Remember that tech-demo-y not-quite-a-game game Aves (Which has since been removed from the App Store) released in late 2009? It was a game with (then) great graphics, a really cool physics model, and a ultra-basic gameplay mechanic that just centralized around shooting a bow and arrow. Well, The Legend of Holy Archer [Free] takes that similar vibe and just runs with it, and keeps running, all the way to super-epic archery land where you're put to the task of firing arrows at huge monsters in several fantasy environments.

Despite definitely being an archery game, The Legend of Holy Archer almost feels more like a flying game. See, when you fire off your arrow, you can actually swipe around on screen to control its flight path. Monsters rarely (if ever) are a simple straight shot from where you're standing, so you'll usually need to bank around columns, avoid hills, and other terrain to hit your mark.

Additionally, there's all sorts of different power-ups you can fly through, and treasure chests you can open by hitting them. Both of these things require a surprising amount of precision, which is easier said than done as controlling your arrow in flight is (understandably) a very finicky affair. This is all stupid amounts of fun, particularly when you manage to land a incredibly difficult shot.

The game is free to play, and sponsored by an ever-present advertisement at the top of the screen that you can remove via a single 99¢ unlock. Additionally, you can buy coin packs but in my time with the game that seems incredibly optional and almost pointless especially if you're good at hitting the treasure chests. The Legend of Holy Archer also features loads, upon loads of Engrish as nearly everything that is translated from the Japanese version is totally crazy. Regardless, it doesn't interfere with gameplay at all.

Definitely give this game a look, the graphics are great (with adjustable quality for older devices), the gameplay is fun, the single ad is unobtrusive, and who doesn't like nailing some giant monster directly between the eye from miles away with a magical arrow?!

  • Greyskull

    AVES! That was the name. it was removed, really? :sigh:

  • MidianGTX

    For a game that brags about it's graphics you'd think they'd give it a retina icon.

    • dariusjr98

      Looks fine to me.

      • MidianGTX

        It does? I'll re-download.

        Nope, still crappy on my end. Looks even lower res than standard non-retina icons for some reason. That said, I'm not crazy about the quality of the game as a whole, it's just the gameplay that stands out. We need more epic archery games on iOS.

  • mrTofu

    Nice find. Plays better then Heavenly Sword's aftertouch

  • Josh Dombro

    The Engrish is interesting, and moving the arrows is waaaay harder on iPhone than iPad. Once I got past that, it was really fun, nice find Eli

  • Allen Arcelo

    That's a plenty good Engrish.

  • iarepan

    Has anyone gotten past the caves level? I'm having a hell of a time making it around the turns.

    • gravity17

      Yep it is a bit tricky. Head straight on at the start, you come to a room with three tunnels bear round to right, head up the 'path' a bit and then sweep left and you come across a big Skeleton type monster, rinse and repeat! Hope that helps!

  • Robot_Overlord

    Anybody able to find the demon on stage 4 (floating rocks)?

    • avwave

      There's a hole in the island you're facing. Under the floating yellow orb. He's in there

      • Robot_Overlord

        thanks for the tip!