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iPad  header logo

Pocket RPG

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone, Xperia Play

Redoing the monster bash

Product: Pocket RPG | Publisher: Crescent Moon Games | Developer: Tasty Poison Games | Format: iPad | Genre: RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Pocket RPG iPad, thumbnail 1
Ridiculous as it sounds, no genre is more realistic than the role-playing game.

You start without form, only to have a series of surprising, often contradictory, events forced upon you. Only by the accumulation of experience, gaining various items and skills, and with a little help from your friends can you fulfill your eventual goal and find your place in the world.

At least, that's the standard civilised philosophy when it comes to a life well lived.

Alternatively, you could take a barbarian's view, eschewing order and embracing chaos. Perhaps that's even more realistic.

Either way, randomness is the key to iPad game Pocket RPG.

Same but different

A dungeon crawler that randomly places enemies, items, and power-ups within each level - depending on what you've previously unlocked - it's also something of a touchscreen-masher.

Taking the role of a duel-wielding warrior, battle mage, or a bow-twanging dark elf - melee, magic, and ranged character classes respectively - you get to fight your way through eight multi-stage levels.

Each is crawling with enemies: indeed, in that old-fashioned manner, you'll come across plenty of spawn generators and end-of-level bosses that can only be defeated by the power of attack pattern recognition.

As recompense, every enemy you bash or treasure chest you break open will add slightly to your gold horde and build your experience.

This provides you with more opportunities when it comes to acquiring new weapons, armour, magical necklaces and rings, as well as mastered skills. You get these inbetween each stage, and that's how you'll make real progress.

Love or hate?

Of course, for some players, this won't provide a particularly satisfying experience, as you're doing exactly the same thing throughout the game, your only reward being the ability to generate increasingly impressive particle effects when you're zapping enemies.

Still, graphically Pocket RPG is unequivocally pretty, with developer Tasty Poison laying on a very bright colour palette, and action that remains smooth throughout.

The randomness does throw up some issues, however. One time, you'll be fighting a single sub boss in an area, but the next time, there may be two.

To some extent, this is mitigated by your throwing enough time at the game - we're talking multiple hours - so you're levelled up beyond what's strictly required to complete a level. Still, a save system that throws you back to the start of each multi-area level when you've run out of restarts was always going to cause some frustration.

There's also the traditional issue with this type of game in which it tends to favour the melee character, because ranged characters will occasionally get trapped, and killed, by close-in enemies, no matter how much you keep them on the move.

So, if you want order - let alone characters, plot, and resolution - this isn't the game for you. For well-presented dungeon crawling on iPad, though, Pocket RPG hits the spot, over and over and over again.
Pocket RPG
Reviewer photo
Jon Jordan | 28 July 2011
Pocket RPG isn't a sophisticated role-playing game, but if you want to sink time into a good-looking dungeon crawler, then strap on your armour
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