Developer: Tio Atum
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Sometimes I’ll encounter a game or movie or TV show that seems like it’s been made specifically for me. It’s like the creators knew that there’s this guy named Rob and he likes some specific stuff, then they put all that stuff into one project and turn it loose. For movies, it’s stuff like Shaolin Soccer. For TV shows, it’s pretty much Megas XLR. And for games? Well Bloody Epic isn’t the only one but it’s certainly on the list.

A hero with a big sword stands against the enemy hordes. He runs ceaselessly through their ranks; stabbing organs, chopping off heads, and otherwise making a grand old mess. Because that’s what heroes do. Bloody Epic is essentially an endless runner, only it’s broken up into distinct levels so it’s not exactly “endless.” Not until the actual endless mode is unlocked, anyway. While charging along, the hero has three basic moves at his disposal: swinging his sword up and down, jumping backwards, and using a screen-clearing attack. Slain enemies drop coins to use in the shop to purchase new gear, potions, and permanent character upgrades. And then it’s back to the fray.

My deep rooted fondness for runners means Bloody Epic already has my attention, but the game’s true strength is its enemies’ weaknesses. Their equipment coupled with the way they’re grouped together can make a huge difference in how a given situation is handled. If they’re wearing helmets then slashing down will only result in the sword harmlessly bouncing off and leave the hero open to attack, so instead players need to come at them from the front and skewer them. If they’re using shields and spears, frontal assaults are pointless so a much better tactic is to cut down and lop off their heads. The actual positioning of the sword is extremely vital and it makes the gameplay feel loads more tactile than in most other runners.

Of course with so many rules and strategies to remember, larger mobs can be pretty tricky to get through. When there’s just a mass of helmets and shields it’s pretty much either pray that the super slash is ready or start swinging and hope for the best. It’s not a deal breaker or anything, but it can make things pretty confusing and hectic. It’s also worth noting that this game is called Bloody Epic for a reason. It’s bloody. Like really, really bloody. It’s not something that bothers me personally, but I know it might bother others.

Bloody Epic is one surpisingly fun runner. It’s got plenty of unlockables (even without counting the “special” IAP gear), an unexpected amount of strategy to employ, and buckets o’ gore. Not even buckets, more like swimming pools or something. All in all it’s a great use of $1 and a great way to kill time. Also orcs and undead.


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