App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Cool Clash is a new beat-em-up for iOS that uses a combination of on-screen movement controls and gesture-based attacks. It feels like it was designed with touch devices in mind, and for the most part it works well.
The colorful combatants vary from the absurd to the what-in-blue-blazes-is-that-suppose-to-be, and each have their own combinations and special attacks. Cool really is the name of the game here, though. The character animations, from billowing costumes and hair to the over-the-top special attacks, are awesome. Add to that a cool kung-fu soundtrack and a variety of whacky backgrounds and the result is a very stylish fighting game with its own identity.
Although it may at first appear to be a button masher, Cool Clash goes much deeper than that. Defense, dashing, and a mixture of heavy and light attacks are necessary to succeed even at normal difficulty. The opponents put up a tough fight, blocking even special attacks effortlessly (and that was on easy mode), so timing is crucial. Unfortunately each character only has a limited amount of combinations available, meaning that gameplay can quickly become repetitive after the easy-to-pull-off special attacks have been achieved.
There are multiple modes available including Survival, Championship, and Practice, though no form of multiplayer mode. Which is a shame, really, as I doubt Cool Clash will have the longevity of other iOS fighters without it. Sure beating up on some unidentifiable blob dressed as a vampire is fun, but not as much fun as when I know that it's a friend I'm wailing on. Furthermore, the lack of any form of narrative damages the uneventful Championship mode; reducing it to a series of bouts with no purpose other than to unlock other characters.
Cool Clash is a beat-em-up that doesn't take itself too seriously, and that's a great thing. There's enough of a challenge here for those who love one, but not so much that it'll scare off casual gamers in the process. If it was a bit cheaper (there's a Lite version available for those who want to try before they buy) I would say give it a try, but the fact that there is an inadequate amount of attacks available, no multiplayer mode, and no real story means current price isn't justified.