Ravensword_Lava01The day is finally upon us-- Ravensword: The Fallen King [App Store] is here. To say this collaboration between Russ Menapace of Human Powered Games and Josh Presseisen of Crescent Moon Games has been highly anticipated among our community would be a bit of an understatement. The thread in our upcoming games forum collected thousands of posts, we had the eccentric developers on our podcast and nearly 100 comments from upset fans when Ravensword and many other Unity-powered games were rejected last week.

Ravensword is an open-world roleplaying game that begins with a mysterious cut scene that mentions strange creatures wandering the countryside at night, villagers gone missing, and a king who hasn't been seen in years. Your character was found at the edge of the forest, and was brought to the nearby town of Aven where a friendly woman named Beatrice attempts to answer some of your amnesia-induced questions.

She mentions a nearby castle filled with evil, but obviously recommends you you stay away, and instead head down to the nearby Rat Donald's stand to take your first quest: Collecting five rats for the "dinner rush". He arms you with a club and then sends you off to the nearby forest to bash the surprising amount of giant sized rats. The rest of the game continues as you hop from quest to quest, leveling up, collecting items, and discovering more about your mysterious identity.

Ravensword_Town_BlacksmithRavensword has both third person and first person views, and the game's controls work a lot like the many first person shooters on the platform. A virtual joystick on the left side of the screen controls your movement, and swiping anywhere on screen with your right thumb allows you to look around. Swiping with two fingers changes your view much faster, and is useful for when things sneak up on you from behind.

Combat uses a lock-on system where you can tap an enemy, then start swinging by hitting the attack button in the bottom right corner of the screen. Double tapping an enemy brings up their statistics, and to see your own stats along with viewing the map, changing settings, or looking up your quest log is just a matter of tapping the backpack icon in the top right.

The graphics and music in Ravensword combine very well to create a whimsical fantasy atmosphere that permeates the whole game. Forum members have also reported that Ravensword even performs well on the first generation iPod Touch, but you can squeeze even more performance out of the game by toggling off shadows and foliage in the game's settings if you prefer a higher frame rate to visual effects. Ravensword runs like a dream on the iPhone 3GS and 3rd generation iPod Touch, a surprising feat given the level of detail in game and the fact that they're using Unity and not some highly optimized custom game engine.

Ravensword_Horserid2

The developers haven't been modest in their comparisons between Ravensword and other games, and have mentioned long-standing series like Elder Scrolls and Zelda as inspiration behind the game. While the game does have its limitations, it's an amazingly impressive effort for a two man development team.

Some of its shortcomings are things like lack of any real character customization, when you level up your attributes are assigned automatically and there aren't any skill trees to speak of-- two features that have become somewhat expected in most modern RPG's. There's also no secondary skills or traditional magic you can cast, so in its current form you will be limited to swinging your melee weapon and (when you get it) shooting your bow.

Later in the game, things do start to feel a bit limited, but more because of the lacking diversity in weapons and armor than the inability to customize your character's skills. In games like Dungeon Hunter or Underworlds, different loot flows like water, and it seems like you're constantly upgrading gear-- something I feel like I'm missing from Ravensword. Despite that, the game world itself and the plot line of the main quest kept me sucked in throughout and the impressive 3D engine gives the game an open-world feeling otherwise unmatched on the iPhone.

Overall, Ravensword is a great addition to the somewhat scarce landscape of RPG's on the iPhone. It has some flaws, but it's a lot of fun and at the end of the day that's really all that matters. With an estimated 6-8 hours of gameplay, and side quests to keep you busy long after that, I can't help but recommend Ravensword.

App Store Link: Ravensword: The Fallen King, $6.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

    Nice review, Eli. I should note that there is magic in the game in the shape of "rune" that you get from different quests and monsters. It could probably be made more obvious in the game, and it's still a bit limited, but the ability is there. Actually, the effects are pretty nice, and come quite handy with the top level monsters.

    • Shawne35

      does anyone know where the song of runes is?

  • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

    Nice review, Eli. I should note that there is magic in the game in the shape of "rune" that you get from different quests and monsters. It could probably be made more obvious in the game, and it's still a bit limited, but the ability is there. Actually, the effects are pretty nice, and come quite handy with the top level monsters.

    • Shawne35

      does anyone know where the song of runes is?

  • http://pocketfullofapps.com yourofl10

    Finally this game came out I couldn't wait any longer!

  • http://pocketfullofapps.com yourofl10

    Finally this game came out I couldn't wait any longer!

  • http://musicgamespickles.blogspot.com/ Robert M.

    I'm going to go back to playing this after I get done with Assassin's Creed 2. But the two guys that made this did a fantastic job!! I'm sure they'll have a long future in the gaming business!

  • http://musicgamespickles.blogspot.com/ Robert M.

    I'm going to go back to playing this after I get done with Assassin's Creed 2. But the two guys that made this did a fantastic job!! I'm sure they'll have a long future in the gaming business!

  • http://www.mercatorgames.com Mercator Jack

    Eli, Nice review. I've purchased but haven't played yet. One major quibble, though:

    You say, "In games like Dungeon Hunter or Underworlds, different loot flows like water, and it seems like you're constantly upgrading gear– something I feel like I'm missing from Ravensword".

    Must every fantasy RPG be a "Constantly Upgrading" game? Hasn't this become simply tedious rather than fun?

    Personally, I find managing the loot to be a terrible bore in Dungeon Hunter. Underworlds has so many items that managing them on the iPhone is the least fun thing about the game. Don't you?

    • MrMuesli

      I agree 100%. The avalanche of loot in DH was crazy! I dreaded having to wade through all the junk I'd collected.

      • Goose

        hell no, you are in the minority, most people really enjoy having more options to customize your character through loot with different effects, it adds a massive amount of game time and individuality to the gameplay.

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        I think we can agree that there can be a happy middle. Dungeon Hunter is just ridiculous. What's more, the game is so easy that it doesn't really matter what you equip, as long as it's in the top tiers.

      • http://www.stormchild.net Stormchild

        Squarezero has nailed the basic problem with Dungeon Hunter. Basically the only real challenge in the game is occasionally not knowing where you're supposed to go next, and I'd say that's more of a flaw than a feature.

        It walks and talks like Diablo, but unfortunately the imitation is paper thin. It lacks Blizzard's attention to play balance, and all that loot and character customization really makes no difference. Regardless of your character class, skills, and gear, it's just a button masher. You can pretty much play through it while watching TV and barely paying attention to the game.

        Having said all that, I still appreciated Dungeon Hunter for the graphics and a surprising amount of depth for a mobile game. If Blizzard ever steps up and does it right, I'm sure their game will run circles around DH, but until that day, I consider DH a milestone for iPhone gaming.

        Not sure if I'm going to pick up Ravensword -- I think I'll read some more user reviews first -- but it looks to be a similar milestone for the platform. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the obvious WoW influence on the environment and character designs, even though the gameplay is more simplistic like a Zelda title.

    • http://www.monicadickey.com Monica Dickey

      Good point. Some RPG's definitely overdo it on the loot. It's cool to upgrade your character and customize them, but I hate games where I have to spend as much time sorting through crap and comparing stats as I do actually playing the rest of the game.

  • http://www.mercatorgames.com Mercator Jack

    Eli, Nice review. I've purchased but haven't played yet. One major quibble, though:

    You say, "In games like Dungeon Hunter or Underworlds, different loot flows like water, and it seems like you're constantly upgrading gear– something I feel like I'm missing from Ravensword".

    Must every fantasy RPG be a "Constantly Upgrading" game? Hasn't this become simply tedious rather than fun?

    Personally, I find managing the loot to be a terrible bore in Dungeon Hunter. Underworlds has so many items that managing them on the iPhone is the least fun thing about the game. Don't you?

    • MrMuesli

      I agree 100%. The avalanche of loot in DH was crazy! I dreaded having to wade through all the junk I'd collected.

      • Goose

        hell no, you are in the minority, most people really enjoy having more options to customize your character through loot with different effects, it adds a massive amount of game time and individuality to the gameplay.

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        I think we can agree that there can be a happy middle. Dungeon Hunter is just ridiculous. What's more, the game is so easy that it doesn't really matter what you equip, as long as it's in the top tiers.

      • http://www.stormchild.net Stormchild

        Squarezero has nailed the basic problem with Dungeon Hunter. Basically the only real challenge in the game is occasionally not knowing where you're supposed to go next, and I'd say that's more of a flaw than a feature.

        It walks and talks like Diablo, but unfortunately the imitation is paper thin. It lacks Blizzard's attention to play balance, and all that loot and character customization really makes no difference. Regardless of your character class, skills, and gear, it's just a button masher. You can pretty much play through it while watching TV and barely paying attention to the game.

        Having said all that, I still appreciated Dungeon Hunter for the graphics and a surprising amount of depth for a mobile game. If Blizzard ever steps up and does it right, I'm sure their game will run circles around DH, but until that day, I consider DH a milestone for iPhone gaming.

        Not sure if I'm going to pick up Ravensword -- I think I'll read some more user reviews first -- but it looks to be a similar milestone for the platform. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the obvious WoW influence on the environment and character designs, even though the gameplay is more simplistic like a Zelda title.

    • http://www.monicadickey.com Monica Dickey

      Good point. Some RPG's definitely overdo it on the loot. It's cool to upgrade your character and customize them, but I hate games where I have to spend as much time sorting through crap and comparing stats as I do actually playing the rest of the game.

  • Howard

    Its far exceeded my expectations (which were pretty high). I cannot put the game down. I think the reciew is a tad unfair when you consider the comparisons being made to $60 xbhox360 titles from huge studios with million dollar budgets. Put in context Ravensword is staggering and deserves far more praise than is being heaped on it here.

    Personally, this is by far the best game on an iDevice!

  • Howard

    Its far exceeded my expectations (which were pretty high). I cannot put the game down. I think the reciew is a tad unfair when you consider the comparisons being made to $60 xbhox360 titles from huge studios with million dollar budgets. Put in context Ravensword is staggering and deserves far more praise than is being heaped on it here.

    Personally, this is by far the best game on an iDevice!

  • MrMuesli

    As I play the first few minutes of this, I am thinking of WoW, as I haven't ever played Elder Scrolls or Zelda. I must say, it's really something to be able to experience this free roaming of a world on my iPod (I'm wondering how large it is?). I'm not brave enough to play WoW again in case I get hooked, so this is a good compromise; ) Of course there is no online community here without which WoW would be nothing really, but with the advantage of hopefully a strong story line in its place, I can see myself enjoying Ravensword alot. The novelty of free roaming on my iPod Touch is enough to satisfy me so far: )

  • MrMuesli

    As I play the first few minutes of this, I am thinking of WoW, as I haven't ever played Elder Scrolls or Zelda. I must say, it's really something to be able to experience this free roaming of a world on my iPod (I'm wondering how large it is?). I'm not brave enough to play WoW again in case I get hooked, so this is a good compromise; ) Of course there is no online community here without which WoW would be nothing really, but with the advantage of hopefully a strong story line in its place, I can see myself enjoying Ravensword alot. The novelty of free roaming on my iPod Touch is enough to satisfy me so far: )

  • Adams Immersive

    I think this game may be for me: micromanagement of stats and gear is too much like work anyway! I won’t mind if this game doesn’t have much of that.

    It’s great to see what devs are able to do with Unity!

    • Dark NRG

      I agree! And great review Eli! I downloaded immediately, but had to hit the COD first before my eyes went late last night. Now Im more excited than ever to get into this, and its just 7 bones! Nice!

  • Adams Immersive

    I think this game may be for me: micromanagement of stats and gear is too much like work anyway! I won’t mind if this game doesn’t have much of that.

    It’s great to see what devs are able to do with Unity!

    • Dark NRG

      I agree! And great review Eli! I downloaded immediately, but had to hit the COD first before my eyes went late last night. Now Im more excited than ever to get into this, and its just 7 bones! Nice!

  • carmonavictor

    O.O

    ouch!! I have already bougth call of duty zombies and doom classics before this game appeared
    I tought this great game will arrive in two weeks

    my wallet is bleeding

  • carmonavictor

    O.O

    ouch!! I have already bougth call of duty zombies and doom classics before this game appeared
    I tought this great game will arrive in two weeks

    my wallet is bleeding

  • Chris

    I killed the 5 rats, but now when I go to the forest theres an imp that kills me (its too high, level 5) and I don't have money to buy a dagger or a bow, which seem to be required to get quests from the blacksmith. Help! I can't kill anything that doesn't kill me first!

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      There are other ways to make money -- head out to the farmlands, young man. Also, keep in mind that killing a single goblin is not that hard; make sure not to wander off too far from town in the forest.

    • http://ravensword.com AmazingRuss

      You have to dodge a bit when fighting... zip in, stab, zip back out. Keep plenty of Donny Meals on hand too, to heal with.

      Alternately, you can run from him. They give up the chase after a bit. This way you can pick your battles.

      Fear not, you'll level up pretty quick.

  • Chris

    I killed the 5 rats, but now when I go to the forest theres an imp that kills me (its too high, level 5) and I don't have money to buy a dagger or a bow, which seem to be required to get quests from the blacksmith. Help! I can't kill anything that doesn't kill me first!

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      There are other ways to make money -- head out to the farmlands, young man. Also, keep in mind that killing a single goblin is not that hard; make sure not to wander off too far from town in the forest.

    • http://ravensword.com AmazingRuss

      You have to dodge a bit when fighting... zip in, stab, zip back out. Keep plenty of Donny Meals on hand too, to heal with.

      Alternately, you can run from him. They give up the chase after a bit. This way you can pick your battles.

      Fear not, you'll level up pretty quick.

  • Chris

    Not that hard? he kills me in 2-3 blows. I'm only level 2, and If I can't find what next to do or someone to talk to that doesn't require me to buy weapons I can't afford, I'm stuck.

    I can't find any more rats without running into that goblin and dying.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Send me a PM at squarezero and I'll give you more direct hints -- don't want to spoil it for other people.

  • Chris

    Not that hard? he kills me in 2-3 blows. I'm only level 2, and If I can't find what next to do or someone to talk to that doesn't require me to buy weapons I can't afford, I'm stuck.

    I can't find any more rats without running into that goblin and dying.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Send me a PM at squarezero and I'll give you more direct hints -- don't want to spoil it for other people.

  • noah

    The game is great, but my biggest gripe is there is no "auto-attack" option AFAIK. I want to be able to click on an enemy and click attack, and have my character run towards the enemy swinging. Similar to how it works in Dragon Age.

  • noah

    The game is great, but my biggest gripe is there is no "auto-attack" option AFAIK. I want to be able to click on an enemy and click attack, and have my character run towards the enemy swinging. Similar to how it works in Dragon Age.

  • 2kitties1cup

    Does this site ever give a bad review?

    • joe
    • http://www.jindofox.com Jindo Fox

      With 100,000 apps in the store, I think it's safe to say that anything that makes it it to the front page of Touch Arcade is usually at least interesting enough to be worth a look. The TA reviewers haven't let me down yet, and I love that there's always something new and fun to check out.

  • 2kitties1cup

    Does this site ever give a bad review?

    • joe
    • http://www.jindofox.com Jindo Fox

      With 100,000 apps in the store, I think it's safe to say that anything that makes it it to the front page of Touch Arcade is usually at least interesting enough to be worth a look. The TA reviewers haven't let me down yet, and I love that there's always something new and fun to check out.

  • Johnny82

    Just tried it out for a bit. I think it's funny that it look like my character has bloody diarhea when a rat bites me. Or could it be the other region bleeding?

  • Johnny82

    Just tried it out for a bit. I think it's funny that it look like my character has bloody diarhea when a rat bites me. Or could it be the other region bleeding?

  • Bok Choy (Parker)

    Gaah!! Only $5.38 left in my account! Have a sale please! :P I'll probably pick this up sometime soon... looks incredible.

  • Bok Choy (Parker)

    Gaah!! Only $5.38 left in my account! Have a sale please! :P I'll probably pick this up sometime soon... looks incredible.

  • http://www.iphonefaq.info iPhoneFAQ

    Worst iPhone-Game I ever played. Sorry but this review isn't usefull at all... RPG (you can't customize your attributes)? Weapons (about 4-5 till now?)? Armor (3 Sets without any details of their attributes)?

    I'm now at level 10 and the stroy is extremly boring (get 5 X items back to me)... The controls really suck.

    I think this will be the first time I want back my money from Apple.

    There are a few very good action RPG's on the iPhone, but I cant find ANY good point on this one.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Every limitation that you list (well, except the boring part, but that's a matter of opinion) is detailed in the review. I should add that they're also listed in the app description. Ask Apple for your money back if you must, but I can't see how you can have a problem with the review.

      • Cookies

        Yeah, it seems like whining about the review is the last thing you should be doing. It looks epic and this review was very helpful to me. Thanks.

      • http://www.iphonefaq.info iPhoneFAQ

        Not many weapons.. Ok.. But 4 or 5 are really less. 3 sets of armors with 3 pieces each (left shoulder, right shoulder and helmet) sorry thats cheap...

        The point with the auto-leveling-up is covered in this article, that's true..

        Do you think this is a story?

        I've played the game about 3hrs to give a fair feedback, but I didn't get anything good on it.

        But DON'T get people buy this game! I wouldnt play it again even if it's free...

        Sorry I allways want to be fair, but I'm soooo endless disappointed, I can't find the right words for it and my English sucks at the moment.

      • http://www.iphonefaq.info iPhoneFAQ

        To be fair, I didn't read the review here before buying it.. (read it at a german iPhone blog because they told toucharcade thinks the game is quiet good). So I wanted to post my opinion here...

        I'm not "whining" about the review, but about the game. This game is like a really early beta and not like a real release... This is the first time I think Apple was right to not release it first (but I can't get why it's releaed now)

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        You're entitled to your opinion. A lot of people disagree with it. Probably best to just move on.

      • http://www.iphonefaq.info iPhoneFAQ

        Ok, thats true... But perhaps I'm overlooking something. I'm just wondering what this game should have what others (even if they aren't in 3D) not have..

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        PM at squarezero or email me and I'll try to explain what I see in it. Not that it will convince you, but you'll get to see a different perspective.

    • mike

      thanks for posting these flaws. no way in hell I'm buying this.

      • noah

        You can ask Apple for a refund anytime you want. I've had them do it before with a game I bought for $10 and didn't like. Just send them an email and you're good to go!

  • http://www.iphonefaq.info iPhoneFAQ

    Worst iPhone-Game I ever played. Sorry but this review isn't usefull at all... RPG (you can't customize your attributes)? Weapons (about 4-5 till now?)? Armor (3 Sets without any details of their attributes)?

    I'm now at level 10 and the stroy is extremly boring (get 5 X items back to me)... The controls really suck.

    I think this will be the first time I want back my money from Apple.

    There are a few very good action RPG's on the iPhone, but I cant find ANY good point on this one.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Every limitation that you list (well, except the boring part, but that's a matter of opinion) is detailed in the review. I should add that they're also listed in the app description. Ask Apple for your money back if you must, but I can't see how you can have a problem with the review.

      • Cookies

        Yeah, it seems like whining about the review is the last thing you should be doing. It looks epic and this review was very helpful to me. Thanks.

      • http://www.iphonefaq.info iPhoneFAQ

        Not many weapons.. Ok.. But 4 or 5 are really less. 3 sets of armors with 3 pieces each (left shoulder, right shoulder and helmet) sorry thats cheap...

        The point with the auto-leveling-up is covered in this article, that's true..

        Do you think this is a story?

        I've played the game about 3hrs to give a fair feedback, but I didn't get anything good on it.

        But DON'T get people buy this game! I wouldnt play it again even if it's free...

        Sorry I allways want to be fair, but I'm soooo endless disappointed, I can't find the right words for it and my English sucks at the moment.

      • http://www.iphonefaq.info iPhoneFAQ

        To be fair, I didn't read the review here before buying it.. (read it at a german iPhone blog because they told toucharcade thinks the game is quiet good). So I wanted to post my opinion here...

        I'm not "whining" about the review, but about the game. This game is like a really early beta and not like a real release... This is the first time I think Apple was right to not release it first (but I can't get why it's releaed now)

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        You're entitled to your opinion. A lot of people disagree with it. Probably best to just move on.

      • http://www.iphonefaq.info iPhoneFAQ

        Ok, thats true... But perhaps I'm overlooking something. I'm just wondering what this game should have what others (even if they aren't in 3D) not have..

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        PM at squarezero or email me and I'll try to explain what I see in it. Not that it will convince you, but you'll get to see a different perspective.

    • mike

      thanks for posting these flaws. no way in hell I'm buying this.

      • noah

        You can ask Apple for a refund anytime you want. I've had them do it before with a game I bought for $10 and didn't like. Just send them an email and you're good to go!

  • nihil-00

    sadly not what i was hoping for

  • nihil-00

    sadly not what i was hoping for

  • Cookies

    Despite the fact that everyone said the old camera was crap and that it shoudl definately have dual camera controls (Move with left, camera with right) and i fully agree, there is already a review saying it's crap cuz of this control set up. We have to prove them wrong.

  • Cookies

    Despite the fact that everyone said the old camera was crap and that it shoudl definately have dual camera controls (Move with left, camera with right) and i fully agree, there is already a review saying it's crap cuz of this control set up. We have to prove them wrong.

  • http://www.mentation.nl/thanatist/ Thaurin

    Really a novelty game, i.e. the only game I've seen to offer a semblence of a free-roaming 3D world. I just can't stand people saying that this performs well on older devices, though! People accept too much. On my iPhone 3G with the extras turned off it certainly is playable, but not comfortably so. I'm probably "spoiled" by PC and console gaming, but decent framerates are a necessity in 3D games! And I'm only talking 25+ fps, too. Not 60 fps!

    But the game is certainly interesting to see on a phone. Not sad I bought it. :)

  • http://www.mentation.nl/thanatist/ Thaurin

    Really a novelty game, i.e. the only game I've seen to offer a semblence of a free-roaming 3D world. I just can't stand people saying that this performs well on older devices, though! People accept too much. On my iPhone 3G with the extras turned off it certainly is playable, but not comfortably so. I'm probably "spoiled" by PC and console gaming, but decent framerates are a necessity in 3D games! And I'm only talking 25+ fps, too. Not 60 fps!

    But the game is certainly interesting to see on a phone. Not sad I bought it. :)

  • Ender

    I'm astounded that only two people worked on this. It looks as if a whole development team made it!

  • Ender

    I'm astounded that only two people worked on this. It looks as if a whole development team made it!

  • triela

    This is either:

    (a) a fair, but incomplete game, or

    (b) an outstanding tech demo (of a 3D "open world") overflowing with game-like features, content and playability such that it can no longer be confined to the concept of a tech demo

    Graphically, I have to give full credit where credit is due.

    However, even for a first-of-its-kind fully-3D open-world iPhone game, gameplay should be the skeleton around which the graphics should flesh out the beast, not the other way around as I feel this game was made.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      It's a real game. It has real objectives, real playability. What it isn't is a full-blown RPG: it's an action adventure with RPG elements. This is a genre that is rare on the iPhone (and PCs for that matter), but plentiful in consoles. In fact, I'm playing a similar game on my PSP right now, Gun:Showdown, and it has a Western theme. It's pretty good, but I enjoyed Ravensword more.

      • triela

        Could I ask why you feel the need to blanket every post with opinions that do not match yours with essentially the same response? I get it, you like the game. People like myself that have read all posts before adding my own, really get it. Nearly a dozen posts have convinced me you really like the game.

        Would it be useful if I went back and "corrected" every single individual post that complements the game with a counter-argument throughout the entire thread?

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        Fair enough. My goal has really been more to answer questions than to "challenge" people's views. As a beta tester I know more about the game than most people who have just picked it up, so I thought my impressions would be useful.

        Keep in mind that I've been involved in beta testing the game for a couple of months now, during which time I was required to say nothing about it. It just came out today, and I guess I had a lot of commentary bottled up.

      • http://www.mentation.nl/thanatist/ Thaurin

        I think Squarezero's comments add to the comments of others. He's right; it's not a full-blown RPG and it's useful to warn people of that lest they be disappointed. As a shallow 3D action-RPG, it is unprecedented on the iPhone. That's something that deserves to be said in the face of all that disappointment in something it was never meant to be.

      • MellowFellow

        Haha oh man...SZ got burned man. Triela speaks the truth though. Not just this game but I see you helping devs out by promoting there games big time. This one more than most however. I know your a beta tester but are they paying you to push their game as well?

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        No, they're not.

      • K

        Ignore the grumpy people, SZ. I think you've added to the conversations, and I'm going to go buy the game and try it out for myself, instead of whinging about RPG components, sigh.

  • triela

    This is either:

    (a) a fair, but incomplete game, or

    (b) an outstanding tech demo (of a 3D "open world") overflowing with game-like features, content and playability such that it can no longer be confined to the concept of a tech demo

    Graphically, I have to give full credit where credit is due.

    However, even for a first-of-its-kind fully-3D open-world iPhone game, gameplay should be the skeleton around which the graphics should flesh out the beast, not the other way around as I feel this game was made.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      It's a real game. It has real objectives, real playability. What it isn't is a full-blown RPG: it's an action adventure with RPG elements. This is a genre that is rare on the iPhone (and PCs for that matter), but plentiful in consoles. In fact, I'm playing a similar game on my PSP right now, Gun:Showdown, and it has a Western theme. It's pretty good, but I enjoyed Ravensword more.

      • triela

        Could I ask why you feel the need to blanket every post with opinions that do not match yours with essentially the same response? I get it, you like the game. People like myself that have read all posts before adding my own, really get it. Nearly a dozen posts have convinced me you really like the game.

        Would it be useful if I went back and "corrected" every single individual post that complements the game with a counter-argument throughout the entire thread?

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        Fair enough. My goal has really been more to answer questions than to "challenge" people's views. As a beta tester I know more about the game than most people who have just picked it up, so I thought my impressions would be useful.

        Keep in mind that I've been involved in beta testing the game for a couple of months now, during which time I was required to say nothing about it. It just came out today, and I guess I had a lot of commentary bottled up.

      • http://www.mentation.nl/thanatist/ Thaurin

        I think Squarezero's comments add to the comments of others. He's right; it's not a full-blown RPG and it's useful to warn people of that lest they be disappointed. As a shallow 3D action-RPG, it is unprecedented on the iPhone. That's something that deserves to be said in the face of all that disappointment in something it was never meant to be.

      • MellowFellow

        Haha oh man...SZ got burned man. Triela speaks the truth though. Not just this game but I see you helping devs out by promoting there games big time. This one more than most however. I know your a beta tester but are they paying you to push their game as well?

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        No, they're not.

      • K

        Ignore the grumpy people, SZ. I think you've added to the conversations, and I'm going to go buy the game and try it out for myself, instead of whinging about RPG components, sigh.

  • http://www.bangrocks.com/ WauloK

    This site needs a section where people can post questions and get answers to them in a SPOILERS & HELP forum.
    I keep going to read forum topics about Ravensword and it's filled with people asking how to beat such-and-such a mob and an answer. Or how to find something, so I can't read those threads. Argh! :)

  • http://www.bangrocks.com/ WauloK

    This site needs a section where people can post questions and get answers to them in a SPOILERS & HELP forum.
    I keep going to read forum topics about Ravensword and it's filled with people asking how to beat such-and-such a mob and an answer. Or how to find something, so I can't read those threads. Argh! :)

  • MrMuesli

    I've given it a bit more time. I'm still having fun just running around the land completing the odd quest, and admiring the scenery.
    1)The double swipe may as well not be there imo. Perhaps an Eliminate system so that you can spin around fast with a flick would be better instead. Just stick to the thumbs! Let's not get fingers involved here. It's awkward.
    2) In combat it would be nice to see a little health bar of the enemy to be able to easily keep track.
    3) I don't like being able to top up health in a battle. It kills the strategy. You can just stand there mashing away with your right thumb, and stuffing food in your gob with your left thumb. Not a likely situation I find:/

    I am most impressed that a 2 person team can create something like this, however it does feel VERY empty right now. I feel like I'm running around World of Warcraft but the rest of the planet is offline:/

    • http://www.stormchild.net Stormchild

      That's funny, I had the same impression while watching the videos. Haven't played the game yet, but it really looks like an unpopulated WoW.

  • MrMuesli

    I've given it a bit more time. I'm still having fun just running around the land completing the odd quest, and admiring the scenery.
    1)The double swipe may as well not be there imo. Perhaps an Eliminate system so that you can spin around fast with a flick would be better instead. Just stick to the thumbs! Let's not get fingers involved here. It's awkward.
    2) In combat it would be nice to see a little health bar of the enemy to be able to easily keep track.
    3) I don't like being able to top up health in a battle. It kills the strategy. You can just stand there mashing away with your right thumb, and stuffing food in your gob with your left thumb. Not a likely situation I find:/

    I am most impressed that a 2 person team can create something like this, however it does feel VERY empty right now. I feel like I'm running around World of Warcraft but the rest of the planet is offline:/

    • http://www.stormchild.net Stormchild

      That's funny, I had the same impression while watching the videos. Haven't played the game yet, but it really looks like an unpopulated WoW.

  • rec

    So all the fuss was about a supposedly "modern, western RPG" in which you cannot even assign attributes, nor have any form of a customizable Skill-System whatsoever? Adding to that the very limited weapons/items/armors... I don't want to bash on the developers and from what i have seen, they have made a tremendous thing with graphics and such, but imo this is just no RPG then. It's more like a fantasy-themed Action-Adventure or something and not anywhere near an at least mediocre RPG right now, not even mentioning the story, which seems to be anything but great either... Good graphics are a swell thing, but graphics can not make up for game experience or fun factor. The way i see it, there are three types of "serious" RPG-Gamers (and mixtures between those): Those that play for the Story, those that play for the customization/grinding of individual characters and those that play for the sake of collecting "rare" stuff. Not one of these groups seems to get any satisfaction out of this title.

    So yah, i don't think i'll get this...

  • rec

    So all the fuss was about a supposedly "modern, western RPG" in which you cannot even assign attributes, nor have any form of a customizable Skill-System whatsoever? Adding to that the very limited weapons/items/armors... I don't want to bash on the developers and from what i have seen, they have made a tremendous thing with graphics and such, but imo this is just no RPG then. It's more like a fantasy-themed Action-Adventure or something and not anywhere near an at least mediocre RPG right now, not even mentioning the story, which seems to be anything but great either... Good graphics are a swell thing, but graphics can not make up for game experience or fun factor. The way i see it, there are three types of "serious" RPG-Gamers (and mixtures between those): Those that play for the Story, those that play for the customization/grinding of individual characters and those that play for the sake of collecting "rare" stuff. Not one of these groups seems to get any satisfaction out of this title.

    So yah, i don't think i'll get this...

  • preston

    6-8 hours of gameplay? wow, shorter than I was expecting. How many hours with the side quests included? I like to finish side quests prior to finishing main quests. Will there be expansions/sequels?

    Really enjoying Undercroft right now and I'm at the 20 hour mark and I only just hit the last area/city.

  • preston

    6-8 hours of gameplay? wow, shorter than I was expecting. How many hours with the side quests included? I like to finish side quests prior to finishing main quests. Will there be expansions/sequels?

    Really enjoying Undercroft right now and I'm at the 20 hour mark and I only just hit the last area/city.

  • K

    Just want to say I'm glad this game doesn't have silly loot management. I've got better things to do in a game that don't make me want to watch paint dry instead.

  • K

    Just want to say I'm glad this game doesn't have silly loot management. I've got better things to do in a game that don't make me want to watch paint dry instead.

  • Grey

    I'm an old school gamer and i'm not really a big fan of many jrpgs, maybe with the notable exception of Chrono Trigger and it's ilk. Instead, the best rpgs for me growing up were the (up until 8 anyway) excellent Ultima series. Probably one of the best stories and most enjoyable gameplay recently game from Team Lazarus' remake of Ultima V. It's the story and characters that are the most important, and gameplay is a close second. This game, even on the archaic Dungeon Siege 1 engine, is much more fun to play that an unmodified version of Oblivion, even.

    Ravensword does alot of things right. Considering how small the team is they did a good job. The skybox is great. the fact they have nice backgrounds staring off into the distance when you leave a town is immersive and adds to the realism. I like the map. I like the high fantasy tone. I like the mini-quests. In fact, there is room for improvement ( I would really like to see an expansion and maybe in app-purchases, those are the way to go to improve revenue stream for the devs so that we can keep getting upgraded content for the game prior to a major new release.)

    Remember, there are still discriminating gamers out there that care about total immersion and building a character, and games where you don't even have to do the main quest, or there is an evil version of the main quest or alternate endings, that's great.

    These guys did a lot right, and while it's not perfect, I hope to see great things in the future.

  • Grey

    I'm an old school gamer and i'm not really a big fan of many jrpgs, maybe with the notable exception of Chrono Trigger and it's ilk. Instead, the best rpgs for me growing up were the (up until 8 anyway) excellent Ultima series. Probably one of the best stories and most enjoyable gameplay recently game from Team Lazarus' remake of Ultima V. It's the story and characters that are the most important, and gameplay is a close second. This game, even on the archaic Dungeon Siege 1 engine, is much more fun to play that an unmodified version of Oblivion, even.

    Ravensword does alot of things right. Considering how small the team is they did a good job. The skybox is great. the fact they have nice backgrounds staring off into the distance when you leave a town is immersive and adds to the realism. I like the map. I like the high fantasy tone. I like the mini-quests. In fact, there is room for improvement ( I would really like to see an expansion and maybe in app-purchases, those are the way to go to improve revenue stream for the devs so that we can keep getting upgraded content for the game prior to a major new release.)

    Remember, there are still discriminating gamers out there that care about total immersion and building a character, and games where you don't even have to do the main quest, or there is an evil version of the main quest or alternate endings, that's great.

    These guys did a lot right, and while it's not perfect, I hope to see great things in the future.

  • iPhoneGamer

    So many people have posted details opinions on this game, and before I read all of this, I purchased this on the review. This is the first time I feel let down by a glowing review. Sure, it's a pretty game, but lacks depth, and the controls are horrible. I won't cry to Apple and ask for my money back, but I will certainly be more careful before trusting reviews any more. Shame on me I suppose. Here's to hoping this game improves with updates!

  • iPhoneGamer

    So many people have posted details opinions on this game, and before I read all of this, I purchased this on the review. This is the first time I feel let down by a glowing review. Sure, it's a pretty game, but lacks depth, and the controls are horrible. I won't cry to Apple and ask for my money back, but I will certainly be more careful before trusting reviews any more. Shame on me I suppose. Here's to hoping this game improves with updates!

  • sdfsdf

    This game is awesome ten times better than zelda twilight princess and elder scrolls combined and the graphics are better than the wii's too

  • sdfsdf

    This game is awesome ten times better than zelda twilight princess and elder scrolls combined and the graphics are better than the wii's too

  • Stick Men

    This game is broken. I couldn't open many doors because I didn't have the Singing Rune. I spent a lot of time trying to find that rune, but no luck. Eventually, I did what I hate to do, which is find a walkthrough. The walkthrough claimed that I had to kill an orc in the dungeon to get a key which would unlock the forth cell in the dungeon to rescue Sophie. The problem was that I had already killed the orc and taken the key, but there was no Sophie. So, I went back to the dungeon, and sure enough, there was no Sofie in any of the cells, and all the cells were open.

    Somewhat annoyed, I restarted the game, this time with the foreknowledge of the necessary steps. Guess what happened after I killed the orc and snatched the key? The bitch STILL wasn't in her goddam cell and I STILL don't have that goddam key!

    There are a number of things that irritate me about this game, but this just takes the cake.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Could you possibly have missed a cell? Post the question on the forum thread -- I'm sure someone would help you get to Sophie.

  • Stick Men

    This game is broken. I couldn't open many doors because I didn't have the Singing Rune. I spent a lot of time trying to find that rune, but no luck. Eventually, I did what I hate to do, which is find a walkthrough. The walkthrough claimed that I had to kill an orc in the dungeon to get a key which would unlock the forth cell in the dungeon to rescue Sophie. The problem was that I had already killed the orc and taken the key, but there was no Sophie. So, I went back to the dungeon, and sure enough, there was no Sofie in any of the cells, and all the cells were open.

    Somewhat annoyed, I restarted the game, this time with the foreknowledge of the necessary steps. Guess what happened after I killed the orc and snatched the key? The bitch STILL wasn't in her goddam cell and I STILL don't have that goddam key!

    There are a number of things that irritate me about this game, but this just takes the cake.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Could you possibly have missed a cell? Post the question on the forum thread -- I'm sure someone would help you get to Sophie.

  • Blades

    I think that it was hyped up a little bit to much, which made a lot of people have unrealistic expectations for a game that is running on the IPHONE/TOUCH. (Granted, this site and the developers did that to themselves)

    I bought it, it's a great game. Yea, it's a little unpopulated, no mega loot management(which is fine, because that's not my thing). But for a game that's 7 bucks, it's well worth the money. I think that people have grown accustomed to the .99 cent apps and judge too harshly on the more expensive apps. If this app were .99 cents, I'm sure a lot of these less favorable comments wouldn't exist. But as far as the work that was put into it and what they did with what they had to work with. I have no regrets buying it. If this was a $20, $40 or $60 game, absolutely judge it accordingly so. But nit-pick to THIS extent about a game that's $7? Give me a break. Quality to Dollar wise, this game does very good. Remember, we could be paying Nintendo DS prices for the games, and a lot of those games are krap.

    The only thing that I have a beef with is maybe add a follow me camera(like oblivion, morrowind etc) instead of having to swipe to turn your guy around. Other than that, it's really fun and well worth the 7 bucks.

    ;

    ;

    • MrMuesli

      I've am enjoying playing Ravensword for what I feel it is, a big step in the right direction toward something really special in this gaming genre on the iDevice, but you can't deny that there are many loose holes in this game, so it's not, I find, unreasonable that gamers are 'nit-picking' as you say. I think it's a positive thing that gamers are fussy, not negative.

  • Blades

    I think that it was hyped up a little bit to much, which made a lot of people have unrealistic expectations for a game that is running on the IPHONE/TOUCH. (Granted, this site and the developers did that to themselves)

    I bought it, it's a great game. Yea, it's a little unpopulated, no mega loot management(which is fine, because that's not my thing). But for a game that's 7 bucks, it's well worth the money. I think that people have grown accustomed to the .99 cent apps and judge too harshly on the more expensive apps. If this app were .99 cents, I'm sure a lot of these less favorable comments wouldn't exist. But as far as the work that was put into it and what they did with what they had to work with. I have no regrets buying it. If this was a $20, $40 or $60 game, absolutely judge it accordingly so. But nit-pick to THIS extent about a game that's $7? Give me a break. Quality to Dollar wise, this game does very good. Remember, we could be paying Nintendo DS prices for the games, and a lot of those games are krap.

    The only thing that I have a beef with is maybe add a follow me camera(like oblivion, morrowind etc) instead of having to swipe to turn your guy around. Other than that, it's really fun and well worth the 7 bucks.

    ;

    ;

    • MrMuesli

      I've am enjoying playing Ravensword for what I feel it is, a big step in the right direction toward something really special in this gaming genre on the iDevice, but you can't deny that there are many loose holes in this game, so it's not, I find, unreasonable that gamers are 'nit-picking' as you say. I think it's a positive thing that gamers are fussy, not negative.

  • triela

    This is frustrating. To generalize all the complaints about this game as only nitpicking is narrowminded.

    It's about BALANCE and EXECUTION.

    The developers could have put more effort into the logistics of gameplay and less work into minute graphic details. Guess what? If done with proper planning and execution, this could have resulted in a superior overall game, worth more retail money, with the same (or even smaller) amount of time and effort!

    The apologists can't seem to allow for the possibility that better execution could have resulted in a better game by CUTTING OUT "look what I can do!" content for the sake of enhanced gameplay without further developer expense; this point holds true whether there were 2 people or 20 people working on it.

    Please note that I didn't mention things like RPG, loot management or length of play hours in any of my comments. That's because regardless of whether this is or isn't an RPG, whether there is loot or not, whether it lasts one or ten hours, this could have (and should have) resulted in a better overall GAME EXPERIENCE based on the conceptual ingredients it began with.

    I'd choose a perfectly executed cheeseburger each and every day of the week over a botched steak & lobster with blatant mistakes in flavor and preparation.

    • Blades

      Ok, you have your opinion I suppose. There are mistakes, but again, Dollar value vs. quality of game, this is a bargain. That is what I'm talking about.

      However, I do look forward to your perfect game that you are creating with your perfect "conceptual ingredients" all perfectly matched so you can wow us all for $7. So with that said, keep us a float on how your game is coming along!

      ;

      • triela

        You are very silly. I am in total agreement about value: the game, as it already is, is worth $7. My point is that they could've taken the same amount of time and effort, with only a change in FOCUS from graphics to gameplay, to create a game worth $10 or more.

        I, for one, hate the fact that developers are forced to consider 99 cent pricing regardless of game quality for the sake of their bottom line. I would love for more games to be sold for $10 or $20 (or more) if they constitute an excellent game experience.

        This had the potential to be one of those standout games, and the disappointment is that it isn't.

        And I can see how much you value intelligent consideration with the very tired "oh yeah? let's see you do it then!" line.

    • Blades

      I only say that as you seem to talk a big game when it comes to creating and the procedures for games. The way that you are talking is as if you are drawing from experience from actually creating games. However, now I can see you are clearly not involved in that processes of any sort. My bad.

      And yes, it might be a very tired line of "Lets see you do it". But it's still rings true into just about anything that goes on today. Put up or Shut up, is the slogan. Unfortunately it seems that you have boughten too much into the hype of the game and expected way more than you should have for a $7 game. See if you can get a refund from apple if this game has shot way below your expectations. Chances are that you won't though. But of course I just might be acting silly.

      ;

    • Gojuro

      Triela, I agree with most of your arguments, but most of all, what Ravensword fails to deliver for me is your last and most crucial point: GAME EXPERIENCE.

      One hour after downloading it, I find myself still not enjoying the game - frustrated by the game's poor control system and other things that irk me - like reasonably good terrain graphics but butt-ugly characters and monsters. The main character seems poorly designed, there's something wrong with his proportions and the way he moves is unrealistic, and that bothers me because there is no attention to detail in this very important aspect - after all, you see this guy's butt all the time in 3rd person mode, and it should have been better designed.

      Graphics for graphics' sake should never determine how good a game is - playability and enjoyment should.

      I wish they'd spent time to make it more enjoyable. There are games like Samurai: WotW, Above and Beyond, and iBlast Moki, to name just three, where the game experience and balance is just right, and the action is so immersive that you are just drawn into the gameworld.

      Ravensword does nothing of that kind to me, as I find myself trying to locate and then fight a monster, only to have the camera pointing in the wrong direction and then despite all attempts to improve the sensitivity, I still find this to be a major problem. After one hour of playing I still have difficulty moving the character to enter a door!

  • triela

    This is frustrating. To generalize all the complaints about this game as only nitpicking is narrowminded.

    It's about BALANCE and EXECUTION.

    The developers could have put more effort into the logistics of gameplay and less work into minute graphic details. Guess what? If done with proper planning and execution, this could have resulted in a superior overall game, worth more retail money, with the same (or even smaller) amount of time and effort!

    The apologists can't seem to allow for the possibility that better execution could have resulted in a better game by CUTTING OUT "look what I can do!" content for the sake of enhanced gameplay without further developer expense; this point holds true whether there were 2 people or 20 people working on it.

    Please note that I didn't mention things like RPG, loot management or length of play hours in any of my comments. That's because regardless of whether this is or isn't an RPG, whether there is loot or not, whether it lasts one or ten hours, this could have (and should have) resulted in a better overall GAME EXPERIENCE based on the conceptual ingredients it began with.

    I'd choose a perfectly executed cheeseburger each and every day of the week over a botched steak & lobster with blatant mistakes in flavor and preparation.

    • Blades

      Ok, you have your opinion I suppose. There are mistakes, but again, Dollar value vs. quality of game, this is a bargain. That is what I'm talking about.

      However, I do look forward to your perfect game that you are creating with your perfect "conceptual ingredients" all perfectly matched so you can wow us all for $7. So with that said, keep us a float on how your game is coming along!

      ;

      • triela

        You are very silly. I am in total agreement about value: the game, as it already is, is worth $7. My point is that they could've taken the same amount of time and effort, with only a change in FOCUS from graphics to gameplay, to create a game worth $10 or more.

        I, for one, hate the fact that developers are forced to consider 99 cent pricing regardless of game quality for the sake of their bottom line. I would love for more games to be sold for $10 or $20 (or more) if they constitute an excellent game experience.

        This had the potential to be one of those standout games, and the disappointment is that it isn't.

        And I can see how much you value intelligent consideration with the very tired "oh yeah? let's see you do it then!" line.

    • Blades

      I only say that as you seem to talk a big game when it comes to creating and the procedures for games. The way that you are talking is as if you are drawing from experience from actually creating games. However, now I can see you are clearly not involved in that processes of any sort. My bad.

      And yes, it might be a very tired line of "Lets see you do it". But it's still rings true into just about anything that goes on today. Put up or Shut up, is the slogan. Unfortunately it seems that you have boughten too much into the hype of the game and expected way more than you should have for a $7 game. See if you can get a refund from apple if this game has shot way below your expectations. Chances are that you won't though. But of course I just might be acting silly.

      ;

    • Gojuro

      Triela, I agree with most of your arguments, but most of all, what Ravensword fails to deliver for me is your last and most crucial point: GAME EXPERIENCE.

      One hour after downloading it, I find myself still not enjoying the game - frustrated by the game's poor control system and other things that irk me - like reasonably good terrain graphics but butt-ugly characters and monsters. The main character seems poorly designed, there's something wrong with his proportions and the way he moves is unrealistic, and that bothers me because there is no attention to detail in this very important aspect - after all, you see this guy's butt all the time in 3rd person mode, and it should have been better designed.

      Graphics for graphics' sake should never determine how good a game is - playability and enjoyment should.

      I wish they'd spent time to make it more enjoyable. There are games like Samurai: WotW, Above and Beyond, and iBlast Moki, to name just three, where the game experience and balance is just right, and the action is so immersive that you are just drawn into the gameworld.

      Ravensword does nothing of that kind to me, as I find myself trying to locate and then fight a monster, only to have the camera pointing in the wrong direction and then despite all attempts to improve the sensitivity, I still find this to be a major problem. After one hour of playing I still have difficulty moving the character to enter a door!

  • TTT

    This is the first game i played more than 5 minutes.
    Best game so far for me

  • TTT

    This is the first game i played more than 5 minutes.
    Best game so far for me

  • TTT

    PS
    I heard people talking about the bug that when you fall you float down (or maybe it isnt a bug), I think that's great. It saves a lot of frustration! For example: the part were you have to climb the long stairs to the demon I fell a view times and I was so glad I didn't die and have to start over from town. If there is an update coming dont change that haha!
    Nice review btw

  • TTT

    PS
    I heard people talking about the bug that when you fall you float down (or maybe it isnt a bug), I think that's great. It saves a lot of frustration! For example: the part were you have to climb the long stairs to the demon I fell a view times and I was so glad I didn't die and have to start over from town. If there is an update coming dont change that haha!
    Nice review btw