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iPad  header logo

Companions

For: iPad
Summary Review Screens Videos Articles Tips  

Needs a little help

Product: Companions | Developer: Smuttlewerk Interactive | Publisher: Smuttlewerk Interactive | Format: iPad | Genre: RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Companions iPad, thumbnail 1
Like a charismatic and fun school chum who became a very slow and safe filing clerk, something has gone wrong with Companions's life somewhere along the way.

Despite having features and structure that should make for an entertaining slice of top-down RPG gaming, a slew of bad decisions concerning the interface and a dirge-like pace mean that it's unlikey that you'd want to be its friend.

WTB Boots of Speed +10

Viewed from a top-down perspective, Companions revolves around four disparate characters - Minotaur (melee), Human (mage), Elf (ranged), and Dwarf (er, tower defence) - as they work together to defeat the evil undead.

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The plot is essentially linear - walk around an ever-growing dungeon, slaughtering monsters, nicking copious amounts of loot, and quaffing potions to stay alive.

It takes an awfully long time to play through, though - not just because of the length of the game (it’s long), but because your characters meander around the large maps with all the impetus of an asthmatic snail.

This pace isn’t helped by the inability to select more than one character at once. Considering you’ll want to keep your party together for the most part when exploring, the lack of a ‘select all’ button is utterly baffling.

LV 76 RANGER LFG. PM PLS

So is the lack of an easy way to transfer loot. Over the course of the game, you’ll come across hundreds of items - usually class-specific - that require moving between inventories.

The only way to do this is to drop them on the floor, tap to move away, tap the desired recipient's portrait, tap to the exact square with the items, and - finally - tap to pick them up.

Any semblance of pace or excitement is swiftly neutered by such contrived processes.

The screeching of crows echoes across this accursed glade

These mistakes are made all the more galling by the fact that, when it  works,
Companions is actually pretty fun.

Setting up your four very different characters to defend against an oncoming horde of monsters can be genuinely enjoyable, helped by a pause function that allows you to quickly re-assign people on the fly.

The dungeon design, too, is decent and filled with little pop-ups with incidental details that call to mind the classic CRPGs of the past - where graphics were trumped by descriptive text.

Companions isn't, therefore, an obnoxious partner for RPG exploring, but you might wish you'd have picked someone slightly more charismatic for your travels.
 
Companions
Reviewer photo
Will Wilson | 16 June 2011
Slow and saddled with a frustrating interface, Companions has a lot to say, but only the most patient will want to listen
 
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