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The Portable Podcast, Episode 109

Posted by Carter Dotson on November 1st, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Now with gnomes!

On This Episode:

  • Host Carter Dotson and this week's guest, Mage Gauntlet developer Kepa Auwae of Rocketcat Games, discuss Mage Gauntlet. They discuss the current state of the game, along with the trials and tribulations it took to get to its current point, along with plans for future installments, including an upcoming rougelike free-to-play installment. As well, they discuss various issues in the iOS world, including price points, getting games noticed, free-to-play ethics, and more.

  • Who We Are:

  • Host: Carter Dotson
  • Guest: Kepa Auwae, Rocketcat Games

  • Music:

  • "Beatnes7 (Theme to The Portable Podcast)" by The Eternal - Download on iTunes here:

  • "Nanocarp" by The Eternal

  • How to Listen:

  • Click Here to Subscribe in iTunes:
  • Click Here to Subscribe via RSS.
  • Listen Here: [powerpress]
  • Apps Mentioned on This Episode:

    Mage Gauntlet Review

    Posted by Carter Dotson on October 20th, 2011
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

    Developer: Rocketcat Games
    Price: $2.99
    Version Reviewed: 1.0
    Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4

    Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
    Game Controls Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
    Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
    Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar


    Rocketcat Games has launched a game that is quite revolutionary for them: it's not based around swinging on a grappling hook! Instead, their latest, Mage Gauntlet, is an action RPG. Well, it's an action game with RPG elements, anyway. The only real RPG elements are that the main character, Lexi, a graduate of the school of snarky, self-aware heroines, can level up her stats, and items can affect certain attributes. The bulk of the combat is action-based, running around hacking at enemies, and trying to dodge their attacks. The physical combat is based off a rechargeable meter, that when filled can be used to fuel a charge attack that can do more damage to multiple enemies along with stunning them. It can also be used for a dodge move that can avoid enemy attacks and roll through magic attacks. The player lacks any kind of permanent magic, instead getting spells from containers strewn throughout the environment. The items the player equips can affect the drop rates of certain spells, but this is mostly a game about survival.

    It works very well as a deconstruction of the action-RPG genre. This is an action game, and while the combat is largely simple, learning how to avoid enemies and to be patient, rather than just rushing through levels from encounter to encounter is the key. The game can be challenging, but it never feels like it's wasting any time at all. There are no fetch quests, or grinding for money or experience (level up bonuses provide minor advantages), and even one level satirizes the whole "kill x number of enemies" and "collect y number of item z" that perpetuates through many of these RPGs. The typical Rocketcat Games elements are here as well. The 16-bit-inspired graphics are great, and the soundtrack is amazing as well. The game isn't afraid to get silly, either; from the aforementioned fetch quest satire to pigs turning into bacon and ham when killed to even just the snarky dialogue from protagonist Lexi, this is a game that thankfully doesn't take itself too seriously. Oh, and there are hats to wear. Lots and lots of hats.

    Mage Gauntlet uses a variety of control schemes, including a unique "swipe and hold" movement scheme, but none of them ever feel completely comfortable. While I think I understand why there's not much in the way of random items, it still just feels empty having all these destructible objects and having nothing even trivial to collect with them. The star system feels kind of abstract, as well; it's never really clear why a certain level only merits one star and another merits two or three.

    Mage Gauntlet was quite different from what I expected, which was particularly more of an "RPG" experience, but getting past that, what's here is a game that dares to be different from its brethren on iOS. From the difficulty to the combat, to even just the way the game feels like it was yanked straight out of a SNES, there is a lot to love here.

    Rocketcat Games Throws Down the Gauntlet. The Mage Gauntlet.

    Posted by Rob Rich on October 17th, 2011

    Hook Champ, Super QuickHook, Hook Worlds. Three games with more than a few similarities. Each one is retro-themed, predominantly features swinging on hooks, contains an absolutely fabulous selection of hats and are loads of fun. And they're all made by the one and only Rocketcat Games.

    It appears that after four games, the developer has decided to try something new. Mage Gauntlet is an action RPG inspired by a number of classic 90's games in the same genre. Gone are the hooks and rope-swinging antics in favor of a whole lot of "hitting jerks with a sword," and "blowing them up with spells." It's more than a bit of a departure, but I'm fairly certain Rocketcat is up to the task.

    Players can enjoy the "festivities" over the course of a 42-level (and humorous) story mode, and then again in another 42-level Master Mode with new secrets and greater enemy numbers. Over the course of these levels, they can find and equip different gear (all of which can effect stats and abilities) and even utilize bonus-granting pets. Oh, and lots and lots of hats. 110 to be exact.

    Mage Gauntlet will be hitting the App Store this Thursday, the 20th, at a discounted price of $1.99 (it'll go up to $2.99 later). Early adopters will get the sale price as well as 8 hats from previous Rocketcat titles and a special Rocketcat pet, so long as they nab it by Sunday night.