Early last month, dual-stick dungeon crawler Solomon's Keep was released onto the App Store. Successfully blending aspects from many similar games before it, it proved to be a surprisingly fun experience that we enjoyed in our review. As impressive as that initial release was, rather than resting on their laurels developer Raptisoft has been hard at work collecting user feedback regarding new ideas, gameplay tweaks, and bug-fixes to further improve their game. The latest culmination of this is the recently released version 2.0 update, which irons out the kinks that plagued the first version and adds a considerable amount of new content to play with.

One of the most significant improvements in 2.0 is the ability to weld offensive skills together. Combining 2 of the 3 primary attacks (Magic Missile, Lightning, or Fireball) creates an attack that carries attributes of both. As just one example, Lightning welded with Fireball creates an auto-targeting stream of fire called Flame Lash that's capable of exploding and arcing to multiple enemies at once. The characteristics of the welded attack you create depend on how extensively each individual skill has been upgraded at the time you combine them. The welding mechanic works extremely well and adds a whole new layer of strategy and customization to developing your character, as well as providing satisfying firepower.

Another welcome change is an extension to the game's length. There are now 13 dungeon floors versus 10, with an added boss fight on floor 11. After beating all 13 levels, you're given the ability to play through the dungeon over again on a harder difficulty while retaining all your previous skills and gear. This second run through the game is called Wizard mode, and once that has been completed a third even harder Archmage mode is waiting. There's also a new wizard in town that offers you specific meta-quests, called Feats, such as beating the game without using any potions or items. Acting similarly to achievements, these Feats provide even more interesting ways to play through Solomon's Keep.

In addition to these major enhancements, there's a multitude of bugs and glitches that have been taken care of, which was a point of contention in our initial review. Many other tweaks have been implemented to balance out the gameplay, as well as a few brand new items and secondary skills. Facebook connectivity also enters the fray so you can boast about your achievements (and failures) to your social networking cohorts. It's now a much more stable experience throughout, and taking into consideration all the new additions it feels like a much more complete game. With random level and item generation, and countless possibilities for character leveling, the replay value here is near infinite.

What started as a somewhat brief, quirky game now contains enough compelling content and polish to compete with other heavy-hitting dungeon crawlers on the App Store. And it doesn't seem likely to stop here, as development is already under way on ideas for future updates and DLC. These include an endless graveyard mode to test how far you can take your leveled-up character, and possible new classes such as Archer, Rogue, and Warlord each with unique skill trees and stories. With such an incredibly solid foundation in place, the prospect of additional content like this is really exciting. The price has risen to $1.99 with the 2.0 update and lite version being available, but it's still a great bargain for the amount of entertainment it contains. If you've not checked out Solomon's Keep yet, it's strongly recommended to at least give the lite a try, and to not miss out on this extraordinary title.

  • RiverOnFire

    This game was great before the update and this has to be one of the biggest updates I've ever seen!

  • shumby

    "One of the most significant improvements in 2.0 is the ability to wield offensive skills together"


    and yeah, this update really spruced the game up! I cant believe its so inexpensive!

    • Laiser

      Sheesh. "Wield" is right, as in to wield powers, wield a weapon. Don't be such a stupid idiot and actually look the word up before you correct someone next time.

      • JWG

        Concerning the 'correction' of the correction --

        Actually, in the game context it's weld; because you 'weld' (i.e. fuse) two powers together, rather than holding (wielding) them separately.

        It was right to correct it, and it looks like in the article it was indeed fixed that way (to weld).

  • wizard

    Take note, 100 Rogues.

    • Matt

      I am yet to pay 100 Rogues. I'm too busy enjoying this.

  • Miss Alexis

    Would love to hear some news on an iPad version, it can be a bit awkward to play due to positions of the virtual sticks.

    • The Dork Lord

      Hello, my name is Noel Reichel and I provided the voice of Solomon Dark in the game Solomon's Keep.

      All I will say right now is an Ipad version is being discussed.

  • dyscode

    I really need to play this more often. Bought it when it came out and had two test runs. REALLY liked it. I must played more often to keep in touch with the changes.

    Great Game!

  • JCat

    One of my favorites! If you are fan of action-style dungeon romps, this is one not to miss.

  • Geoff

    I wish I got it when it was .99 cents. Was thinking of getting it and got it when the lite came out and loved it. Contemplating whether to get it or not.......

    • B34$T

      Get it. It is well worth it.

  • Alex.B

    I was about to buy this and the the sound does not work in the lite version. Is that normal for the light version?

  • Alex.B

    I was stupid my fault I had my blue tooth on and the sound was set to go to the device in the car.

  • http://digg.com WhoCares

    This game is awesome! I played it at 2x zoom on ipad and the graphics scale up very very well. The dual controls aren't bad on the ipad but if you were to hold it without supporting your arms for an extended period you would probably notice a bit. I played the lite version and I'm purchasing the full version as we speak.

  • WaywardPondering

    A fun game which I just finished on normal difficulty. The biggest feature I would like added would be the ability to have more then one game going, aka save slots. Another small gripe is I had trouble selecting the correct menu item. For instance, Feats, I touched No Mana and ended up getting Random Skills. Aside from this, I still had a fun and gratifying experience playing this game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1112918934 Peter Helstrup Jensen

    Seriously one of the best games on my iPhone, and I'm usually a picky gamer

    Solomons Graveyard is also great, but without the dungeon aspect