Top-down hack n’ slash games have grown immensely into something really in-depth and detailed over the past few years. With so much to offer in terms of gameplay and presentation, there is plenty of playing time within these titles. Most of these hack n’ slash games take certain aspects of dungeon crawlers such as fighting style, layout of levels, and upgrades to your character.
Wraithborne ($2.99, App Store Link) by Crescent Moon Games and Alpha Dog Games, hopes to build on the popularity of top-down hack n’ slashers with a great balance of story, gameplay, and graphics.
Wraithborne is a great action-adventure in which you must save the ruins of the fallen Age of Humanity from being overtaken by werewolves, goblins, wraiths, as well as a wide variety of other enemies. There was magic which returned to the world and caused these attacks. The enemies have banned together to take control of the world by taking advantage of the magic.
It’s up to Wraithborne, one of the last remaining humans, to stop these enemies and return the ruins to what they once were. Wraithborne utilizes a warhammer, kind of like Thor but with magic. You can use a number of attacks with the hammer plus a few rune spells, which pack an extra punch.
Once you start a new game, you’re greeted with the intro of the story accompanied by voiceovers. It would add more character to the game to have voiceovers in between each stage, but unfortunately, it’s only there to tell the background of the game and how everything came to be as is. There are two types of attacks you can use as offense with your warhammer as well as a shield to block off enemies.
You can also hold three rune spells at a time for magic, which are stored on the upper right of the screen. An interesting thing about using these spells is you have to trace the icon of the certain spell for Wraithborne to perform it. When you choose a rune spell, the game pauses as you trace the icon. The tracing aspect is kind of unique, but at the same time, the gameplay can run more freely if you didn’t have to stop the game just for that.
Another area of Wraithborne that the developers put heavy focus on are the controls. There are two types of controls to choose from. You can either use the virtual joystick or the touch controls. I played with both types of controls and from experience; the virtual joystick and buttons are definitely easier to control. On the right side are the action buttons; the two attack buttons and a shield button, which can also be used to charge your attacks.
The touch controls are a bit different, which makes the gameplay a bit more challenging. To move Wraithborne around the map, you just touch anywhere on the screen and swipe across for the action buttons. In this case, you may not accurately hit your enemies unless you swipe right on them.
Wraithborne is a great experience for a top-down action-adventure. The graphics are just as nice as the gameplay. Wraithborne uses Unreal Engine 3 technology and it really shows in the environments and characters. The developers seem to have put a lot of emphasis on the graphics since everything is so visually pleasing.
For the most part, Wraithborne does deliver from gameplay to controls. It’s a great hack-n-slash game, but if you’re a fan of these dungeon-crawlers, you might get through this pretty quick since the gameplay is around 2-3 hours, but nevertheless, this is one of the better ones on the app store.
Price: $2.99, App Store Link
- Great combat
- Two types of controls for smooth gameplay
- Nice graphics
- Story could use more voiceovers besides the intro of the game
- Only able to upgrade spells
- AI can be a bit more challenging