TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘IGNISTONE’

Sometimes a game is just the right amount of hot mess, but that mess is wrangled down by an incredibly solid core so that it doesn’t all come flying apart at the seams. IGNISTONE is one of those glorious hot messes. This isn’t sounding too flattering so far, so perhaps I should have picked a stronger analogy, but just know I call IGNISTONE a glorious hot mess with nothing but love for it. This is a game that, while also available on PC, is just perfectly suited for mobile and offers up the sort of bite-sized compelling game loop that fits this platform so well, but is almost always relegated to a stifling free to play business model. IGNISTONE’s first winning move is that it’s a premium game.

When I talk about it being a hot mess I’m mostly talking about its very wonky translation. Oftentimes this actually comes across as charming, and you can tell the developers really wanted to flesh out their little world and its interesting inhabitants. But it can also be off-putting and sometimes hard to understand, and that can be frustrating since there is A LOT of dialogue and exposition in IGNISTONE that’s probably not wholly necessary. This is a roguelite dungeon crawler with an incredible progression loop, you don’t need to explain to me WHY I’m diving in dungeons and gathering loot or justify any of it with a backstory, I just want to see the numbers go up. But again it’s clear Mono Entertainment has a lot of love for their little world and I can’t fault them for that.

Once you get through the probably-too-much dialogue and story setup though? Pure roguelite goodness. As one Barnard Gumble once quipped, “Just hook it to my veins!" The entire battle system is built around timing your taps just right as an enemy attacks, similar to the Mario & Luigi games in a way. If you can successfully parry a strike you can stun your opponent and then just go to town on them. If you’re too early you’ll simply block their attack as they ready for another, and if you’re too late then they’ll score a hit on you and cause damage. It’s a fun system, and is perfect for the touchscreen since it’s just a guard and attack button, and the whole thing is setup to be played in portrait which makes this a perfect “one-hander" game.

Complementing the core battling mechanics is a constant flow of loot and resources which you can use to craft or upgrade a huge number of things all in a pursuit of descending down to the 100th floor of the dungeon (and then beyond). There’s a town hub you can warp back to every 10 floors, though you’ll lose your current weapon loadout if you do. Perhaps that’s worth it so you can reset or upgrade some things, perhaps you’d rather hold onto your rare items and risk forging on. IGNISTONE is a surprisingly strategic game given how simple it is. It’s like Rogue Legacy without all that darned platforming stuff. If you want a perfect one-handed grinding type of dungeon crawler that’s NOT free to play’ed out the wazoo, I can give a hearty recommendation for IGNISTONE, just be patient as the dialogue flows heavy in the early goings.

Post a Comment