Developer: eSolution
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.3
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Perhaps not the deepest of games, there’s no denying that Game of Watchcraft: Spawn of Squishy is a very clever idea. Think World of Warcraft reduced down to a 1980s LCD game and that’s not far off the reality. It’s a great nostalgic walk down memory lane for players who remember those days, although I’m not convinced that younger gamers will be so infatuated.

watchcraft3LCD games came in various sizes once upon a time, proving a great precursor to the handhelds we’ve used to now. Game & Watch were the most popular, and Game of Watchcraft: Spawn of Squishy offers that same experience. Players can move between the top and bottom screen, hacking and slashing their way through goblins and even boss battles, watching as their character levels up steadily.

Game of Watchcraft: Spawn of Squishy divides things up between the two screens ensuring that the bottom regularly offers typical fetch or “kill x number of goblins” quests while the top comes with a boss battle that even includes an AI controlled healer and tank. Similarly, weaponry changes depending on which screen the player is on. Also, while dying might reset quest progress, it doesn’t cause the player to lose any experience points.

How well Game of Watchcraft: Spawn of Squishy succeeds mostly depends on how used to LCD games one is. Its looks, for instance, might dissuade a younger player but those used to the LCD era will appreciate the little visual flourishes. Besides the way that each character moves across the screen, one can also hold a finger to the screen and watch the same effect that happened back in the day, with tilting offering a similarly delightful moment.

watchcraft1There are issues to this nostalgia though, most notably in terms of the control system. A virtual d-pad and action button control everything, but the former is awkward; requiring a very exact way of interacting with it. Sliding one’s finger around the pad just as one would with the real thing is the best method, but it’s not entirely successful on a touch screen.

For many, though, this will no doubt add to the experience. Game of Watchcraft: Spawn of Squishy might be a relatively simple game in terms of content but that doesn’t stop it being quite clever in how it does things. The attention to detail is a sight to behold for those old enough to have been around the first time.

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