Developer: Roadhouse Interactive
Price: $6.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

I can admire Warhammer 40,000: Carnage for being itself. It knows what it is: it’s a straightforward and repetitive game that takes place in the gruff, macho, and brutal Warhammer 40k universe, but it knows this and plays these aspects to their best strengths.

Warhammer40kCarnage-6When I say this game is straightforward, I mean it as literally as possible: players run forward, with no backtracking, like the original Super Mario Bros. The mission in each level is simple: get to the end, and hit or shoot everything that gets in the way until it is no longer in the way, because it has been vaporized. That’s every level. But the game at least makes the levels very short. Most missions should take a minute, the longest maybe three. As well, levels can be replayed with difficulty percentage modifiers and in alternate modes that make the enemies tougher in different ways, such as exploding upon death. It’s still playing the same game, but at least it’s not exactly the same every time. And while I certainly had in my mind “this is repetitive,” at least I found it kind of endearing.

The game oozes with brutality. Combos have the deep-voiced announcer constantly shouting things like “Brutality! Rampage!” It’s quite fitting. All the weapons are things like giant fists, chain swords, and all manner of things that certainly feel like they could mess someone up. Players earn coins and have gold, a hard currency, to buy and upgrade items with. Now, as my interview with developer Roadhouse Interactive said, this is a game designed to be a paid game but with IAP (and free in some territories) but this actually feels like a game with optional IAP. Money is earned regularly, there are no energy timers, and wait timers for upgrades take seconds. It’s easy to see where the game could be adapted to free-to-play, but in this state it’s definitely a game that can be played without needing to buy extra gold.

Warhammer40kCarnage-7The game’s controls use a “three buttons on each side of the screen” system that make it easy to trigger movement, jumping, blocking, and attacking, with each command able to be reliably triggered. There’s MFi gamepad support as well. The game does not work on the iPad Mini Retina (at least running 7.1.x) right now as it crashes after the introduction level, and even copying a save file over from an iPhone doesn’t allow for progression. It’s bizarre, but iPad-first gamers should hold off on this for a bit.

Warhammer 40,000: Carnage is not the deepest game, nor is it the best game. But as an action game that can be satisfying in short bursts, it does its job well.


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