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Kritika: The White Knights Celebrates Success by Giving New Players Free Stuff

Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 21st, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Kritika: The White Knights has passed 10 million downloads worldwide and GAMEVIL Inc. is celebrating by giving existing users a special present as well as a new update. You can log in today by 2:59pm PST to get a and awesome level 50 Legendary weapon. What is it? We don't know, but it sounds awesome.

New users can also make use of the coupon code HELLOKRITIKA to get themselves 200 free Karats and potentially give them more of a chance to catch up. Just make sure to use the code within 24 hours of downloading the game, or else it won't work.

The update will be coming out this week and includes the guild shop and guild tower. To access the guild shop you must join a guild, but once you're in you'll be able to purchase great items with guild shop points that can be earned in Guild Tower battles. Some in-guild activities will also get you points, so this gives you some options other than saving up Gold and Karats for items.

The Guild Tower feature lets guild members build a tower and hold in-guild activities including the aforementioned Guild Tower battle. The more activities you do in a guild, the more powerful you and your guild will become.

This is a big week for Kritika: The White Knights. If you haven't checked out this popular action RPG yet, you can download it for free on the App Store now. The coupon code for new users will be available through February 7.

Spirit Stones Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Lee Hamlet on November 4th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: GEM-PLAY MEETS CARD-PLAY
Spirit Stones is a marriage of styles that just works.
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Dark Avenger Review

Posted by Rob Rich on May 2nd, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: GAMEVIL
Price: FREE
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Playtime Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar

[rating:overall]

At first I was disappointed. Dark Avenger looks like a pretty cool dungeon-crawling hack-and-slash RPG, but it’s broken up into these tiny little stages and there’s virtually no story outside of a guy going around killing what looks to be undead. Then I noticed the option to replay levels in a Time Attack mode and it all clicked; this isn’t a conventional hack-and-slash RPG, it’s more like somebody stuffed the genre into an arcade cabinet. And despite a few minor complaints I’d say they did a darned good job of it.

As I’ve mentioned the world of Dark Avenger is riddled with the undead. Or so it would seem, anyway. The rather aggressive protagonist’s motivations aren’t made entirely clear but that’s okay because there’s killin’ to be done! Like most other iOS action RPGs the interface uses a simple virtual stick/giant attack button surrounded by ability icons control scheme. Players slice their way through each relatively brief level in an attempt to open up the next and gather loot and gold along the way. Later levels, in turn, provide better loot and more gold but can be a lot tougher.

The going is a little slow at first but once the player’s character levels up a bit and gains a few more skills Dark Avenger really starts to come into its own. Yes, it’s another Diablo-like on iOS, but the emphasis on smaller levels and replayability is surprisingly clever and works quite well. Especially the Infinity Tower that pits players against increasingly tough waves of enemies for lots of gold and medals (or something like that) that can be used to buy better gear.

The way Dark Avenger is broken up and the rather small levels might be off-putting to some but I still think they fit the mobile platform well. However I’m not too crazy about the rather stiff combat system. Using the same exact three-hit combo over and over again feels repetitive, this same combo ends with a knockback that forces the player to chase after their targets, and skills can’t be triggered during an attack so it’s impossible to cancel out a combo with a special attack. I’ve eaten way too many flaming golem fists simply because I couldn’t trigger my character’s dash move during a combo.

It may not sport the most responsive combat system in the world but Dark Avenger still manages to be fun thanks to its arcade-like nature. There’s lots of loot to earn and possibly upgrade, and plenty of skills to unlock and train. Plus the Infinity Tower is practically a game unto itself.

Fantasy Quest Review

Posted by Rob Rich on March 28th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: GAMEVIL
Price: FREE
Version: 1.10
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Playtime Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

[rating:overall]

I’m just going to say it: Fantasy Quest has a slow burn to it. Not that it’s bad once things pick up, but until it reaches that point it can be a fairly significant grind. And not the fun sort of grind, either. Thankfully once players get past that initial roadblock they’ll find a free-to-play kingdom building RPG that isn’t all that easy to put down.

Fantasy Quest is essentially two kinds of free-to-play games in one. There’s the town building with all the expectant tax collection and land expansion, and the energy-reliant RPG-ing with a number of different characters and quests. Both feed into each other, of course, with buildings created in town effecting what characters can be hired for a team and goods earned from slaying goblins and such necessary for expanding the town. It’s all fairly simple in practice but there’s also has a sort of refined elegance to the way each aspect plays off of the other, as well as how they’re both very accessible without being mindless.

The kingdom building aspects are mostly typical of a lot of free-to-play games these days with the exception of being able to raid other players’ settlements. Not that this is a new idea, but the way it’s implemented is pretty clever: stamina is needed to attack specific buildings and each hit (damage determined by the questing team, surrounding buildings, etc) coughs up various resources, including Valor that acts as a kind of special currency. What I find refreshing about it is the fact that being raided doesn’t incite rage. Sure I might lose a few coins, but I hardly lose enough to get mad over and raiding other players can more than make up for lost income.

The actual RPG-like quests can be entertaining as well, although they don’t really pick up until after a third party member is acquired. It can be incredibly slow going at first but once that threshold is passed players will find themselves with a competent group of adventurers, each with their own sets of equipment to manage and special skills to learn. It’s a little unfortunate that there isn’t a larger selection of basic units (only one of each type can be bought with non-premium currency) but it isn’t exactly a game breaking detail. A more significant (and literally game breaking) problem is the occasional crash or server hang-up while in the middle of a fight. Again, not so bad when all that’s really lost is a little time and some energy that replenishes at a fairly generous rate, but it can still be irritating.

Fantasy Quest feels a bit like a slow “me too” kind of fantasy freemium game at first, but it really does come into its own once players progress past the intro phase. It’s definitely a good time so long as one has the patience.

Asura Cross Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on November 26th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: A STRANGE JOURNEY
Asura Cross isn't the most polished game out there, and the bizarre cross-over of adventure and fighting game might not interest everyone, but it can be quite fantastic if given the chance.
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Sir Death Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on October 18th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: FLASHY & HIGH-STYLE
Spectacular zombie-slaying action abounds in this new iOS beat-em-up!
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Epic Raiders Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on July 30th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: WALK THE LINE
It may not be the first strategy/party-focused/line-dragging RPG, but it just might be the best.
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Sakura Slash Review

Posted by Rob Rich on May 30th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: GAMEVIL, Inc
Price: FREE
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Playtime Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

[rating:overall]

Call me odd, but I don’t think that there are nearly enough Japanese ink brush themed video games out there. In fact, with one exceptional exception, that pretty much just leaves Sakura Slash. At least as far as I know. Of course, incorporating nifty visuals inspired by one of the world’s more fascinating cultures is only half of the equation. The other half involves the game actually being entertaining, and that’s certainly what GAMEVIL’s latest offering is. In small doses.

Sakura Slash is a slightly different take on the “Cutter” genre than what most iOS users have become accustomed to. The emphasis is still very much on swiping the screen in order to dispatch specific targets (in this case evil floating eyeball thingies), but there’s an increased need for quick reflexes. Most of the little nasties sit in one spot for a few seconds and simply wait to be destroyed. Other more mobile (and winged) enemies will try to escape to the sides of the screen. If they reach the edge, it takes away health. Once all the health is gone it’s Game Over, naturally. It’s very much an endurance trial with players earning special orbs used as currency with each playthrough that can be used to purchase temporary power-ups or permanent upgrades. However the limited ability to slow down time and trace a one-hit kill line of ink across the screen mixes things up a bit.

By removing the focus on gravity and avoiding certain objects in favor of total annihilation, Sakura Slash manages to feel like something both familiar yet totally different. It takes a quick finger to keep those bat-things in line. Fortunately there are a decent number of new brushes and other upgrades to keep players on more even footing, not to mention compulsively pull them along. And, of course, the watercolor-looking backdrops are quite pretty and fit the general theme quite well.

It might take a little while for Sakura Slash to really get its hooks in, though. Early progression is a tad on the slow side as it takes a while to earn enough orbs to start buying stuff. It’s also a little disappointing (but understandable) to see that enemy patterns aren’t actually random. They come fast enough that pretty much only a savant could memorize them all, but having been spoiled by all manner of procedurally-generated content it feels like something of a let down.

Even with the slow start Sakura Slash is still bound to please fans of cutting stuff as it moves through the air. It may not convert the fruit-faithful, but it’s just different enough that it might still turn their heads. Everyone else can simply enjoy a quality game about slashing floating eyeballs.

Punch Hero Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on May 14th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: A REAL HEAVYWEIGHT
Sure we can all train a prize fighter in this freemium boxing match, but the real fun is in the fisticuffs. Win or lose.
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Fighter City Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on April 20th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: BRING THE PAIN
No-holds-barred street fighting hits the App Store, and it's fun!
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ILLUSIA 2 Review

By Rob Rich on April 20th, 2012
GAMEVIL follows up one of their lesser-known titles, but has time (and a bit more effort) allowed the sequel to surpass the original? Not exactly, no.
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Talking Air Penguin Review

By Jason Wadsworth on December 19th, 2011
Another iteration of the "talking" app, this time featuring the star of the Air Penguin games.
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