148Apps Network Post
Developer: Bigpoint GmbH
Price: Free
Version: 1.8.3
App Reviewed on: new iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

It sounds like a Blizzard game, it kinda looks like a Blizzard game, and it kinda plays like a Blizzard game. It isn’t a Blizzard game. But hey, if Blizzard aren’t going to release Diablo 3 for iOS (it would make bajillionsquillions) then we’ll take the action-RPGs that we can get. Bring on the SoulCraft.

In fairness, beyond the name and the fact it’s an action-RPG about demons and angels, there’s not that much similarity anyway. SoulCraft filters the genre quite neatly for iOS, distilling it to a bevy of levels, each with individual goals and playable at several degrees of difficulty. The goals are simple, liking winning a boss fight or defending a crystal from ensuing enemies, and each level lasts around a minute or two. Trying to take on the harder difficulties before leveling up my character leaves me gasping for health, but at the same time by pushing through all the lower difficulty stuff I’m not forced to grind through repetition to progress. Impatient players may be pressed into paying real-world cash for better items (gold can be bought and then used to buy items at a better rate than the normal currency of souls), but this isn’t necessary. The quick-fire nature of the levels prevents them from feeling stale, especially as I progress my character to level up and buy ever-improving armor and weapons. Meanwhile the flexibility around difficulty lets me experiment and find levels that are stretch the twin-stick combat to reasonably challenging limits.

Those limits aren’t all that wide of mindless tapping, admittedly. There are physical and magic options for weapon-based attacks, but the magic options are a little unspectacular and more than a little fiddly to toggle on and off in the middle of being hacked to death. The area-of-effect stomp attack is more effective and easier to use, simply requiring the press of one button. In any case, problems with the combat are far superseded by technical silliness. Despite several updates, SoulCraft far too frequently crashes to a black screen, with the game only rebootable by rebooting the device itself. The developer is trying to fix this problem but it’s not a rarity by any stretch, so it’s unimaginable that it wasn’t known about before release. Far too many broken games are released knowingly, especially on iOS.

Still, once those problems are fixed then SoulCraft should prove to be another popular action-RPG on iOS. There are a whole bunch of these blighters now, and as it stands SoulCraft is not challenging any of the best, but it’s still decent, and it is free and more simple to grasp than most of its opposition. And it kinda sounds like Blizzard made it, which is something maybe.

148Apps Network content from - http://theportablegamer.com
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