About a year ago I had a sad realization that mobile MMO isn't really a living genre. For better or worse, mobile game development is most effective when creating innovative and elegant gameplay on a flat, straight forward canvas. Unfortunately not much of that is what you expect to see in an mmo. It should come as no surprise that one of the first jolts of life being thrust into the rotting carcass of the genre is about as close to a straight PC port as you could get. Dofus Touch [Free] is out now for iPhone and iPad and outside of some of the most recent updates this game is a carbon copy of the PC version.

Depending on you general disposition, that last sentence could have been the lamest or coolest one you've read in a long time. Mmos are very polarizing in nature and Dofus is no exception so let's get some things out of the way. I am going to earnestly ask some questions and if you answer yes to any of them, you may experience annoyance or frustration playing Dofus. Do you enjoy quest driven gameplay? Do you enjoy non-repetitive gameplay? Do leveling grinds make you uneasy? Do you find animated sexualization out of place in 2016? (Yeah, I have to say yes to this one, more on this later.)

Created by French developer Ankama, Dofus is a game that has more in common with eastern grind MMOs than western games that focus on quests and an easily reached end game/max level. The gameplay is very similar to Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced where you have special rules in each combat on top of normal play that grant a bonus to loot and xp if followed. Each individual NPC and player takes turns using movement and ability points to attack, heal, buff, debuff and position themselves to survive and dominate their opponents. There are dungeons, many flavors of PVP, puzzle maps and normal PVE style encounters you can come across.

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Now if you are a real MMO fan, you're probably about to hit me with a "well actually, ...." And yes, I know the Order and Chaos [Free] franchise exists. While those games offer a mobile mmo experience, the in game purchases are quite aggressively pushed onto a player. Combine that with a supremely restrictive inventory system and for me the expectation of a full scale MMO is not really met. You might also mention Nexon's Pocket Maple Story's [Free] but I have yet to get it to install properly and it was a pretty thin game to begin with even on PC. No, I think the gaping void of a completely realized mobile MMO still exists and Dofus might just be the game that can bring substance and vibrancy into the darkness.

The game is a full feature MMO with crafting, guilds, factions, an economy, skill points, stat points and a chat and emote system. The game is free and there IS premium currency, but it is not necessary to buy any if you just want to adventure out and start playing the game. There is no system that encourages players to make real money purchases outside of occasional sales and there are no mid-game ads that pop up like in Order and Chaos. Combat can involve up to 8 players on each side and access to the best loot in the game is unlocked when grouped with larger parties.

One major drawback that I have seen, and really my only quibble with the way Dofus was ported is that the game right now is a massive power hog. Hopefully this will be addressed in future updates, but right now I can plug my iPhone into a usb charger and Dofus can still drain the battery in a matter of hours. Despite powering issues, Dofus looks really beautiful and has great animations. You will want to play on an iPad whenever possible to see all the little details that are just a bit too small even on my 6+. To go back to the previously mentioned sexualization, toggling the character creator to female gender for most classes is a bit of a shock in an otherwise clean and family friendly looking game. Now, will I tell my 8 year old daughter this game is off limits? No, but it does require a conversation that I know a lot of people don't want to have or are not yet ready for. This potentially large issue aside, the game looks amazingly colorful and bright.

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You can choose from a large number of classes, but some perform much better in group play and suffer from poor solo ability. You can always hit up the aging yet still mostly accurate Dofus forums or our own forum thread for character build advice. My recommendation is to have at least one character that is strong at soloing and my preference has recently been the main pet class, Osamodas. There are the typical archetypes you would see in any RPG like the tanky Sacrier and Pandawa, and the support based Eniripsa and Osamodas but they all have distinct gameplay and utility that is rewarding when used properly.

Your combat ability grows like in most RPGs by leveling up, gaining new skills and increasing ranks of old ones. Another way that you get stronger is by acquiring methods of increasing your movement and ability points you get each round. Some support classes can grant these bonuses and there are some rare equipment pieces that do so as well. Each class has certain break points that represent huge power spikes that are very satisfying once they are achieved. The turn based gameplay Dofus offers is fantastic, if not a little formulaic once you step outside the mmo realm.

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Currently Dofus Touch is caught up to updates from 2013 and it sounds like they are going to continue to release more as time goes on. What seems most promising about these updates is that the game has been alive and thriving long after the big PC MMO crash when many, including Dofus, went at least partially FTP. Aside from server upkeep and data preservation, proper mmo development also requires content updates and usually a full time moderation staff. All of this has been a part of the game and demonstrates a stabile FTP environment that will hopefully continue to be subtle. While you can directly convert purchased currency into the in-game currency, Kamas, there are no huge adds or severely limited inventory systems that require a purchase in order to play normally.

Is Dofus perfect? No it has its flaws and faults, but I don't think it is possible to overstate the significance of a mainstream MMO making a direct port to iOS. I played the PC version for quite a while on and off over the years and I was thrilled when rumors first started months ago about a port. Now that it is finally here, I would be doing you a massive disservice by not whole heartedly recommending Dofus Touch.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Poo

    I've been playing this for close to three weeks and after watching SAO this gave me my MMO fix. Awesome strategy mmo.

  • Gurney Halleck

    Review for Dofus Touch is attached to review for Order & Chaos 2

    • Poo

      And order and chaos 2 sucks bad in comparison.

      • Gurney Halleck

        Yeah, not personally a fan of that one either, but noticed the error when I thought it was funny that O&C 2 was getting another review today 😉

      • http://wizodd.tumblr.com Wizard of Odyssey

        Aww, I like Order and Chaos 2. But it's so lonely, I'm the only one who feels that way.

      • fearlesskk

        Well i totally loved the 1 but i cant really get the hang of the 2. Maybe if i had friends it would be the other way arround

      • http://wizodd.tumblr.com Wizard of Odyssey

        That's funny, I'm the opposite. 2 holds your hand a bit more and there doesn't seem to be as much of a need to group up. I'm pretty much soloing it.

      • Stelios Bakolas

        I like OnC2 also and feel lonely as well...I was thinking maybe it is the server I'm in... do you know a well populated server I can play? OnC 1 I was playing for years and enjoyed raids and all the game had to offer and never felt like is me and 10 others online so maybe it's a dead game the second OnC after all?

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      It's a weird bug with our site/app. Should be fixed... Eventually.

      • Gurney Halleck

        I see. Is this something that can't be fixed in the app because Apple will not allow you to update the TA App?

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Has to do with how our back end caches iTunes data and links it up with iTunes links in stories.

  • shining jade

    Seriously this is NOT DOFUS the pc one is far ahead more characters this is a older flash based one missing pc stuff -_- no bring the pc one like Avalon plans to do cross platform then I'll be amazed

    • Andrew Fretz

      Hey there, not sure if you noticed but I specifically mentioned that Dofus Touch is caught up to a 2013 patch for the PC version. Since the game originally released in 2004 and is STILL getting updates it's fair to say that this is the full PC version.

      • Poo

        It is the PC version just not the current release. Ankama said they would be coding forever to bring the mobile version up to the current PC version. It is still the PC Dofus version 2.19 I believe.

  • YankeeBlue000

    I don't usually play mmo's and I've never played this one but after reading about its release about a month agonand finally getting to play it I have to say I'm hooked This is one my favorite games on my ipad Next to Invisible Inc & Ember This game is beautiful and a blast to play Well done on the review and well deserved

  • Jeremy Price

    3.1 MB???

    • JindoFox

      It downloads a bunch of stuff after you get the first part, like a lot of android games.

  • JindoFox

    Anyone else having trouble getting started? Red line at account creation screen here.

    • Andrew Fretz

      I created two accounts without an issue, maybe try making an account on their website.

  • Tanshui

    seems rather interesting, downloading now =)

    • Tanshui

      downloaded. eyes hurt. icons seem like they would be small even for pc, but super tiny for mobile (iphone 6). while the gameplay and the review both seems interesting enough, for the sake of my eyes/sanity, will have to pass : (

  • kcz7

    This is available on Google Play as well, everyone. Cheers 😉🍻

  • Nycteris

    Really surprised to find my old PC account name works on this!

  • Mrbestapps

    For a moment I thought oac 2 got 5 stars.

    Was about to jump off a bridge.

    I'll check out the other game later:)

  • MartianLM

    Frankly I'm immediately put off by the childish manga female stereotypes overly sexualised... it just makes me completely cringe. I'd be embarrassed for anyone to see me playing a game with that in. Do people actually like that rubbish outside of the weird bubble of Japan? Signed, a grumpy old man.

    • Shaun James Musgrave

      Considering Dofus is a French game, I'm assuming there are at least a few people outside of Japan that like that style.

DOFUS Touch Reviewed by Andrew Fretz on . Rating: 5