Saturday, March 13, 2010

Game Review - Samurai: Way of the Warrior

Review - Samurai: Way of the Warrior - $1.99 (free version available) (Appshopper link)

One of the things iPhone game developers have to contend with when designing controls for a game is the lack of physical control buttons, like a game console or other portable like the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS. Since the beginning of iPhone games, many creative control schemes have surfaced to compensate for this. Some have been great and intuitive and others have proven clunky at best.

Samurai: Way of the Sword is mostly in the first category. You control an honorable Samurai warrior, who arrives in a town and finds that it has been taken over by a brutal, powerhungry warlord and thus is crawling with his lackeys. Samurai is an action game, primarily consisting of you moving around and using your swordsmanship to wipe out waves of enemies as you move through the towns.

And that's where the controls come in. You simply tap on the screen where you want the guy to walk to. To attack or dodge, you swipe your finger up, left, or right on the screen. As you play, you will "unlock" various combo moves that consist of repeated swipe combinations (such as Left, Up, Left).

As simple and intuitive as these controls are, however, I have found Samurai to be the touchscreen controlled version of a "button masher", where it really doesn't matter which way you swipe or which combos you use - I just ended up going nuts swiping in every direction. I don't know if this is due to my impatience or the inability to tell the difference between all the different combos I was supposedly performing. Still, the cartoon brushstroke visuals and cheesy yet gory enemy deaths are worth a look if you like simple action games.

I would kind of see myself enjoying this game as more of a "play for 5 minutes while waiting in line" type of game rather than something to get sucked into for hours. I have not finished the game yet, but it feels like it can get repetitive pretty quickly.

Look at the screenshots below and check out the free version (link at the top of this post).