You’ll often hear us bemoan the presence of a strong narrative here at MBU when speaking on the topic of mobile or casual titles. It seems that in an effort to trim the RPG experience into a suitably streamlined format for use on tablets and phones the focus is always shifted to combat and nine times out of ten the narrative experience (what some would argue to be the ‘role playing’ aspect) is lost in favour of grinding levels. This is not the case with Celsius Heroes.
The curious element of mobile gaming lies in its ability to strip down a genre to a single element and put a unique focus on it. In the case of RPGs this is normally grinding and levelling through combat, as seen in ‘Avengers Alliance’ and other popular titles. Where Rune Raider is different is in that it takes the concept of moving through a dungeon corridor to the exit and turns this into the whole game.
Shifting their attention to the mobile market for the first time, long-time online game creators Artix Entertainment focus on bringing their hugely successful browser setting (as seen in solo title ‘Adventure Quest’ and MMORPG ‘Adventure Quest Worlds’) to a new audience.
Poker Knight slipped past the radar here at MBU for quite a while until a bored afternoon browsing through older RPGs on the iStore led to its discovery. What we found was an extremely satisfying take on blending poker rules with RPG themes.
Puzzlewood Quests is a fusion of quiz-like puzzle game and light social RPG that seems to hit the sweet-spot between the two. At no point does it feel like it’s compromised the RPG mechanics to make way for more complex puzzles, whilst resisting the urge to become too fiddly with stats and character pimping to be a good quiz.
It’s hard to take the rules of a card game as successful as Magic: The Gathering and turn it into a thrilling experience outside of its original medium. Direct versions for mobile exist that follow the games design to the letter of the law and manage to be dry, lifeless and overly-complex experiences. Compared to games such as ‘Elements’, which does much the same but allows for the benefits of its medium, there’s not been a really great Magic game.