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iPad Game Review: Rimelands: Hammer of Thor
      01/24/11 05:07 PM

iPad Game Review: Rimelands: Hammer of Thor
Reviewed by JadeDragon

Crescent Moon Games released Rimelands first on the iPhone and iPod touch, and a new recent update brings true HD support to the iPad version. As soon as you open the game on the iPad, you will realize this RPG is best played on the large iPad screen as it only not shows off more environment around your character but also bring out the details sharply in this new update for the iPad. Dungeon crawling never looked so good!

Gameplay

Rimelands Hammer of Thor is a quest centric RPG without much talking or town visiting. There is a main quest line which advances the story and some side quests as you are asked to bring stuff from dungeons or kill monsters. Exploring dungeons (vaults in game?s lingo) and fighting make up most of the gameplay in Rimelands. Dungeon levels aren?t very long, and though there isn?t a dungeon map view, the layout is usually simple enough that you won?t get lost. There is a world map to help you travel from one place to another once you?ve given quests to visit the locations.



Fighting is turn-based dice rolling system where both your and your enemies roll dice to see how much damage delt in a single turn. The higher levels you are the more dice you have which in turn deal more damage or provide more shielding power. If you have mana available during a fight, you can re-roll the unwanted dice again to see if you can get better ones. The dice represents hit power, shield or do nothing; and as you go up in levels these options can combine together, like you get 5 hits in a single roll which deals major damage or all shields to avoid any attack on you. The system seems complicated but in real time gameplay it?s quite easy to control. You can recover mana and health when no enemies are in sight.

Usually with dungeon crawling comes looting, and in Rimelands Hammer of Thor looting is the best way to get the best armor and weapons. There are shops too of course, in friendly towns, but you will often have better stuff in your inventory than that of the merchant. Like with all RPG titles, you gain levels and unlock/acquire new skills in Rimelands, though the system is rather simple. You gain levels automatically, and there are no points allocation to the usually character status (strength, wisdom, etc.). Instead, you choose one of the three character paths which leads to you become more melee centric, range and stealth centric or magic centric path. You can choose to gain power in each path or concentrate on one path. There are also over a dozen skills under each character class, and they are designed to advance specific skills for that class of character.



The game has intuitive controls once you?ve learned the set up. The joystick has four directions, and it might feel less fluid but once you get used to it, it works fine. The only thing that might cost you in gamplay is the action buttons (gun trigger and melee attack) are a bit too close that you might choose the wrong action by accident. The game has a bug where if you let your iPad go to sleep then wake it up while the game is running, it will crash the game every time.

Graphics & Sound

Graphics look gorgeous on the iPad. The 3D engine works smoothly and environment renders sharply. The dungeon designs are very varied but you do get different textures such as grass, snow, stone and more. Characters mostly have smooth movement and there is some nice looking special FX during fighting. Cutscenes and save screens also look nice in cell shading style.

Rimelands has both background music and sound effects. Music is largely orchestra style arrangement to fit the grand but tragic story of humanity surviving after a new ice age. Sound effects usually company fighting actions. There aren?t a lot of them but what?s there is well done.



Conclusion

The latest version of Rimelands: Hammer of Thor shows off the smooth 3D action and sharp and bright graphics on the iPad. The game has a good amount of dungeon crawling and the dice rolling turn-based fighting system is surprisingly easy to learn and control. Three character types will increase your replay chances and for the price, you are certain getting enough gameplay for your money. The game could use more twists and turns that we usually look for in a great RPG title and a deeper story line.

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: - 5 - Graphics are eye-popping, 3D engine works smoothly.
Sound: - 4 - Not a big selection of music tracks or sound FX. But what?s there are good.
Controls: - 4.5 - On-screen controls work well, though the range weapons trigger could use more space from the d-pad..
Gameplay: - 4.5 - Simple yet addictive gameplay. Not a gripping storyline to keep you on the edge of your seat.



Playing Hints and Tips:

- If you run into powerful enemies, use your movement to your advantage especially if you are more range or magic player.

- Get special skills like mana regeneration, etc. to make fighting easier.

- Save often, especially after a tough fight.

App Facts:

Developer: Crescent Moon Games
Release Date: Jan 15, 2011 (v1.2 update)
Price: $4.99
Buy App: Rimelands: Hammer of Thor


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