App Reviewed on: iPhone SE
User Interface Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
In Swipe Casters, you play as a wizard that is facing off against foe after foe. As a magic user, you are equipped with spells to defend yourself with, but you need to draw the right shape of your spells to have them come out the right way. It's a combat mechanic that seems tailor-made for touch devices, but Swipe Casters unfortunately doesn't push this great idea very far.
Swipe Casters is very much an action-oriented arcade experience. On the top of the screen, you see your wizard, the current enemy you are facing, and the shape of the spell you're supposed to draw, while the bottom of the screen displays your spell-drawing area and a timer. As the player, your task is to draw out the matching spell shape in the space below before your time runs out. It's as simple as that.
Enemies vary in appearance, and more advanced levels may change the shape of your spell drawing area, but–for the most part–Swipe Casters follows this very basic formula. You kill enemies to get gold until you die, then you either use currency or watch an ad for a continue or start all over again from scratch.
As you keep playing Swipe Casters, you'll eventually accumulate enough gold and be looking to spend it on something besides continues. As it just so happens, Swipe Casters offers quite a few upgrades for you spend your hard-earned in-game currency on.
Some of these upgrades are only unlockable for a single run, like the ability to increase coin drop rates, while others are available at any time and include things like wands that deal more damage. There are also things to buy with real cash, but they are more “quality of life”-oriented (i.e. remove ads, coin doubler) rather than actual upgrades for your wizard.
The spell-drawing action of Swipe Casters is decently fun, but I can't help but notice how much further this mechanic could've been pushed to make for a more involved and satisfying game. It would have been nice to see differentiation between spells, for example, and perhaps instead of being told what lines to draw, it could be left up to the player to choose spells that are effective against specific enemies.
Doing something like this could've made for a game that felt more strategic and skill-based, rather than a simple reaction-based “simon says” kind of experience. For something a little deeper like that, it might be a little easier to endure Swipe Casters's annoying ads (or even prompt me to pay to disable them!).
The bottom line
Swipe Casters is essentially cool mechanic buried inside a pretty middling arcade game. Drawing spells to cast down enemies is a really neat idea on paper, but when it's reduced to simply tracing patterns given to you as quickly as possible, it's not exactly a great time. In fact, it's pretty disappointing.