Developer: Azukisoft Pte Ltd
Price: $2.99
Version: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Matching puzzle games and RPGs. I like both those things! It’s the kind of combination I can totally get behind. At least in theory. In Descent: The Adventure’s case, it doesn’t work so well in practice.

A lone warrior must fight his way through a series of dungeons, fortresses, and other assorted settings fitting for RPG combat. Experience and gold is earned through winning fights and completing areas (or even failing, but there’s about a 50% penalty to the earnings) that goes toward incremental character upgrades, as is the norm. The combat itself involves dragging a finger through three or more matching tiles (think games like Puzzle Craft or Dungeon Raid), and different tiles have different effects that range from direct damage attacks to healing.

The core elements and ideas behind Descent: The Adventure can be entertaining enough. Tile-matching puzzles always keep me busy and I do so love me some RPGs. It’s also quite nice to see the little improvements to damage and defense as levels increase and new gear is obtained. And that’s pretty much where it stops.

Aside from looking fairly “rough” (to put it lightly), and animating just as poorly, Descent: The Adventure just isn’t that much fun to play. Oh sure it’s got the kind of puzzling that quite a few people, including myself, find to be very captivating, but the RPG side of things drags it all down. Progression is super slow both when fighting through a given stage and when leveling up. But as slow as that is, it pales in comparison to how arduous it is to try and save up for a new weapon. It probably wouldn’t be so bad if the presentation weren’t so anemic or if the combat were a tad faster (i.e. damage and health came in larger default increments), but right now it can be one heck of a grind.

Descent: The Adventure has some potential but it’s far too rough at the moment. Too rough and not very fun, sadly. There’s always a chance it could see a few improvements along the way but until then it’s probably best to keep a safe distance.

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