App Reviewed on: iPhone 4
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
In Death Dome, players assume the role of Phoenix, a woman with no memory of who she is. All she knows is that the only way to escape the dome is to destroy The Behemoths. Trapped within a large dome that was constructed to quarantine victims of the M-Virus, she must use the virus to make herself strong enough to take down the behemoths so that the authorities will dismantle it and let her out. At least, that's what she believes will happen if she complies.
Players must face a series of behemoths one-on-one. Each behemoth grows progressively stronger before players face a massive "boss" behemoth and advance to tougher levels. Fighting the behemoths mostly relies on waiting for "cues" to strike, dodge, parry or block. More advanced tactics allow players to tap into extremely powerful attacks that can stun the enemy for several seconds so that the player can do greater amounts of damage. It requires a lot of timing and precision to make it through some of the tougher behemoths.
As they go, players will collect items and currency during a "scavenging" round before each fight, which mostly consists of tapping question marks that randomly pop up on the screen. From there, they can upgrade their equipment at the store.
It can take a while to save up enough money to buy powerful items, but the most expensive items cost "death diamonds," which are extremely hard to come by. After several hours, I have roughly a dozen death diamonds, however, that's nowhere near enough for some items. As such, I can go into the store and purchase death diamonds for real money. The game doesn't nag players too often, but makes it clear that some items can only be purchased through death diamonds. Considering the game is free, it doesn't seem like too much to ask players to spend real money on some items.
One flaw in Death Dome is that the game can become repetitive. Trying to advance too quickly will only lead to frustration, as the player will find themselves constantly underpowered and overwhelmed. They can go back and fight through easier behemoths as many times as they like, facing stronger behemoths on each progression through their ranks.
Death Dome is visually stunning. This is one of those games that players are going to be showing off to everyone and bragging about to all their friends. However, those good looks come at a price. Long loading screens, frame-rate drops and a massive 605 MB download contribute to some of Death Dome's worst problems.
Overall, Death Dome is a beautiful game that is sure to please players who are fans of the simple, yet deep, gameplay mechanic. It does have problems, though, and I can't overlook them. Regardless, I'm hooked.