RPG games (especially free ones) are pretty big on mobile devices. This is partly because the RPG genre fits the freemium business model well where the developer can simply add additional layers of grinding which can be avoided through in app purchases. Not only this but RPGs have largely left the console arena due to the very high production costs there and the niche market. Mobile devices are perfect platforms to deliver nostalgic RPGs to meet the demand of the relatively large niche of retro game lovers. There is a wide range in the quality of these mobile RPGs, but Inotia 4: Assassin of Berkel is most likely the best free RPG I have played.
Inotia 4 is very similar to Inotia 3 (the previous game in the series) in terms of gameplay and effects. You play as an assassin, who's class you chose in the beginning of the game, which gets tangled up in a kidnapping/rescue mission that leads conspiracy, adventure, and revelation. This story is actually a separating factor between Inotia 4 and other RPGs (free or otherwise) that you'll find on Android or iOS. In most cases the stories in these games are mildly entertaining if not wholly ignorable, complete with poor translations and localization to boot. Inotia 4, though still subject to a few of the same problems, presents more engaging characters, dialog, and story events that actually pulled me into the game and made me want to keep playing.
The gameplay for Inotia 4 is similar to other action RPGs. The players is given a set of customizable skills and a standard attack button. By pressing the attack button the character will consistently auto attack until out of range or told to stop. You are also given team mates through the mercenary system which allows you to team up with up to two additional allies as you progress through the game. Though the player only controls one character at a time (a fully customizable AI system controls them otherwise) you can take control of any character at any time to micro manage your party. This gameplay diversity is a welcome feature that will allow players of different styles to enjoy Inotia 4 their own way.
The sound for Inotia 4 was unfortunately a notable let down. Though the sound effects are solid enough, the music was implemented in a haphazard fashion. Often times it wouldn't even begin until you were in an area for 15+ seconds and even then it would fade out and fade back in (between loops) with as much as a 10 second gap. This means large pieces of the game are played without music. Not only that but rather than being an element to further engage players in the game, the music is often a distraction. Fortunately this isn't a huge draw back, but it's enough to leave Inotia 4 with room for improvement.
The in app purchase system of Inotia 4 is one of the fairest that I've seen. Though you can buy advanced team mates, weapons, armors, and consumable items at will, my experience has been that the game can be completed without them. There are also a number of ads in the game that are not too invasive which can be purchased away for $.99. Though I would have liked to see a little more in the way of restorable purchases with items etc, though the ad removal purchase is restorable based on your iTunes/Google Play account. The piece that will be difficult without purchases are the bosses. The bosses were purposefully made very difficult to force players to either make purchases for new items etc or grind like crazy. Fortunately the grinding isn't that bad (levels are kinda quick, the gameplay is good, and you only need about 3-4 extra levels to beat each boss) so if you are intent on beating the game without purchases it appears to be wholly possible.
Overall I stand by the strong statement that Inotia 4 is the best free RPG I have played to date. You're going to need to do a little grinding here and there and there are some odd issues with the sound but it's very easy to overlook these. With solid mechanics, excellent graphics, a decent story, and hours of gameplay Inotia 4 stands as an amazing experience for a mobile game. Any RPG fan that misses this game shouldn't be allowed to call themselves an RPG fan anymore.