Considering how much attention 100 Rogues [$2.99] has had in the past, I was a bit surprised by how quietly Fusion Reaction’s latest title entered the App Store. Taking its cues from the rogue-like, 100 Trials [$1.99] isn’t quite the sequel that some would have hoped for, but rather more of a puzzle spinoff with some inspirations from 100 Rogues. While not as ambitious as its predecessor, what 100 Trials does offer, however, is a decent strategy puzzler that takes place in the (under)world of 100 Rogues.

100 Trials takes place sometime after the ‘completion’ of 100 Rogues. A Dungeoneer (think, secret agent man) has been tasked with investigating the bowels of hell to determine if Satan was actually destroyed. Along the way, he’ll find three other heroes that will aid him in reaching his destination.

In order to dive deeper into hell, players will have to complete a total of 100 different missions, with each set unlocking newer and harder levels. While the early missions for each hero are standard tutorial missions, there’s still more than enough missions to offer hours of playtime.

If you’ve played 100 Rogues before, 100 Trials is going to look extremely familiar. A lot of the enemies, tile sets and adventurers are recycled into this game. Sure, there’s a new heroic unit along with additional abilities for the other heroes, but for the most part a good deal of the game has a similar visual to its spiritual predecessor. That’s not to say this is necessarily a bad thing; just don’t expect any significant improvement as far as visuals are concerned.

One thing that folks should understand first and foremost is that 100 Trials is not a rogue-like game. Gameplay may look and act somewhat like its predecessor, but for the most part Trials plays like a strategic puzzler more than anything else. T

he randomization, sense of freedom and progression of 100 Rogues have been swapped out for missions with a far greater emphasis on strategy and anticipation. While I think that this change is an interesting twist for the series, it’s certainly not what I was expecting for a game that looks so much like 100 Rogues.

When players access a trial, they are put into a room with set monsters and barriers and static stats and abilities. The whole goal is to use what is provided to achieve the objective of the trial (objectives include kill all/some monsters, reach a destination or simply survive).

Missions are scored on a variety of criteria, with ‘Mastery’ status for a trial bestowed if you can hit a certain amount of points. Secondary objectives are available to help you get extra points, but most are vague in nature and don’t do a good job telling you exactly what you need to do. Overall, the gameplay is somewhat simplistic, with nothing particularly detracting from (or improving upon) the genre.

Control-wise, 100 Trials takes most of its cues from 100 Rogues. The same turn-based tap-to-move (and attack) scheme drives the gameplay. Since each turn is so much more important in Trials, I noticed the controls to be a little imprecise for some levels. When you’re surrounded by a lot of enemies, it can occasionally become tough to tap on the square you want to move/attack.

I found this to be the case even when making a concerted effort to aim my taps. I’m not sure if this was also apparent in 100 Rogues, but I never found myself as worried with each turn while playing. I’m willing to explain away some of the control issues as due to my fat fingers, but it was a concern I had nonetheless. Otherwise, the game ran smooth, with no crashes or issues on my iPhone.

It may seem unfair, but every time I played 100 Trials, I just wished it was a true rogue-like sequel rather than a puzzle spinoff. Maybe it had to do with the reused assets and superficial similarities combined with the subtle changes to abilities and classes.  There's nothing particularly bad about the game; I just feel an opportunity was lost to create a full-fledged sequel.

As it stands, 100 Trials is still a good mission-based puzzler and worth checking out. Just don’t expect anything particularly groundbreaking with it.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarNone
  • Anonymous

    I'm buying this game right now, no questions asked. If it will help fund a full-blown sequel to 100 Rogues, it's a no-brainer. Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer is my favorite game of all time, and as long as developers like Fusion Reaction are still pumping out roguelikes, there is a chance that one will finally come along and nail everything the way that Shiren did for me back in the day.

    • Anonymous

      Shiren - oh yes! This game = instant purchase for me too

  • http://www.facebook.com/keith.burgun Keith Burgun

    Nice review!  I'm the lead designer at Dinofarm Games, who along with Fusion Reactions, created 100 Rogues.  I'm happy to see Fusion Reactions hard work on this spin-off getting some attention.

  • http://twitter.com/ljwyoung Jake Young

    I really like 100 Rogues, and the devs are super nice, but I have an issue with every new character, mode, feature costing an additional 99 cents. I really wish they would just launch a game, charge 5 (or 6, or 7) bucks for it and include everything. I'm interested in 100 Trials, but I'll pass simply because I'm certain IAP's will dog the title. 

  • GDSage

    Hopefully this one won't have such a buggy start as 100 Rogues.

100 Trials Reviewed by Eric Ford on . Rating: 3.5