Unreal Engine has become the backbone for many of this year’s beautiful mobile gaming endeavors. So it’s no mystery that Unreal powers one of my favorite iOS games of the year, Wraithborne by Alpha Dog Games and published by Crescent Moon Games.
You play as a wraith, a human soul abandoned after the fall of the Age of Humanity. The Mara now rule the land, searching for the same Runes of Power that you are gathering. With the Runes, you can banish the Mara and take society back as your own.
Controls: Unlike many other developers, Crescent Moon was kind enough to give you a choice as to which control scheme you’d like to use. You may select the point, touch, and follow method, in which your character moves to wherever you stab the screen. CM also offers the default setting (and my personal favorite), the virtual joystick and button combination. Personally, I believe that the virtual controls help to execute gestures and maneuvers with greater precision, but that’s only my opinion. Having the option to choose which mode of play is best is always a positive!
Things you should know from the start: Getting hit costs you life points. Using the block/shield feature costs you magic. You decide which you would rather lose when the heat of a battle is roaring. Of course, there’s also a third option: be a complete badass and don’t get hit!
General Layout: We can take this for granted on occasion, but making the controls fit comfortably on a touchscreen without compromising playability isn’t an easy task. Wraithborne occupies the space well, using largely accessible, evenly-spaced controls that don’t get in the way on the 4″ iPhone screen. Likewise, on the 3.5″ inch screen, the controls appear smaller to accommodate the space, but not so much that they become inaccessible. Comfort is critical for a mobile game’s success.
Couldn’t help but notice there’s a defense button and two attack buttons, but there’s no jump options (I didn’t think you could roll either, but you can if you tap “block” twice). Saddest of all, there isn’t a sprint function, which would be immensely useful when covering the ground that each space has to offer or when fleeing from enemies in battle.
Heat of the Battle You’re introduced to your first one of these fairly early in the game, and you’ll experience plenty more as your journey progresses. The boss battles, or “vs” segments of the game, are entertaining and exciting one on one rumbles against your foes. Each enemy has his/her own unique quality, be it size, ability, etc. For me, it’s these engaging moments that help a game function of a more personal level.
Unique Rune Battling System: I love the idea of the runes! To put it simply, the runes are magical spells (aside from normal attacks) that can be summoned by clicking on one in the top right corner. You will then be asked to trace the rune on the touchscreen with your finger in order to make the spell work. I absolutely love when developers take full advantage of the touchscreen platform by utilizing its full potential! These are interactive innovations we could never experience on a console and controller system.
iOSA3 Rating: 5+; If you recall from our first 5+ rating, it takes an incredibly refined experience to add that “+” onto the end. Crescent Moon and Alpha Dog delivered magnificently! Sure, the game is way too short (can be beaten in half a day), and the level of difficulty isn’t always up to par with harder-core gamers, but overall, Wraithborne is a fun, beautiful, exciting, and an addicting adventure! I can only hold my breath until the sequel arrives! PLEASE!?
Bottom Line: Wraithborne is a beautiful and addicting RPG experience. Even at such a short length, the game is undoubtedly worth the opportunity to join your iOS collection. I would even say it’s a must-have for 2012!
Sound Off: Now, folks, it’s your turn! Do you have any thoughts, opinions, or general comments about Wraithborne and/or its developers, Alpha Dog Games and Crescent Moon Games? I personally reply to every comment, and I’d love to hear what you have to say! Just take your cranial debris and throw it down in the box below!