They say the best things in life are free, and that's especially true if you enjoy comic books and you've also downloaded the latest offering from Squeenix. Imaginary Range [Free] is a graphic novel/game published by Square Enix, and developed by H.A.N.D., known for Final Fantasy: Chocobo Tales on the Nintendo DS.

Imaginary Range isn't your typical game, in fact it's not much of a game at all, it's more of a comic book with mini-games interspersed between the pages. While the main attraction here is the comic, the mini-games really help you feel like you're playing a part in progressing the story along, mainly because you can't read on until you finish whatever challenge comes up. The games range from your simple slide puzzles, to line drawing games like Flight Controlwhere you guide missiles towards your enemy. While the games are fairly simple, they are marvelously executed and really tie into the story well.

The real stand out here is the comic book itself. The art is simply beautiful, and the presentation of each scene is absolutely stunning. The story is a fantastic read, and all of the sound and music that accompanies Imaginary Range makes you realize just how much power iOS devices could have in advancing the graphic novel format.

Once you read through the comic's 53 pages you'll unlock the included mini-games to be played at your leisure. Also, you have the ability to use the coins you earned in the game to purchase some character art through scratch-off games.

Always skeptical of the free apps I was a little unsure of whether or not Imaginary Range would have much to offer, but I was pleasantly surprised. The mini-games could have had a little more variety, depth, and/or difficulty, but the plot and presentation is the focus here and it's great. If you're a comic fan, don't miss Imaginary Range. Even if you don't like comics, it's still interesting to check out Square pushing the format further.

It will be interesting to see what comes of Imaginary Range in the future. It's not much of a leap to speculate that Squeenix might be releasing this to give us a taste, then either sell additional "issues" either as separate apps or in-app purchase. I'm down for either.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarNone
  • Anonymous

    I hope they release more "issues" soon as I'm deeply into this story world. I'd also buy an rpg or platformer in this universe (hint if you're ready forums squeenix).

  • KamikazeBro

    Not bad at all. The story and characters seem interesting to me enough to want to keep reading. If they start throwing out 2-3 issues at a time for like one or two bucks, I'd be willing to buy them.

  • Anonymous

    What a fantastic idea! Something unique that you can only do with digital comics. Good on them for experimenting like this. Will download ASAP.

  • Adams Immersive

    Weird: there seems to be an “HD" version that’s a few MB larger, and is iPad-only. Then there’s the regular version which is Universal but slightly smaller! (Both are free.) Guess I’ll get the Universal one...

    • http://twitter.com/Scykei Thicky

      I was wondering the exact same thing D:

    • Anonymous

      On the iPhone the comic shows one panel at a time, I don't have an iPad but it looks like the screenshot at the top of the review shows the whole page at once.

      • EastsideStompers

        If you double tap then the whole page will show on the iPhone too.

  • http://profiles.google.com/saint1415 C Santos

    I do have to commend Touch Arcade on this new reviewer. I've seen a few of his other reviews and this guy seems to be on point. Keep recruiting the best and keep the suggestions coming.

  • E_Domina

    guessing there will be new issues seeing the menus. short as of now tho

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  • EastsideStompers

    I really like where this game is going. The story is a bit 'two nuts short of a fruit cake', but I really appreciate the effort Sqeenix has gone to devise a very iPhone-centric game, albeit a short one. I look forward to more installments.

  • poutini

    The story's a little iffy, but the format is amazing. I was engrossed from beginning to end. Hopefully this becomes a genre unto itself on the iOS - I'm a huge fan.

Imaginary Range Reviewed by Brian Johnson on . Rating: 3.5