Developer: iSeeToons
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Substantial and exclusive comic books on the app store aren’t overly plentiful. All too many feel brief and a little unfulfilling, while others such as the Marvel comics app simply provide comics that are available physically too, thus taking away some of the appeal. iSeeToon’s Ill-fated Relationship provides an entirely original and very dark tale that’s gripping from the offset and easy to access from an iOS device.

The tale behind Ill-Fated Relationship is of a decent length with 20 chapters in all. The story focuses on the romance that develops between two serial killers, hence the name. It’s not the most obvious of subject matters but it works well. Character development is conducted well and while the story is incredibly dark, it’s compelling. The ending although hardly a surprise, is still gripping and leaves the reader with a sense of satisfaction at the realisation that they’ve read a good graphic novel.

The art style is minimalist but slightly reminiscent of the style of Frank Miller with Sin City and the Batman series, offering a film noir style that matches the darkness of the story.

As an app, Ill-Fated Relationship is simple enough to use. Annoyingly it takes a couple of minutes to become useable when first loaded but after that, it’s pretty smooth to interact with. A swipe of the finger controls most of what’s needed and it’s easy to get back to the start. Each chapter is separately accessible so it’s not too overwhelming to navigate – a very handy feature in such a lengthy graphic novel. Bonus features also exist with a parody episode of the story as well as two teaser trailers which make for a moment or two of interest.

Ill-Fated Relationship is a mature and interesting graphic novel. It’s refreshing to discover a truly new unique story through such a device. It also works well on the iPhone screen, never feeling cluttered or obscured by the limited screen space. On sale at $4.99, it’s a no-brainer for the graphic novel and film noir fan, but even at the future full price of $8.99, it’s a great experience.

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