Square has finally released one of their freshest Final Fantasy cup of candy to the Android platform. Although the game is ostensibly free, with a re-imagined presentation that's meant to fit smaller screens and weaker hardware, Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition appears to be elusive to most devices. In fact, it is stated in the app's page that your device might not be supported even if "even if the installed Android OS version is within the supported range". Moreover, I had to install an unofficial version of BlueStacks to run it finally.
FFXV:PE seems to be following the same story as the original game that was released almost two years ago (2016). I can't comment much on differences between the two, since the most recent FF game that I had the pleasure of enjoying was Final Fantasy XII, back in the PS2 era. That's not to say I missed out on much. The mechanics introduced in FFXII were a significant departure from the series' staple battle system. In any case FFXV:PE features highly simplified combat. You can find enemies in designated spots on the map. They also never react to your presence until you enter their area, which also works as the combat arena.
Combat itself is very straightforward. Characters acquire their targets and attack them automatically, while most special abilities work similarly to quick-time events. You get more control over Prince Noctis, and you can pause the combat to use potions and other combat-related items. I can't say how battle tactics evolve once your characters unlock more of the skill tree though.
Speaking of which, in FFXV:PE all characters share the same skill tree, although most abilities develop Noctis. What's interesting is that the farther you focus on Noctis, the more options you'll have for the other characters and vice-versa.
The simplified graphics work well in this edition. The characters have been chibified, with fixed facial expression and no lip movements. Still, the designs have their charm.
You may download and play the first chapter of the game for free, but once you reach its conclusion, you will have to purchase the remaining ones. The app is essentially a demo with a full version option. I must admit that I appreciate Square Enix for not making it a pay-to-win-freemium disaster. Good job.
If you enjoyed the original Final Fantasy XV or if you've never had the chance to play it and you are dying to do it, there's no reason not to try out the Pocket Edition. Unless, of course, your device is utterly incapable of handling this beast.