Tag: Adventure game »
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Life can be tough for a knight. There’s a near-constant need for chivalrous heroes, taxes to collect, and strongholds to manage. And yet, they persevere because it’s the just thing to do. Knight Storm appropriately gameifies such a life to a surprising degree of success, although it does have one spectacularly large flaw that any potential users need to be made aware of.
A young knight’s father has recently passed away and left him with his titles, lands, and all that other cool stuff. Players must do their best to fill their mysterious father’s boots as they fix up the compound and roam the countryside looking for evils to vanquish. There are three essential mechanics to Knight Storm: town management, jousting, and dueling. Town management involves assigning followers to various shops and such in order to speed up the production of cash, experience, and potions. Dueling is mostly a simple matter of deciding whether or not to equip magical glyphs (at the cost of some stamina) to deal extra damage to an enemy. Jousting also involves glyphs as well as a simple dragging mechanic to place the tip of the lance in the proper spot. Put it all together and we have a perpetual adventure full of action, basic sim aspects, and plenty of gear to upgrade.
Knight Storm’s presentation is probably its most impressive feature. This is a good looking game, of course, but a lot of care has been given to the smaller details as well. The slow motion shots of rivals being tossed from their mounts as their lances shatter and wood bits fly everywhere never get old, and the goofy dialog options for many of the quests make up for their lack of visual stimuli. The constant brewing of health and stamina potions is a clever idea as well since it gives players a legitimate chance to keep playing for extended periods of time without having to spend real money all the time.
I could nitpick about some of the smaller issues, all of which are cosmetic, but I’d rather spend the words issuing a warning: keep an eye out for the Game Center welcome bar that pops up on the top of the screen. If it doesn’t show up, go into the multiplayer menu (it looks like two crossed lances) and select the Game Center option manually. The reason for this is because Knight Storm will not save progress if it’s not logged in. I seriously wasted several hours of potential resource accrual because absolutely none of my actions were saved over at least half a dozen sessions.
I almost gave up on Knight Storm after losing so much progress but I’m glad I stuck with it and figured out the problem. It’s a fun, accessible game that doesn’t punish its players for being frugal.
App Reviewed on: iPad 3
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
I wasn’t entirely sold on Ku: Shroud of the Morrigan right away. Those all-important first minutes were mostly a confusing mixture of important story elements that had zero context and coming to grips with the game’s slightly awkward movement controls. But I stuck with it, and I’m glad that I did. Turns out it’s actually a pretty awesome adventure game.
Ku, engineer’s apprentice, troubled kid, and hero in-the-making, is ripped away from his hammering one day when a bunch of really nasty warning sirens start to blare. A key component to his village’s generator, a power source that the entire settlement was built around, has gone missing. Fast forward a bit and he’s the only one who can venture outside the safety of the village walls and attempt to recover or possibly steal a replacement. All of Ku’s controls are gesture-based, with tapping or tapping and holding on the screen for movement, tapping enemies to attack, double-tapping to roll, tapping and holding specific objects to move them around the screen, and swiping in a general direction to fire off some kind of electric jai-alai stun ball. It’s a lot handier than it sounds.
The models and animations are a teensy bit awkward due to their being constructed of a number of assorted hand-drawn elements, but they still look good. And the environments are pretty fantastic on their own. A lot of attention went into Ku’s visuals and it shows. I also thought it was impressive to be playing an iOS adventure game that actually had me caring about the story. I wouldn’t exactly call it riveting or anything, but there’s an interesting plot at work here that actually had me thinking about what might happen next. On top of that it’s actually a pretty fun adventure game
Of course being fun doesn’t mean it’s flawless. I definitely give bitSmith credit for making the controls fairly forgiving, but sometimes they can still be troublesome. Specifically I’m referring to the roll, which has a tendency to either not work when I want it to during combat or to work at exactly the wrong time in the middle of a fight. Another problem I ran into was the environments. They’re most definitely well illustrated but they also have a tendency to be fairly large and spread out, which becomes an issue when there’s no map or even a zoom out option.
Ku: Shroud of the Morrigan isn’t a perfect iOS adventure game, but it’s definitely a good one. I honestly wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone who might have enjoyed others in the genre like Horn or even Bastion, so long as they remember that it’s a slightly different beast with a smaller budget (and a massive heart).