Dawn of Magic is a wonderful old-school JRPG that is nicely balanced, it doesn't need too much grinding (except to get to a high enough level to use certain equipment). You have a fighting party of three out of four pre-defined characters that you meet along the way. The story is quite linear and generic, but it's still enjoyable, and the retro graphics are particularly nice and clear and bright. There's a good variety of equipment that gets more powerful at each town: the only disadvantage is that certain players can only use certain equipment, and it doesn't seem to be possible to figure out who can use what before you buy it. So just save before a purchase and reload if it wasn't usable. The game also uses equippable gems that give you magic spells and stat boosts. It is definitely worth investing in extra gem slots, go for the 4,000 gold option as you will want those slots later in the game.
Monster drops are pretty rare, and this affects the side quests. There are several side quests, most of which are fetching 10 or 25 of an item. The only problem is the drops are like semi-rares. You would have to be extremely persistent to actually complete any. The Challenger quests are more doable, and have nice gem rewards.
Dawn of Magic integrates IAP in quite a novel way, in that you really can do without it, but if you're impatient and want every single maxed out item and don't want to gold grind for them, at least you have the option of buying gold. If you don't want to use in-app purchasing, avoid buying too many consumables (like health and mana potions) - you won't need that many if you're careful, and don't use the 2000g resurrection if your party dies. That should leave you with plenty of cash for equipment.
|Character:||pre-defined, select three in battle from party of four|
|Story:||linear and traditional, about trying to save the world etc|
|Gear:||helmet, jewellery, weapon, boots, armour|
|Treasure:||chests, monster drops|
|Features:||equippable gems for spells|
|Grinding:||some, mainly for equipment levels|