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Ravensword: The Fallen King

For: iPhone

Quoth the Ravensword, nevermore

Product: Ravensword: The Fallen King | Developer: Crescent Moon Games | Developer: Human Powered Games | Publisher: Chillingo | Format: iPhone | Genre: 3D, Adventure, RPG | Players: 1 | Version: US | App version: 1.0
Ravensword: The Fallen King iPhone, thumbnail 1
Ravensword unsheathes big, bold fantasy role-playing dulled by a few shortcomings. Limited character customisation and a small set of abilities prevent it from being truly epic. Despite opting for accessibility over depth, however, Ravensword remains just sharp enough to be enjoyable.

As an amnesiac who wakes up in a small village outside the massive Castle Ravengard, you're given no other choice but to hunt down the Demon Lord who has ensnared the kingdom with evil. He's ultimately responsible for your lost memory, and recovering your identity means finding the titular weapon and wielding it against the malevolent lord.

It's a big adventure matched by equally ambitious gameplay. Ravensword delivers compelling exploration and combat, yet the desire to make the game accessible dulls the experience.


Chief among concerns is disappointingly shallow character development. Acquiring experience by dispatching enemies levels you up, upon which your attributes are automatically enhanced. No freedom is granted over which attributes are raised and there are no skills or abilities to learn.

Automatic levelling would have been fine if it was complemented by a customisable skill tree. Through the entire adventure, you're never given the opportunity to learn new combat abilities, skills, or spells. This makes for bland role-playing - even an adventure game like The Legend of Zelda is driven forward by the discovery of items that lend exciting new abilities.

Alternatively, providing automatic levelling as an option to be toggled in case you're uninterested in toying with skill points and attributes would have been preferable. In fact, most of the role-playing games from which Ravensword draws inspiration do this.

Unfortunately, neither option is provided and the resulting character development is shallow.

Chink in the armour

You're afforded the liberty of managing a stock of armour and weapons, but there's a curious lack of variety. Only a handful of weapons exists within the game. Even worse, a paltry two armour sets can be purchased from the town blacksmith.

While price hints at each item's relative strength, the omission of any sort of statistical data for weapons and armour prevents easy comparison. How do you know whether the mace is stronger than the sword, for example? Only by wielding a weapon against an enemy and checking how much damage it does to it are you able to deduce its strength.

Regardless of what you equip, tricky targeting tarnishes combat. Tapping an enemy triggers a lock-on, though it regularly takes several taps before targeting activates. Once you've got a lock the action is good, but it's regularly a hassle wrangling a target.

Discovery channel

Cutting across these flaws is a sense of discovery and adventure. Ravensword is saved from the shortcomings of its rudimentary role-playing by this sense of excitement. You're driven to level up not because you get to customise your hero and unlock cool new skills, but because it refills your health and lets you continue exploring the far reaches of the kingdom.

From fighting lizardmen on the banks of lava flows in Sytheria to old skool hip hop references shouted by the townsfolk, the game possess an alluring charm. Without greater depth though, Ravensword ends up sacrificing its charm for the sake of accessibility, even though it remains just sharp enough to be fun.
Ravensword: The Fallen King
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 17 November 2009
Limited character customisation dulls Ravensword: The Fallen King, a trade between accessibility and depth preventing this enjoyable adventure from being truly epic
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Anonymous | 22:49 - 7 December 2009
Ah cool, as I did art and animation, and have mad ideas floating around in my head, sketching them down now. checking the website now.
Anonymous | 13:34 - 22 November 2009
please make assassins creed bloodlines on iphone 3gs/ipod touch 3g.
Anonymous | 13:29 - 21 November 2009
i want assassins creed bloodlines game
Anonymous | 10:25 - 21 November 2009
I just boug this game. Is not what i was waiting for.
The enviroments are pretty nice, but the game is not an RPG, is a simple cuted down adventure game with no character upgrades and just one town. Theres only 2 monsters fighting you at same time. Theres no too much action in this game... :(
I would not buy the game even if price goes down. Please add some real RPG elements, classes, skills, upgrades. Or simply, tells everybody that this is not an RPG game, only a cuted down adventure game. Dungeon Hunter Still more RPG that this adventure one...
Anonymous | 22:39 - 18 November 2009
Bought the game and read the review - and think it was pretty much on the button. It is fun, but just misses the spot (and therefore worth the 7). I think that there is a large amount of game for the money, but not in the same league as other games (such as zombies for instance which was mentioned above). I think the devs for this should take heart from the fact they have made a good first game (pretty ambitious for two guys) and have something really solid to build on. I look forward to the next iteration.
Anonymous | 13:10 - 18 November 2009
Well I disagree, but agree to disagree.
Dec 2008
Post count:
klouud | 12:59 - 18 November 2009
Spooky you are just being difficult and picking and choosing what to "hear" when I say what I say. It is obvious that my points are not reaching you... primarily because you have no intention on listening.

So agree to disagree

Aug 2009
Post count:
Drakhon | 11:11 - 18 November 2009
fix it
Aug 2009
Post count:
Drakhon | 11:10 - 18 November 2009

i demand a re-review by someone good
common guys lots poeple are pisst here

so as fry would say " fix it fix it fix it fix it fix it fix it........... fix it fix it fix it"

Anonymous | 08:56 - 18 November 2009
Spencer and Tracy are perhaps the worst journos here, proven over and over again. I miss the old days of Pocket Gamer, really.
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