Touch Foo's 2D action-platformer, Swordigo, is free for a limited time on the App Store. Now you can run, jump, and slash your way through adventure for absolutely nothing.
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A young apprentice’s master is slain and the fate of the world is unexpectedly thrust into the young one’s hands. Classic adventure game stuff. The same can be said for the reappearance of forgotten evils and the requisite epic quest. These are all themes that are fairly typical of the genre but that doesn’t mean Swordigo doesn’t put them to good use.
Swordigo harkens back to classic 2D adventures. Platforming puzzles, block pushing, melee combat, magic, and the constant acquisition of new gear that bestows new abilities and grants access to previously inaccessible areas are all prevalent. On top of all these classic gameplay tropes is a simple RPG character leveling system that also allows players to tweak their character to fit their play-style. Like to get in close and wreck stuff? Upgrade attack strength. That kind of thing.
How does it Compare?
The classic formula of finding new equipment in order to reach new areas and find more new equipment in order to reach other new areas has been around for quite some time, but there’s one game that stands above the rest and will forever be the standard that all other genre entries are held to. I am of course referring to Metroid. And while Swordigo’s protagonist might not be much of an intergalactic bounty hunter or carry much in the way of high tech alien weaponry (or have been raised by bird-people), he’s every bit a kindred spirit to Samus Aran.
There’s no shortage of games on the App Store that try to utilize the classic back-tracking adventure formula, but few pull it off with as much finesse as Swordigo. iOS users might not be able to enjoy the adventures of Ms. Aran or Mr. Belmont at an official capacity, but it’s nice to know that there are alternatives out there that scratch this particular itch incredibly well.
*NOTE: “Console-quality” refers to the quality of the experience, not just the graphics. This is about the depth of gameplay, content, and in some cases how accurately it portrays the ideals of its console counterpart.*
Random musings of the App Store
Alchemize App Store Pricing Protest
This weekend, in a protest against supposedly 3400 emails complaining about the $2.99 price of their app Alchemize, Schiau Studios raised the price to $39.99 for the weekend. Yes, it's a hilarious protest against whiners who complain about spending a few bucks, but Schiau is not entirely in the right. Alchemize was originally priced at $9.99 and then quickly lowered until it was only $.99 for a short time. I can't blame people for waiting for another sale. If Schiau truly wanted to protest App Store pricing, they would have come up with a fair price, stuck to it, and never changed it amid protests. By acknowledging the whiners, Schiau has granted them some legitimacy.
Sometimes it's good to take a look at our beloved App Store's rival, the PSP Mini store. The store has launched and two of its biggest name games have already made an appearance on the iPhone (and for cheaper): Hero of Sparta and Fieldrunners. In addition, Chillingo and Mountain Sheep's Minigore is on the way. What do all of these games have in common? In my estimation, they're three of the most overrated games on the App Store. Hero of Sparta had good visuals for its time, but the dull one-button hack and slash affair has so many pre-rendered cinematic animations it's like watching a movie. Fieldrunners has a great art style and was admittedly one of the first open-path TD's on the App Store, but there's only a few enemy types and tower types, and it lacks the depth of the genre luminaries such as Sentinel 2 and Defender Chronicles. Minigore has nice aesthetics as well, but it's an average two-stick survival shooter with little depth, easily outclassed by games such as Alive 4 Ever. Sony, wake me up when you manage to get some good games.
Nimblebit's Freebie Friday
This Friday, Nimblebit lowered all their apps to free in celebration of their newly launched site App Classics! Even if you missed the deal, the apps are still worth buying; Nimblebit is the best in the business at creating fun, short, and addictive games such as Scoops and Textropolis. This move was interesting from a marketing standpoint, and certainly created buzz. In fact, Ian Marsh reported via Twitter that Saturday's sales were double normal and more than made up for Friday's losses.
This week's upcoming app that looks frickin' awesome!
This is the inaugural issue of this feature where I'll be showing off some upcoming games that look awesome (though I've been doing it unofficially for quite some time). This week, we have Jet Car Stunts, an awesome-looking racing game in the vein of Track Mania. The game is due to be submitted within the next week. Enjoy!
This week's sign of the apocalypse
A few weeks ago, Chris used this space to talk about how happy he was that Glu's awful Family Guy cash-in was doing poorly in the App Store. Well, times have changed, and apparently Stewie is enough to make a poor game reach #9 on Top Grossing Apps.
App of the Week
Soosiz is without question the best platformer yet on the App Store. The game uses gravity-centered gameplay, like that of Gomi, but much more fast-paced, to turn a good platform adventure into something extraordinary. The level design is excellent, and the difficulty curve is just right. Controls are great as well. There's only a left arrow, a right arrow, and a jump button, but they are all perfectly responsive and work brilliantly in unison, making you almost forget you're playing on a touch screen.. The graphics are cartoony and playful, and the only big flaw of the game is the sometimes overly-childish music. Other than that though, Soosiz is a magnificent achievement is App Store platforming, and it's one of the most fun games I've played in a while, coming highly recommended.