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Bladeslinger Ep.1

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

Devil Will Cry

Product: Bladeslinger Ep.1 | Developer: Luma Arcade | Publisher: Kerosene Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
Bladeslinger Ep.1 iPhone, thumbnail 1
It's easy to get caught up in the hype surrounding "console-quality graphics". No one is immune to the magic of killer visuals - especially when they're on a device that used to be content playing Snake and Breakout.

So, yes. Bladeslinger is certainly an impressive looking game. The main character - a stereotypical cowboy with magic powers for some reason - is detailed, the environments are gorgeous, and the lighting effects are swish.

But that doesn't count for toffee when the actual game falls apart. Bladeslinger is woefully uninteresting, endlessly repetitive, and has controls that could politely be called "a bit broken". It's a mess - just, a very pretty one.


You're a Lone Ranger-type gunslinger in a pokey Wild West town that's been taken over by ugly mutant enemies. The game largely involves walking along a set path before being set upon by a handful of bad guys.

The combat is supposed to feel a bit like Devil May Cry. You've got a sword and a pair of pistols and, according to the tutorial, you can mix and match these weapons to unleash all sorts of devastating combos.

In practice, it doesn't quite work like that. Gunslinger's hero is nowhere near as agile as Dante - he seems to stops for a breather after a few swings - and clumsy controls makes it hard to pull off anything resembling a nimble flourish of blades and bullets.

Those combat controls - a mishmash of touchscreen gestures, involving one or two fingers - are cumbersome, and you'll often end up performing the wrong gesture or input. You'll dodge when you mean to punch, you'll slash when you mean to shoot, and you'll block when you mean to dodge.

You simply never get the level of control you'd need to efficiently and stylishly beat up the game's unrelenting enemies. Even if you do manage to come out on top, you'll probably hobble out of the battle with a few war wounds.

Fistful of in-app purchases

You could always heal up with a swig of a tonic, of course. Or perhaps you could upgrade your abilities, or whip out a playing card that temporarily gives you magic powers. Sadly, the game is very frugal with its various currencies, and you'll probably run out of gold when you need it most.

It starts to seem like you have to rely on in-app purchases. If you're stuck in battle you just can't win there's no option to escape so you can grind on easier enemies to raise funds. You've either got to pay real cash for more health, or start the entire chapter again.

It just feels cynical and unfair. And after battling through one almost impossible battle without enough cash to afford some healing items, we couldn't stomach a second. Bladeslinger's combat is too broken to fight fairly, and we're not paying to bypass a boss battle only to get stuck a little farther down the line.
Bladeslinger Ep.1
Reviewer photo
Mark Brown | 26 November 2012
Bladeslinger's combat is a mess, the controls are clunky, the story is dull, and the whole thing is hobbled by monetisation. Avoid
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