantee that your money is going anywhere!
Aside from monetization being flawed, the whole game is pretty flawed in general. You’ll spend your time grinding the units required to upgrade your favorites, while having to grind game currency to keep paying for these upgrades. The story may as well not be there, because I really don’t care for it beyond getting more cute units. Using your real money to succeed in the game may not get you anything, which is a very painful possibility, too! Also, the game assumes you’re male, which is insulting to me, and definitely a detraction from my enjoyment. It’s a flawed game, as mobile games often are!
In all, would I play the game? I am playing it—but would I spend money on it? Probably not, no. It isn’t worth that sort of financial support, and I really can’t justify giving it money. Not so that they can continue with their flawed design, anyway. Maybe if they fix up the artwork, and refer to the player without making gender assumptions, maybe. But until then, it’s a little below average, but good for wasting time on the bus!