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Review: iRequiem

ire1.jpgiRequiem by Rapid Turtle Games has you battling your way through hell as you try to regain your soul from the evil hands of Lucifer. Along the way, you'll face countless monsters, demons, and deformed monstrosities that you'll have to defeat to progress further. A unique side-scrolling shooter/hack-and-slash game, iRequiem gives you a similar experience in each level you encounter, but it adds some subtle variety that saves it from being too repetitive.

I personally don't like hack-and-slash games, but this one is a bit different. The game's campaign mode has you traveling the different areas of hell and slashing your way through hordes of enemies. The object of each level is to survive the onslaught of enemies until the timer runs out. Once it does, you can enter the game's shop to heal yourself up, purchase or upgrade your weapons, and prepare for the next round of attacks.

Movement is achieved by tapping directional arrows on the screen. I personally don't like it when an iPhone game has on-screen directional controls since they tend to overcrowd your screen. They can also get jumbled up if you have big fingers or make a mistake. I often encountered this problem and it made moving and attack somewhat frustrating. You can also tap your character to make him roll and dodge, but this is hard to do if you're holding your phone with both hands since you'll have to extend your finger across the screen to tap him, and then tap the direction you want him to roll towards.

ire2.jpgYour character has access to both long-ranged and short-range weapons that do different amounts of damage to different monsters. You just have to tap to use them. You'll encounter bats, snakes, and your typical blood-thirsty demon along the way. Once a monster dies, its corpse falls to the ground. If you want extra points and coins, you can make a gory mess by stomping its body to pieces. Stomping not only creates chunks of gore, but the impact repels some enemies away from you so it's a good distancing method too.

Aside from physical combat, iRequiem also has a deep set of spells with different requirements. During combat you can visit churches located in each level and perform special rites such as health restoration, environmental spells, or stealth techniques using the power you gain from the souls of the monsters you kill. You also have a mana meter and an adrenaline meter that lets you perform special dark power spells that power-up your attacks and weapons. When not in combat, you can also purchase spells and amulets that boost your traits like defense and magic strength.

While the beginning levels of the game may seem boring and repetitive, later on you'll realize how fun the combat system can actually be. Not only will your weapons get stronger, but there will be different ways to fight. Sometimes human prisoners will come to your rescue, and other times, you can hop on the shop keeper's monster-decimating vehicles to run down enemies with ease. Explosive barrels and other objects can also be used to your advantage.

ire4.jpgOne thing you'll notice right away about the game is that it uses the same static backdrops for every area you travel to. You will feel like you're getting nowhere and the graphic style of the game isn't something you haven't seen before on another game set in hell. Thankfully, the different monsters in each level give it some variety since their unique fighting styles are far more impressive than the game's backdrops. Your hero has a tendency to talk a lot too, sometimes mocking the demons or boasting about his strength. While it is a bit cheesy, it's not horribly annoying. And at least his voice acting isn't atrocious.

Combat diversity is what makes iRequiem an enjoyable game and saves it from being too dull. All you really have to do is stay alive and endure each level, but aiming for high scores gets you more gold and a spot on the game's online leaderboards. The controls need a little getting used to and I only wish the game's graphics had been a bit more imaginative. But with over 50 levels, an endless survival mode, and plenty of weapons and spells to buy and upgrade, iRequiem is a robust, gory little game that may steal your soul if you let it.

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