Role playing games are all about interesting narratives that unfold as you play, and I usually get drawn into a game's story. Bad guys, heroes, weird creatures—what's not to love? Couple this with a great imaginary setting and you've got a winner in my eyes.
Bringing the same kind of atmosphere to the scaled down display of a smartphone is a challenge and our expectations are not as high as when we're sitting in front of our bigger screens. Our attitude towards playing games on smartphones is different—and Blood Brothers is thus to be seen as a sort of “lite” version of a role playing game.
The narrative is about the betrayal of fallen heroes turned vampires. Select one of the characters to help you bring about the downfall of the now-corrupt kingdom.
The first requirement is to login to the multiplayer service Mobage, either via Facebook or your own account, which takes a while to load.
Once this is taken care of you can choose your alter ego: knight, samurai, high elf, dark elf, ape, lizardman, dwarf or goblin.
Once you've liberated your hero from his coffin he is ready to face his enemies with the help of a friend who provides hints and helps you get settled into the gameplay. The goal is to scout out new territories and fight monsters and other baddies. The setting looks like a board game and the characters move like pieces in a board game. Along the way you will dins gold, treasure and items as well as monsters galore. Fights against monsters are fully automated, meaning you can and must kind of lean back and twiddle your thumbs, seeing as there's not much else for you to do (you can't control the fighters or select attacks). Some players will enjoy this passive approach, others may find it to be somewhat dull.
However, you can compose your party of fighter using coins collected along the way and then selecting from five levels of characters in the graveyard. The characters all have different trademarks and some are rarer than others.
Another means for gathering characters to join one's posse is using the elixirs or by turning an enemy into an ally once you have defeated them in battle and used the elixir on them. The standard elixir's success rate of turning an enemy to an ally is not 100%, so best to use the rarer elixir with which I always had more success.
As mentioned, it isn't directly possible to influence battles whilst they're taking place, but building a strong party is key and requires strategic thinking.
My favourite aspects to the game are the option to create parties of fighters and the blood brothers rites. The latter consists of a special act in which the leader takes on his posse in order to acquire their abilities. Two fighters become one, making the game more interesting.