For a game that banks on a morally questionable marketing strategy -- the appeal of attractive young girls -- this is a surprisingly good RPG. Not only does it look good, with its well-drawn characters, fully animated cutscenes, rich environments, and eye-popping special effects, but its simple controls and targeting system make its action sequences as smooth as glass. On their own, those things would be enough to make the game worth playing, but add in the vast amount of free play, and the app's value becomes undeniable. Though the app uses the familiar energy-based play model, it takes a generous approach to it, so you can play for a long time without spending money to replenish your energy (or anything else, really). Better yet, learning to play is a breeze, thanks to a good tutorial and an extensive beginner's guide.
This is one of those rare games that makes complex concepts seem simple. Between gaining equipment, new hero skills, and leveling; getting new costumes; building a base; using Stigmata powers; crafting; co-op; and special challenges, there's a lot to do, and it would be easy to feel overwhelmed. Thankfully, Honkai Impact 3 presents everything in digestible chunks and with a dash of saucy humor. There's a lot of visual variety, and even beginners get to feel cool and powerful. Though some parents might understandably take issue with the occasional flirty dialogue and the objectification of the characters (especially considering how young some of them are meant to be), for teens and older gamers, this is a strong free-to-play RPG.