A lot of players are discovering (or re-discovering) the joys of Fire Emblem through the recent release of Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Heroes (Free). Enough people gave the game a try that I’ve been seeing some natural questions popping up in various places, including the TouchArcade Forums and the TouchArcade Discord server. Some people liked the game and are looking for more like it. Others like certain parts of the game, but would rather have a premium experience and are wondering if such a thing exists on iOS. Well, let it never be said that TouchArcade likes to leave a cry for recommendations hanging. For your consideration, I’ve put together a list of games for those whose SRPG passions have been stimulated by Fire Emblem Heroes and are hungry for more.
Terra Battle, Free This free-to-play strategy game from the creator of Final Fantasy is, in my opinion, better than Fire Emblem Heroes in almost every way. Like that game, it offers small maps with bite-sized battles, tons of collectible characters, and a lot of interesting party-building options. It’s also quite friendly for a free-to-play game, with plenty of content that will keep you playing without asking you to take out your wallet. It’s slightly more complex than Fire Emblem Heroes, but it’s worth investing yourself into. REVIEW
Phantom of the Kill, Free Gumi’s take on this genre doesn’t even try to hide the source of its inspiration. It’s Fire Emblem to a tee, all the way down to borrowing the exact same weapon triangle of strengths and weaknesses. It’s also Fire Emblem filtered through a free-to-play social RPG set-up, and now looks rather forward-thinking in the wake of Fire Emblem Heroes. It’s not quite as polished or fair as Nintendo’s take, but of all the games on this list, it’s probably the most similar to Fire Emblem Heroes. REVIEW
The First Tactics (SRPG), $1.99 This one is pretty rough in a lot of ways, but the tactical gameplay is surprisingly satisfying. While it very much feels like a game designed as a free-to-play title that was shifted to a paid app late in development, it’s a pretty fair effort for the price it sells for. The localization, such as it is, is quite poor, and the game really does a lousy job of explaining itself, but take some time to get over its quirks and you’ll find a pretty good homage from a clear fan of the genre. REVIEW
Partia, $3.99 Let’s say you don’t want any part of that free-to-play stuff or elements inspired by it. Let’s say Fire Emblem Heroes simply had you pining for the good old days of playing Fire Emblem on your Game Boy Advance. Well, you might want to check out the Partia games. There are two of them so far, and even a brief glimpse at the screenshots should tell you where this series is coming from. There are no fancy combat scene transitions and the number of stages is relatively small compared to some of the others on this list, but at the end of it all, Partia is a Fire Emblem homage made by Fire Emblem fans for Fire Emblem fans, something surely of interest to some readers. REVIEW
Princess And Knight, $4.99 Princess And Knight is a really great effort from a Korean developer named Team Soft Ice Cream. The story takes a stronger focus in this game compared to some of the other titles I’ve listed so far, but that doesn’t mean the tactical battles are wanting. There are some really great scenario designs in this game, forcing you to play carefully if you want to pull out a victory. As is the case with many of the indie entries on this list, it’s not as slick as Nintendo’s game, but the mechanics are solid, the battle set-ups are interesting, and the story is fairly enjoyable to follow. REVIEW
Swords of Anima, $2.99 While the localization is a little out there at times, Swords of Anima offers a nice SRPG experience in a relatively premium package. The art is really nice in this game, and the characters are kind of wacky in the way that Fire Emblem‘s casts often are. There’s nothing too fancy to the gameplay, but it will certainly ring a familiar bell for fans of Nintendo’s series. It’s also a bit easier and less complex than many of the other games on this list. A good choice if you’re somewhat new to the genre, with alternate difficulty settings to satisfy those who are more experienced. REVIEW
Tactics Maiden, Free I’m not ranking the games on this list, but if I were, Tactics Maiden would be near the top. With an emphasis on capturing and holding strategic points, Tactics Maiden feels like a lovely blend of Fire Emblem and Advance Wars. I consider this game and its predecessors in the Kingturn series to be essential purchases for any SRPG-loving iOS owner. It’s a little different from Fire Emblem, but it scratches a lot of similar itches. It’s free to try out the first handful of maps, with a single $4.99 IAP to unlock the rest. REVIEW
Demon's Rise, $7.99 Demon’s Rise isn’t all that similar to Fire Emblem. It’s closer to Final Fantasy Tactics, and even closer still to a fantasy-flavored XCOM. But with solid SRPG fundamentals, tons of content, and lots of fun party-building options, I think Demon’s Rise has strong appeal for any fan of the genre. A lot of creativity has gone into some of the mission designs in this one, and you never quite know what you’re going to have to pull off next. REVIEW
Mercenaries Saga2, $2.99 While this is an obvious homage to Yasumi Matsuno’s Tactics series of SRPGs, that road also leads back to Fire Emblem if we follow it far enough along. This is a nice, relatively light, no-nonsense SRPG with a fun leveling system and a decent story. No, you won’t be collecting a lot of cute girls or anything like that, but if your interest in Fire Emblem leans into the tactical battles and tales of warring kingdoms, this will be right up your alley. REVIEW
Banner Saga, $9.99 The Banner Saga probably doesn’t need a lot of introductions, but just in case you haven’t gotten in on it yet, here’s a reminder. While the bulk of the gameplay involves the turn-based tactical battle system, you’ll also have to take care of your caravan and make some tough narrative choices. Simply an amazing story, and the atmosphere is second to none on this list. Just be aware that it’s not nearly as “sunshine and rainbows" as most of the Fire Emblem games you might be used to. REVIEW
Record of Agarest War, $5.99 Okay, recent Fire Emblem fans, I hear you. All of these games sound great, but where are the waifus? Well, if that’s your favorite part of Fire Emblem, you could do worse than giving the Agarest series of SRPGs a shot. This first game is really long and has a ton of complicated systems to learn and play around with. While I have some issues with a few of its mechanics, its story aims high with a tale that crosses multiple generations. And where there are multiple generations in an RPG, there are probably marriage options. That’s just the case here, so if that be your jam, enjoy yourselves, you cheeky little devils. REVIEW
FINAL FANTASY TACTICS :WotL, $13.99 No list of quality SRPGs on iOS would be complete without this game. It’s big, well-designed, and full of great characters, systems, battles, and every other goodie you could want out of a game like this. A stunning presentation with some great sprites and amazing music are balanced out with an epic story of heroism and its true costs. The job system alone could keep you busy for over 100 hours. REVIEW
While I’m sure many of our readers own some or most of the games on this list, hopefully there are at least one or two recommendations worth looking into. And if you own them and haven’t played them yet, consider this a reminder. This is a very healthy genre on iOS, and one where indies have proven they can punch at the same weight as much bigger dogs. So while you’re waiting for your stamina to restore or for Nintendo to deliver new content in Fire Emblem Heroes, go ahead and give some of these games a try.