Essentially a retro-style action RPG, Stories of Bethem has beautiful, bright graphics and there’s a huge gameworld.
The story is amusing and there’s a huge variety of things to do, including catching and collecting monster auras, as well as many sidequests. There is a lot of collecting, but some of the findable objects are required to progress in strength, so are not really optional.
The problem is that the game is very hard, which makes it less fun and more of a grind than it should be. This may be partly due to the iPhone’s touchscreen interface, which tends to make any platform elements (here: avoiding holes, traps, spinning wheels) very punishing. The game really needs an Easy mode. It also needs better maps – you’ll find some in the Steam forums, as well as a very brief walkthrough – but you might want to get the pen and paper out to track where you are. You’ll have to do tonnes of backtracking either way, as there are objects that you can’t pass early on, that (presumably) you get the strength or spell to pass later.
Sadly I ran into a possible glitch where I should have had a key but didn’t (in the Pain Cave), and I couldn’t progress.