God of Blades, a side-scrolling combat auto-runner from White Whale Games, is now available from the app store. Using light RPG elements and simple gestures to vanquish enemies one-by-one, God of Blades is a satisfying adventure.
God of Blades Pros:
- Gorgeous graphics, smooth animations, and exciting battle sequences
- Soundtrack is moody and ethereal, fitting nicely with the art style
- Controls use swipe gestures to mimic sword slashes
- Eternal mode for high score runs
- GameCenter integration for leaderboards and achievements to earn
God of Blades Cons:
- Three blades cannot be unlocked without using Foursquare and visiting local libraries
- Mixing auto-running and combat leaves us feeling a little loss of control of our character
- Somewhat repetitive; different blades don’t always feel so different
You play as The Nameless King, a sword-wielding warrior with a kamikaze’s mentality. He charges into battle eternally, taking on one foe after another until he’s defeated them all or he perishes in the process. Combat is a bit reminiscent of Infinity Blade, as you use your finger swipes to mimic the motion of your blade. A rightward swipe lands a stunning, spinning blow, while an upward strike can send the enemy flying backward into another enemy, eliminating them both. Downward swipes land crushing hits in overhead fashion, and leftward swipes invoke a defensive position whereby you can dodge or parry an incoming attack. Timing the strikes is the key to avoiding defeat, as you can take advantage of exposed weaknesses or deal significant damage to an opponent’s armor or weapon to take control of the fight. Maintaining an appropriate distance when your enemy attacks is also a crucial element, as there is no way to replenish health during your run. As you defeat increasingly more difficult enemies and even a handful of beefy bosses, you earn new, but not necessarily better, blades. In addition to your light blade, there are blades in the medium and heavy class to earn and try out. Each blade has its advantages over others, and there is even a special rechargeable power tied to every blade, allowing you to blast magma and other devastating items at your opponents. Successfully traversing the few dozen Campaign mode levels allows you to try your hand at Eternal mode, where you’ll try to last as long as you can while racking up high scores.
Graphically, God of Blades features spectacular artwork that mixes spacey surrealism with elements of fantasy. The resulting combination creates appealing environments that add a lot to the overall presentation. Backgrounds are living, breathing locales and the animations are smooth to a fault, as it sort of creates a slippery sliding feel rather than a purposeful sense of charging into battle. It’s not terrible, but you kind of get the sense that you are trapped on a funky conveyor belt, especially when an enemy combo attack doesn’t allow you to establish your footing or get off a clean swing. It really drives home the need to get the timing just right or suffer a severe beatdown as punishment. It left us feeling out of control at times. The soundtrack adds a great deal to the game, creating a moody feel that is consistent with the art and gameplay. Controls utilize swipe gestures, except for the activation of the sword’s special power, which requires a button tap. The positioning of this button led us to accidentally engage it on more than one occasion, though it can be moved in the Options menu. Your health bar appears at the screen top, while the current enemy’s bar resides at the screen bottom. A progress bar in the upper right corner gives you a sense of your progression and how close you are to the level end. The difficulty takes a little while to ramp up, but once it does, the gameplay becomes quite challenging.
Replay value comes mostly in the form of the Endless mode, as Campaign leaves little room to improve upon further play. Our biggest disappointment with the game is that a few of the swords are locked into the Lorekeeper system, which requires you to use Foursquare check-ins at libraries to unlock them, leaving gamers with no interest in Foursquare out in the cold. GameCenter integration brings leaderboards and achievements into the mix. God of Blades is a $2.99 universal app that racks up a solid 4-Dimple score.
God of Blades Review,