Developer: Pixel Hero Games
Price: $4.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Photo 10Every now and then a gem is introduced into the App Store that really impresses: Spiral is absolutely one of those gems. In this game, players take on the role of an investigator attempting to uncover hidden secrets in an open world environment. With top-notch graphics, a unique combat system, and an engaging story, Sprial is a fantastic game and a breath of fresh air for the genre.

Sounding a bit like a zombie apocalypse, infected humans turn into strage creatures unlike anything seen before. These creatures are the focus of combat in the game. Additionally, the main character, a former police officer turned private investigator, must explore the open world and talk to people in order to uncover what is really going on. The environments are beautifully done, with much of it able to be explored at will. Every person in the game may be talked to in an attempt to gather more information. Also, there are hidden orbs throughout the game that offer additional experience points.

Photo 16In third-person point of view, controlling the character is as simple as tapping on the screen once to walk and twice to run. Swiping with the same finger allows the player to look around. This “one finger” approach also applies to combat. Tapping once on an enemy triggers a light attack, while a double tap is a heavy attack, which may be one of several special moves. Tapping and holding on the player’s character triggers a defense attack that throws all nearby enemies a distance away so one may regroup before they come back. There are several additional moves that may be performed, all with just one finger taps and swipes. It really is an interesting combat system that seems to work very well. My only complaint would be that it was sometimes difficult to target a specific enemy. In addition to walking and running, the main character also has the ability to use a grappling hook to climb tall buildings. This same technique is utilized in other ways in order to solve problems.

In addition to the story mode, players may also take part in Arena mode. Here, players are faced with wave after wave of enemies in an attempt to survive. This mode certainly adds to the replay value of the game.

The graphics, sound, and even voiceovers are all very well done in this game. Aside from a few buggy moments (people floating and bouncing in mid air), the gameplay was smooth and uninterrupted. I do wish, however, that a checkpoint would be saved just before a battle takes place instead of well before one. As of now, when a fight is lost, the player must start at the last checkpoint, which is usually a distance away from the battle and includes a bunch of dialogue that must be skipped through quickly in order to get back into the fight faster. Other than that, Spiral is a fantastic game that is both fun and intriguing.

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