App Reviewed on: iPhone 4
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
MapleStory Cave Crawlers is yet another spin-off of the extremely popular 2D MMO MapleStory. Cave Crawlers takes the franchise in a new direction after the Thief Edition and Cygnus Knights Edition provided an experience very similar to the original game. Cave Crawlers is a turn-based RPG in which players are able to choose either a thief or a warrior in which to explore the depths of five dangerous caves, each more challenging than the last.
Each cave has an increasing amount of levels, and the levels are made up of a 6x6 block of tiles. Some tiles contain treasure, most contain monsters, but only one is the exit portal to descend further into the cave. Appropriately, each final level is a boss fight. Most of the time spent with this game will be made up of combat and loot collection. The combat system is rather unique. Once engaged in a random battle, a sword cursor scrolls over a colored bar at the bottom of the screen. It will continuously scroll until the player taps the screen, at which point the thief or warrior will attack.
Either a regular hit, a critical hit, a miss, or an enemy counter are possible when tapping the screen, so the combat becomes more of a simplistic rhythm game, especially as the enemies become more complicated. The quick nature of the battles and the constant rewards for finding hidden treasures and beating enemies makes this game surprisingly addictive. Finding the perfect weapon to suit one's playing style certainly helps, and being able to jump in and out, finish a few battles in five minutes, then continue another time adds to the longevity of the game.
I did find that occasionally the enemies would feel overly difficult in an attempt to create more of a challenge. A bat enemy makes the sword cursor invisible for the duration of the battle, and the only way to kill a certain enemy type is by managing to tap at the exact right moment on a needle-thin red block with almost no margin of error. Considering the combat system, Nexon had to get creative once the player character became too powerful, so it's understandable that endgame enemies might seem ridiculous.
Cave Crawlers is one of the most enjoyable dungeon crawling RPGs on the App Store. It might not be to everyone's liking with its odd combat system, but the amount of customization in both weaponry and armor alone should give loot collectors hours of entertainment.