Infinity Blade (Retrospective Review)

Right about here is where my jaw dropped

So after “accidentally” washing my old iPod nano, I had the opportunity to run out and get a shiny new iPod touch. I now have the chance to catch up on all the iOS games that I missed, and the first one I tackled was Epic Games’ and Chair Entertainments’ Infinity Blade.

I’ve heard about how good the game looks before, but wow. When I finished the opening cinematic, and the camera zoomed out to show the castle and the great background, I realized just how powerful mobile gaming could be. Infinity Blade looks better then even some console games that have been coming out this generation. I am hoping to see more of the Unreal Engine used on mobile platforms soon.

In Infinity Blade, you take control of a character on a quest to avenge his ancestor’s death by fighting your way through a tower to kill the God King that murdered him. If you die in regular battles, you can choose to restart at the beginning of that same battle, but if you die by the hands of the God King, you switch control over to your characters son some time later, who has taken up his own quest for vengeance.

I was worried that navigation would be hard to translate on to an all-touch screen platform, but the decision to navigate the world through selecting paths by touching your screen is a great design choice. Combat is addicting and fun to try to master. The timing-based parries work very well with the responsive swipe-to-attack system. Dodging and blocking are also very helpful during battles, but I still found myself more drawn to risking my health to parry attacks.

Enemy types are not the most varied, but as you level up and start new bloodlines after being killed by the God King, the enemies gain new perks and effects that can change the tides of battle. Since this game is an action-RPG, you gain experience through killing these enemies, and you can gain bonuses by killing them quicker and cleaner.

The leveling and inventory systems also function very well. You start with basic equipment that each have their own experience tracks. As you fill these up, your overall level track fills. If you max out a piece of equipment, you are going to want to buy a replacement for that piece soon, or else you will no longer gain experience for your overall level when a track is mastered. There is plenty of equipment for purchasing through in-game currency, and scrolling through the store you can see just how much time can be put into the game.

Even among the Angry Birds, Draw Somethings, Temple Runs, Jetpack Joyrides, and the countless other super addicting games available on iOS, I just keep finding myself drawn to Infinity Blade. There is plenty to see, and some secrets that I still haven’t even explored fully. For only $2.99 this game is a steal.