The mini-games, which are all strictly stylus-controlled, are well thought out, offer a good variety of tasks. Popular FF figures also come into play in these games: one has you stealing fruits from a bickering Ifrit and Shiva, while another has you fleeing the gaping maw of Leviathan, and so on. Most offer both high-score and competitive modes. By accomplishing certain goals, like beating a certain difficulty or getting a good score, you will earn rewards, including opening up pathways to further progress the story. One annoyance, though, is that the game never tells you which goals correspond to what reward – meaning you may have to play through a mini-game several times over before you figure out what you need to accomplish to proceed.
Supplementing the book mini-games are other simple, optional mini-games scattered throughout the world. These games reward the player with battle cards (featuring well-known FF monsters) for high scores. The card game, which is played during a few key fights, deserves special recognition – it’s very easy to pick up, but still offers a nice amount of strategy. Collecting cards allows more options for crafting a strong deck, so you’re encouraged to collect as many as possible. Card battles can also be carried out over the Wi-Fi network. We tested out online play and found it fantastic. Despite encountering a few jerks that disconnected when they started losing, most games we fought against our anonymous opponents were a blast, often coming down to a nail-biting conclusion.