Solomon's Keep is a casual dungeon crawler that places you in the role of Sirius, a student at wizard college who's on the brink of graduation. For your final exam you're tasked with defeating the evil wizard Solomon Dark. It utilizes a dual stick control system and plays a bit like a watered down Diablo, and it's incredibly fun.

The dungeon itself is 10 floors high and is randomly generated with each new game. The enemies get tougher and increase in quantities as you ascend. There's usually quite a few enemies onscreen at once, and they come after you much like the enemies do in Minigore. You can get swarmed if you aren't constantly backpedaling in the available open space. Some of the enemies are stationary and fire at you from a distance with arrows, fireballs, or stun spells. There are two bosses to fight on the way to the final battle with Solomon on the tenth floor.

The combat with the enemies is pretty satisfying, mostly due to the interesting magical attacks at your disposal and all the different ways you can upgrade them. Your main weapons are magic missiles, fireballs and lightning. These are fired off in whatever direction you aim with the right stick. In addition you can equip up to two sub-abilities that range from large offensive attacks to strategic moves such as teleporting. When your character levels up, you're randomly given 3 options for upgrades which can include increasing your offense in different ways or boosting stats such as life and mana.

There are treasure chests spread throughout the dungeon that are filled with gold, and occasionally special items. You can travel back to town and spend your gold on things such as potions, rings, and staffs. Gold can be traded for experience points and also be used to upgrade some of your abilities without the need to level up. In your possession is a magic key that can transport you from the dungeon back into town at any time. Once you're finished, it places you back into the dungeon right where you left off.

The only thing that really mars an otherwise great experience are the many technical problems currently present in the game. I've experienced lagging, freezing, and music/text glitches. There's also an incredibly odd bug that has everything running in fast forward upon waking your device from sleep mode while the game is running. The developer has acknowledged the problems and is hoping to address them in updates. Even with these issues, the game never once lost any of my progress and the problem was always fixed by exiting the app and restarting.

Playing through Solomon's Keep is a blast. It's geared more towards the casual side, but that actually works to its benefit being on a mobile platform. If you're the type that needs a ton of different kinds of armors and loot, and enjoy grinding, there's a chance this type of game might not satisfy you. It can be beaten relatively quickly, and it's a decently challenging ride, but with the amount of different attacks and upgrades available it's impossible to do everything on just one trip through.

The game is so much fun you'll want to go through it multiple times, which gives you a chance to expand your character in different ways each time. If the developer Raptisoft can squash the bugs that made it into this current version, as well as add a little diversity in the way of enemies and dungeon interiors, this can be one of the top dungeon crawlers on the app store. Even as it is now, Solomon's Keep is still a highly entertaining game and is recommended.

App Store Link: Solomon's Keep, $0.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • noah

    Are the only enemies slow moving skeletons? Would be interesting to have other "castle" baddies come at you... bats, wolves, ethereal spirits.

    • Novaro

      There are some zombies as well, what the reviewer failed to mention is that as you go up higher the same enemies that you were used to fighting before gain some additional power ups that cause you to say huh and you find that you have to rethink your strategy...

      • Jared Nelson

        Actually, I had gone into more detail about the enemies but it needed to be edited for length.

        You're right though. In the beginning you face mostly stock versions of enemies, but by the end practically every enemy has armor and some sort of weapon to toss at you.

  • noah

    Are the only enemies slow moving skeletons? Would be interesting to have other "castle" baddies come at you... bats, wolves, ethereal spirits.

    • Novaro

      There are some zombies as well, what the reviewer failed to mention is that as you go up higher the same enemies that you were used to fighting before gain some additional power ups that cause you to say huh and you find that you have to rethink your strategy...

      • Jared Nelson

        Actually, I had gone into more detail about the enemies but it needed to be edited for length.

        You're right though. In the beginning you face mostly stock versions of enemies, but by the end practically every enemy has armor and some sort of weapon to toss at you.

  • monster

    For .99 cent, it's an automatic buy for me =D

  • monster

    For .99 cent, it's an automatic buy for me =D

  • http://www.silentrocco.com Silent Rocco

    My favorite and the most entertaining dual stick game in the App Store. This game really is fantastic. The more you play, the more you love it. Hoggy from the same devs is another gem nobody shood miss. You see their love for gaming in every bit.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Agreed, though I think of it more as a magic-based Diablo than a dual stick shooter. It should also be noted that a fix for the technical issues mentioned in the review has already been submitted.

  • http://www.silentrocco.com Silent Rocco

    My favorite and the most entertaining dual stick game in the App Store. This game really is fantastic. The more you play, the more you love it. Hoggy from the same devs is another gem nobody shood miss. You see their love for gaming in every bit.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Agreed, though I think of it more as a magic-based Diablo than a dual stick shooter. It should also be noted that a fix for the technical issues mentioned in the review has already been submitted.

  • http://klicktock.com Matt

    Great to see Raptisoft getting some attention. An incredibly talented team.

  • http://klicktock.com Matt

    Great to see Raptisoft getting some attention. An incredibly talented team.

  • spiffyone

    This looks very well done. I've been itching for something along these lines, actually, and would like the next step to be an action/adventure game using the dual stick multidirectional shooter combat method for the action component. Think of this game, but add Legend of Zelda style environmental puzzles (which are gameplay tropes from the adventure genre, originally) and you'd have the makings of a true iPhone/touch classic, IMHO.

    • Jared Nelson

      Funny you mention Zelda, this game instantly reminded me of Link to the Past. Puzzles would be nice in this game, but they'd have to be able to work with the randomization of the levels. A brand new game though should take that idea and run with it.

  • spiffyone

    This looks very well done. I've been itching for something along these lines, actually, and would like the next step to be an action/adventure game using the dual stick multidirectional shooter combat method for the action component. Think of this game, but add Legend of Zelda style environmental puzzles (which are gameplay tropes from the adventure genre, originally) and you'd have the makings of a true iPhone/touch classic, IMHO.

    • Jared Nelson

      Funny you mention Zelda, this game instantly reminded me of Link to the Past. Puzzles would be nice in this game, but they'd have to be able to work with the randomization of the levels. A brand new game though should take that idea and run with it.

  • Synergistic Ideologue

    Is the dialogue a nod to Impossible Mission? "Well look at this, another visitor. Destroy him my skeletons!" compared to "Another visitor. Destroy him my robots" from Impossible Mission.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      According to the developer, yes.

  • Synergistic Ideologue

    Is the dialogue a nod to Impossible Mission? "Well look at this, another visitor. Destroy him my skeletons!" compared to "Another visitor. Destroy him my robots" from Impossible Mission.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      According to the developer, yes.

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

    Just when I had to block my credit card... well, I guess I'll have to wait until things are back in order again, but will insta-buy it then!

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

    Just when I had to block my credit card... well, I guess I'll have to wait until things are back in order again, but will insta-buy it then!

  • nonono

    game crashes every time after half a minute

    • yesyesyed

      Funny you're the only one with that problem. Did you remember to reset your iDevice before playing.. ? ;)

  • nonono

    game crashes every time after half a minute

    • yesyesyed

      Funny you're the only one with that problem. Did you remember to reset your iDevice before playing.. ? ;)

  • Anonymous

    totally unexpected and totally great. my only gripe is that movement feels a bit sluggish, but otherwise this is just the kind of game i want to play on my idevice and it shows that "casual" doesn't have to mean "fun for five minutes".

  • Anonymous

    totally unexpected and totally great. my only gripe is that movement feels a bit sluggish, but otherwise this is just the kind of game i want to play on my idevice and it shows that "casual" doesn't have to mean "fun for five minutes".

  • http://www.ummband.com poutini

    it glitched on me once so far, but it's a lot of fun to play - and pretty hard at certain parts too.

  • http://www.ummband.com poutini

    it glitched on me once so far, but it's a lot of fun to play - and pretty hard at certain parts too.

  • klouud

    I bought this because it came recommended by this site, the price, and it looked cool. I am not disappointed! This is a really fun casual game that is dual stick/Diablo with a Mario RPG (SNES) type of level up system.

    Really really fun - and for $0.99 you can't beat it!

  • klouud

    I bought this because it came recommended by this site, the price, and it looked cool. I am not disappointed! This is a really fun casual game that is dual stick/Diablo with a Mario RPG (SNES) type of level up system.

    Really really fun - and for $0.99 you can't beat it!

  • Marc

    A steal at a buck! Thanks for adding a map toggle, love it! Game is super!

  • Marc

    A steal at a buck! Thanks for adding a map toggle, love it! Game is super!

  • Charlie

    How does this game compare to a Rogue-like such as Fargoal?

  • Charlie

    How does this game compare to a Rogue-like such as Fargoal?

  • Cade

    Awesome Game. A lot like Gauntlet.

  • Cade

    Awesome Game. A lot like Gauntlet.

  • Yuggle

    Good game but needs more naked breasts.

    • Willharding

      this is not for pervs its for fun

  • http://micro Yuggle

    Good game but needs more naked breasts.

  • Bruno

    I wish i could continue to level up my char. It's really annoying that after all I did it just start again at level 1. It should include locked difficult levels and the ability to reset the levels inside the dungeon for more griding!

  • Bruno

    I wish i could continue to level up my char. It's really annoying that after all I did it just start again at level 1. It should include locked difficult levels and the ability to reset the levels inside the dungeon for more griding!

  • Mark

    I loved this game, played it through a couple of times virtually back to back. Has that lovely diabloesq playability, nice graphics and sound and its just plain great fun! I want more! maybe an update with twice as many levels or a whole new game with the same kinda feel. I literally couldnt put it down.

    Highly recommended,
    Mark

  • Mark

    I loved this game, played it through a couple of times virtually back to back. Has that lovely diabloesq playability, nice graphics and sound and its just plain great fun! I want more! maybe an update with twice as many levels or a whole new game with the same kinda feel. I literally couldnt put it down.

    Highly recommended,
    Mark

  • GiHubb

    This game is absolutely fantastic, I can't believe it's only $1. The bugs described in the review were completely solved in version 1.2 and currently it's probably my most favorite iPhone game to date! Replayability is also outstanding due to the many skills and items you won't be able to attain on a single playthrough. Highly recommended, great great stuff.

  • GiHubb

    This game is absolutely fantastic, I can't believe it's only $1. The bugs described in the review were completely solved in version 1.2 and currently it's probably my most favorite iPhone game to date! Replayability is also outstanding due to the many skills and items you won't be able to attain on a single playthrough. Highly recommended, great great stuff.

  • GiHubb

    This game is much better than 4 stars. (5 in my opinion!)

  • GiHubb

    This game is much better than 4 stars. (5 in my opinion!)

  • Greg

    AWESOME GAME, hard to put down even if it is a "casual" type of game. Now it is available version 2 with a ton of bug-fixing and a lot of new things. What will make this the perfect game is random puzzles a la Zelda on some rooms, that will send replayability to space... I am willing to pay a couple of bucks more for Zelda-like puzzles in this game, oh yes!

  • Greg

    AWESOME GAME, hard to put down even if it is a "casual" type of game. Now it is available version 2 with a ton of bug-fixing and a lot of new things. What will make this the perfect game is random puzzles a la Zelda on some rooms, that will send replayability to space... I am willing to pay a couple of bucks more for Zelda-like puzzles in this game, oh yes!

  • Rebell

    What I noticed is that, twice already, I return to the keep through the magical door, everything is black, framerate drops and I can't move around. This happened once in the first playthrough and now again in the second. Is anyone else having this problem? First time it happened was on floor 11, second time on floor 12. As a result, I have to re-enter the keep from the bottom floor, which is quite frustrating.

  • Rebell

    What I noticed is that, twice already, I return to the keep through the magical door, everything is black, framerate drops and I can't move around. This happened once in the first playthrough and now again in the second. Is anyone else having this problem? First time it happened was on floor 11, second time on floor 12. As a result, I have to re-enter the keep from the bottom floor, which is quite frustrating.

  • himanshu

    After hearing all the praises here I got thinking that 99c is a sale price! Apparently not. And it's a 7.9 MB file only! That's incredibly tiny for what seems to be a good deal of content and gamelife!

  • himanshu

    After hearing all the praises here I got thinking that 99c is a sale price! Apparently not. And it's a 7.9 MB file only! That's incredibly tiny for what seems to be a good deal of content and gamelife!

  • 4615787

    i have won the game......and i got ultimate stuffs XD in the solomans keep lite there is better stuffs

  • http://www.facebook.com/dancing.warrior.prophet Stephen Paul Trotter

    as soon as the new version of this game comes out (probably before christmas) this review will need updating!
    Awesome game though it already is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dancing.warrior.prophet Stephen Paul Trotter

    And the floors are now 13 not just 10, they added in a bunch of other stuff too

  • Alexeslowe

    I'm really frustrated because I really like the game but I can't get past the 7th floor the exit leads me back outside to floor one and I've restated several times thinking I missed something. Can anyone help?

  • Alexeslowe

    I'm really frustrated because I really like the game but I can't get past the 7th floor the exit leads me back outside to floor one and I've restated several times thinking I missed something. Can anyone help?

  • http://koowie.com Koowie

    Just downloaded it!

  • Isaac

    ohh im wizard difficulity and im lv25

  • soloman

    best iDevice game (in my opinion) to date would be nice if once you spell weld it would upgrade with the two spells you used instead of just staying like lvl 1