Developer: Empty Flask Games
Price: $2.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Heroes love effortlessly cutting swathes through entire armies of badguys, don’t they? I guess success when faced with impossible odds comes with the territory. Infinite Warrior takes the concept of “There’s no way that would happen in real life” and turns it into a strange little mash-up of endless running (not really running) and a kind of rhythm game. It’s a weird combination that would work incredibly well if the whole thing weren’t bogged down by schizophrenic controls, diminutive text, and lighting issues.

A lone hero marches along as wave after wave of enemies come at him in progressively tighter clusters. Fighting off said enemies requires watching the on-screen prompts – either blood-colored arrows at the edge of the screen or bright yellow arrows that appear on passing foreground characters – then swiping in the indicated direction. Any gold earned from a run is kept, win or lose, and can be used to purchase special temporary gear that will enhance various aspects such as gold collection. And, as expected at this point, a series of different “missions” can be completed (i.e. survive five waves, collect X amount of gold, etc) to raise the hero’s level and act as an extra incentive to keep playing.

It starts off a bit slow in the first wave but once the action gets going Infinite Warrior can get downright fantastic. Once enemies start coming in small groups with little pause between their assaults simply staying alive will require a fair amount of focus and reflexes. It’s also more than a little cool to see successful swipes acted out as stylish cinematic takedowns, naturally. It’s an aspect that makes the lack of consistently responsive controls a major disappointment.

Granted I was able to figure out I’m “supposed to” swipe in order to not fail miserably each and every time (it requires a kind of steady, deliberate swipe with a slight pause at the beginning and end), but gesturing in such a manner becomes increasingly difficult as the attacks get closer together. More than once I’ve hit a proverbial wall simply because the controls made it impossible for me to progress. Having menu text that’s ridiculously small on an iPhone screen doesn’t help either as half the time I can’t even tell how much gold I have let alone how much an item costs. And forget about trying to play any of the night levels in a room that’s even vaguely well lit. The screen’s so dark I could only make out the bright yellow arrows and some shadowy movement.

I really, really like the idea behind Infinite Warrior, but the implementation needs some work. With controls that aren’t quite so finicky, text that can actually be read, and a little gamma correction it would actually be really awesome. Until that happens it’s doomed to be more frustrating than fun.


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