Developer: D&D Dream Corp
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

gollegend07If I’m to be totally honest, I actually kind of hated GOL: Legend at first. There’s just a ridiculous amount of trial-and-error to the whole thing. And it’s not due to difficulty but rather the game requiring actual precognition to make it through any given screen on the very first try. After stubbornly sticking with it, however, I’ve actually found it to be quite entertaining. Still pretty frustrating at times, but entertaining.

GOL: Legend is basically a mix of games like Dragon’s Lair and Half-Minute Hero. There are a few different characters to play as, each with their own slightly different story, difficulty, and animations, but the core experience remains the same no matter who players select. That core experience is tapping, in all its many forms. Depending on the level that may mean tapping and holding to raise a shield to block a dragon’s fire blast, tapping repeatedly to push a boulder uphill, or even simply tapping to swing a sword. Any coins gathered at the end of an episode – which is typically several hazard-filled screens long – can then be used to purchase new episodes or new characters that might have been unlocked.

GOL: Legend‘s simplicity manages to avoid becoming stale thanks to the constantly changing contexts. It’s always a surprise when reaching a new screen, too, so there’s little time to get bored or complacent with any of it. The colorful visuals and quirky characters certainly don’t hurt things, either. Plus I have to admit that, despite the irritation that set in several times along the way, it can feel incredibly liberating to finally complete an episode for the first time.

gollegend12Of course the fact remains that GOL: Legend can still be incredibly frustrating, especially after multiple attempts to clear an obstacle only to have an enemy pop up out of nowhere right at the very end and land yet another killing blow. Again, it’s the trial-and-error thing. There’s virtually no skill involved in making it through one screen or another on the first try. Hazards typically pop up unexpectedly and offer no opportunity to respond unless players already know they’re coming. And even in the areas that do require some form of skill there’s an incredibly tiny margin for error that only gets smaller with the more difficult characters.

I think it’s fair to say that I liked playing GOL: Legend, but it didn’t like me. It’s a game that goes out of its way to test the player’s patience rather than their skill, although skill does eventually factor into it to a degree. It’s once that horrific learning period is over that it truly begins to shine. I’m just not entirely sure how many people would be willing to tough it out that long.

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