Developer: Rebellion Developments
Price: $1.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Nowadays people spend their Sundays perched on a couch, cheering on their favorite gridiron warriors. Long before football was even a glimmer in someone’s imagination there was a nobler exhibition of strength and skill: Jousting. Sadly, beyond the grounds of a renaissance fair, this activity is now all but extinct. Well, at least that was the case until the release of Joust Legend. Can it live up to the hype of Ye Olde tales and fictional period pieces, or was the competition best left as the thing of legends?

IMG_0473As antiquated it may seem as a sport, jousting managed to combine the skills of balance, strength, and strategy together in a way that was far deeper than might be expected. Joust Legend has done a fantastic job of recreating these disparate gameplay elements in a way that is both compelling and palatable to the player. Oh, and did I mention that it looks great, too? It truly looks to be a crowd-pleaser in every sense of the phrase.

The main mechanics revolve around a series of repetitive screen interactions including slides, presses and glorified quicktime events. Fortunately the game looks fantastic enough that it helps distract from the fact that each joust is the same three button sequences, every single match. But that will only last for so long before the mundane haze of repetition sets in. Once the malaise is in full effect, the only thing that prevents the action from becoming off-putting is the avatar leveling system.

IMG_0469Using in-game currency players have the ability to purchase and equip new power-ups and gear. What this means is that in order to level-up effectively, there is a litany of grinding that needs to be done in prize fights and wagers. The main dysfunction resides in an overpowered item system, which can actually turn the tide of a match’s scoring even if players perform better than a computer-controlled jouster. The result is an outcome that undervalues the necessity of actually performing proficiently in a match in favor of using items effectively.

Despite being a beautiful re-creation of the time honored tradition of Jousting, Joust Legend does get a bit monotonous. On the plus side, however, it doesn’t seem to be fraught with the microtransaction issues of its peers, which in and of itself is worth applauding. It may not be perfect, but this is still an experience that is worth delving into. If for no other reason than being a showpiece for iOS devices.


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