Developer: FDG Entertainment
Price: $5.99
Version Reviewed: 1.2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★★
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Rating: ★★★★½

aa_big_screen1This past week, I’ve spent a lot of time with Across Age, a fairly crisp action RPG from FDG Entertainment. I really wanted to beat the game before reviewing, but with an entire week invested so far, and no end in sight as of yet, I think I’ve spent enough time with Across Age to give it a fair review.

I’ve been a very anti-action RPG person for quite some time, at least when it comes to iDevices. I played many of the other action RPGs on the market, and found the control scheme really made it difficult for me to play. I don’t have small hands, and as a lifetime gamer, I get frustrated when I play games that just feel flimsy. I usually get tired of playing without giving the game a chance, and never really fully enjoy what a game has to offer.

I decided to review Across Age because I knew it would force me to really get the hang of the Action RPG control scheme that is used fairly common in the genre, and I am happy to say that I have the control scheme down pat. I am extremely glad with the game choice I made to learn on.

Across Age’s story line brings a lot to the table. For the sake of giving as few spoilers as possible, I’ll just include that the game involves a certain level of time travel, and the game mechanics behind making this work are done the correct way. It follows less of a Chrono Trigger time travel mechanic, and much more of A Link to the Past time travel mechanic. In fact, those who have a familiarity with the pre-next gen and/or handheld Zelda games will find quite a bit to like about this game. Puzzles oftentimes require the ability to time travel, which adds a lot of depth to the game.

Certain parts of the game seem a little sloppy at first. For instance, to attack with a melee weapon, the character must only run up against the mob to get the kill. It didn’t take long for me to realize that such a simple methodology can become extremely complicated. Different sword techniques, and two character system that allows switching back and forth between sword user and magic user, and a complex set of puzzles that require using both party members together and separately, add a level of depth to the game that made me wanting more.

The most difficult area I experienced is with upgrades. More and more games become linear anymore, so having a game based in one city that continuously branches out to different quests is rare. With that in mind, I failed to upgrade my equipment after the first set of quests, and paid dearly for it. I had to farm for the gold to upgrade my gear to even have a fighting chance. That level of difficulty is something I really appreciate.

The developers advertise a 15 to 20 hour game, and I imagine that’s without having to repeat levels, getting lost in puzzles, and getting stuck for long periods of time on that one part that completely stumps you. I’m 10 hours into the game, and I can’t imagine I am anywhere close to beating the game, given the amount of stuff I know I still have to do. I’m hoping to eventually beat the game, but for the sake of time I had to put it down and move on. I very much plan to return to the game and beat it, probably sooner then I really have time for.

I’m excited about this opening up the Action RPG genre for me, and look forward to playing some of the greatly respected titles in the genre. For a title that seemingly crept under the radar in my world, this title really has a lot of great qualities about it. I hope all of the fans of this genre get a chance to check it out. It’s a bit on the pricey side at $5.99 but I can tell you it’s well worth the investment. Available now at the App Store.

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