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Shantae: Risky's Revenge

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad, Steam

Port forward

Product: Shantae: Risky's Revenge | Developer: WayForward | Publisher: WayForward | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Adventure | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.1
Shantae: Risky's Revenge iPhone, thumbnail 1
The road from DSiWare to App Store isn’t particularly well-travelled, but it’s a route that makes sense for WayForward’s side-scrolling action-adventure.

Nintendo owners have hardly been downloading software in their droves, and so an iOS version Risky’s Revenge stands the chance of appealing to a much larger audience.

Especially so given that, at a mere £2.99, it’s much cheaper than its original £10.80 price tag.

Good taste

You won’t have to shell out at first, mind you, as WayForward is offering a healthy taster portion of its game for free. You’ll only have to pay if you want the rest.

Think of the early stages as a lengthy playable demo designed to whet appetites – and it will.

Admittedly, it’s the kind of game that doesn’t necessarily seem like it will translate well to a device without physical controls, but the virtual stick and buttons are very responsive.

These aren't the 'troids you're looking for

Moreover, Risky’s Revenge doesn’t have the same competition on iOS – with Metroid and Castlevania games on DS doing much the same thing only better, it was always less likely to stand out. Not so here.

It arrives on the App Store pretty much as was. The only real change from the original is that the 2D art used for dialogue sequences is sharper and more attractive than ever, showing off some neat character design (plus plenty of cartoon lady-pirate cleavage if you’re that way inclined).

As the titular pirate you’re tasked with saving Sequin Land from swashbuckling foe Risky Boots. To which end you have to explore a series of side-scrolling environments, killing enemies by, improbably enough, whipping them with your hair.

Don't scare the hair

At least, that’s how it all kicks off. After a while you’ll need more than the power of Pantene to defeat enemies. To this end you can spend the gems and jam jars you collect on weapons to give you a fighting chance, as well as to unlock new areas.

Later, you’ll earn the ability to transform into different creatures to widen the explorable area of Sequin Land even further. Naturally, this means plenty of backtracking, but it’s all worth it when you find a secret or reach one of the well-designed boss battles.

Besides, it’s thrilling to revisit a previously tricky area and race through it with your new-found abilities. Exploration makes the game easier – the more secrets you uncover, the quicker you’ll be able to defeat bigger enemies.

Perky pirate

Aside from the dialogue sequences, the visuals are identical to the DS version – in other words, still charming and characterful – while the music definitely sounds beefier through the speakers of an iOS device.

Otherwise. it retains all the strengths and weaknesses of the original. Which means the signposting can be poor, and some of the platforming challenges will perhaps be a little too exacting for some – particularly given the caprices of touchscreen controls.  

I wasn’t blown away by Risky’s Revenge on DS, but I had much more fun with it on iOS. It’s deeper than the average disposable 69p title, and shows that ‘fuller’ handheld titles can fit on the service extremely well.

And did I mention the cartoon lady-pirate cleavage?

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Shantae: Risky's Revenge
Reviewer photo
Chris Schilling | 31 October 2011
A terrific port for this substantial side-scroller that comes highly recommended if you haven't played the DS original
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