App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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I’d admittedly never heard of the original Chainsaw Warrior tabletop game from the late 80s, but that’s probably due to a combination of me not being all that into board games back then and also being six years old. Regardless, the player-versus-game gore fest has made its way to iOS. And it is ridiculously awesome.
Chainsaw Warrior is essentially every action movie in the 80s turned into a dice-rolling game. A dimensional rift has opened up, resulting in New York being overrun by horrible mutants and other monstrosities, with a shapeless dark being running the show. In about one hour’s time the rift will open further and swallow the entire city. So it’s up to the titular hero to wade through hordes of terrible monsters in a desperate attempt to reach the Darkness and put a stop to the otherworldly assault. They’ll have to fight through a deck of over 50 cards just to reach a second, which is the only place where the Darkness will appear. Dying happens a lot.
Pretty much everything in Chainsaw Warrior is based around rolling six-sided dice. Attacking, defending, shooting, escaping, character creation, and more are all reliant on luck, but it’s a surprisingly fair system that requires rolls to be above or below certain numbers, depending on the action. A bad roll or two while making a character doesn’t mean all hope is lost, either, as having terrible aim can often be offset by higher strength or vice-versa. Items and equipment can help a lot, too. I have these nets in my current game that are invaluable for dealing with incredibly strong enemies I’d rather avoid. And avoidance is an important strategy as every action/turn takes 30 seconds off the 60-minute Game Over clock.
The fonts in Chainsaw Warrior are rather absurdly tiny, though. Granted that’s about the only complaint I can level at the game, but it’s irritating to have to hold my phone so close to my face in order to read item descriptions and flavor text. Everything else has been fantastic, however, from the near limitless replayability thanks to the randomness of The Draw to the significant amount of difference items and stats can make to one’s strategy.
I was excited to get my hands on the iOS port of Chainsaw Warrior, and I was not disappointed in the slightest. It’s reminiscent of gamebooks, only with a bare-bones story and potentially limitless gameplay. Board game enthusiasts, Games Workshop fans, anyone who enjoyed the original, and even regular old non-initiates with an iOS device and a love of solid (if incredibly brutal) single player experiences should consider this a Must-Buy.