Version Reviewed: 1.05
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4
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Pocket RPG is a hack 'n slash game for people who hate the elements besides the hacking and slashing. Sure, Pocket RPG has leveling, experience, item acquisition, and all the basic elements that make RPGs, well, RPGs. However, it's also all too willing to eschew them while keeping the basic gameplay intact. Players play as one of three classes: the ranged-weapon using Dark Archer, the magic-wielding Battle Mage, and the Blade Master, this game's tank. Players travel through the worlds, utilizing dual-stick controls (though the Blade Master just has an attack button) to kill enemies and collect gold and items which are then used to kill more enemies. Typical elements of the genre.
This game is ultimately unafraid to be shallow. That is both a good thing and a bad thing. Items can be sold anywhere, for example. The game resets character progress after each chapter, which is a double-edged sword. This means that players don't get the long-term satisfaction of having an absurdly-leveled character they've developed over the course of the game. However, this means that players get the satisfaction of leveling up frequently, sometimes even multiple times in one wave of enemies! There are also skill and weapon upgrades that can be purchased between worlds, though the character resets to level 1 for each chapter. Essentially, Pocket RPG trades in short-term satisfaction.
As the full title Pocket RPG iPhone Edition says, this is an iPhone and iPod touch version of the standard Pocket RPG that was released for the iPad earlier this year. Yes, the game can now finally be played on an actual pocket-sized device! The name is no longer a misnomer! The iPhone Edition features the same content as the iPad edition, and there's not any real disadvantages beyond the smaller screen size for the iPhone Edition. The iPad version will be made universal soon, though, so that may be the version to get for multiple-device owners.
Pocket RPG's commitment to a smaller scope of RPG hack 'n slash gameplay is great for those who like the hack 'n slash aspects of these games, but less of the RPG aspects. People like myself who find themselves curious about the genre but not willing to invest deeply will love this game because it focuses on the satisfying elements, and it doesn't mess around much at all. The core RPG audience will find this one too shallow for their tastes.