874036_largerWhen it comes to differentiating your game from the pack, a little eccentricity goes a long way. Butterscotch Shenanigans must take this to heart as each of its titles ooze with quirky characters and a unique sense of humor. Quadropus Rampage [Free], the latest from the developer, doesn't deviate from this standard. Luckily, it's also a great game as well, merging brawler gameplay in a rogue-like shell making the freemium title worth playing.

Tasked with dealing with the usurper King of the Sea as he attempts to invade the land above, Rampage has players guiding Tack the Quadropus through the depths of the sea to dispatch the aquatic army of the sea. If you've played Butterscotch's previous titles, you'll be greeted with the same colorful narrative and art style that graced the likes of Towelfight 2.

mzl.xxmacpto.480x480-75

In case you didn't get a chance to check out our earlier preview, the best way to describe Quadropus is part-roguelike and part-brawler. Tack dives from level to level taking on the aquatic enemies of the deep. His arsenal consists of a simple attack with his weapon, a short-lived bubble shield which prevents damage, an ink move that allows fast movement past enemies  (and over pitfalls) and a few special moves. When all the enemies are taken out, a teleport to the next level is opened, and the cycle begins anew. If players fall, they start again from the top and begin the journey again.

Despite the limited attack moves, I was pretty impressed with how strategic Rampage can play. Enemies come at you in a variety of different ways from projectiles to lasers to butt-stomps. While the first few depths are relatively easy, you'll find yourself needing to dodge, protect and strategically attack soon afterwards. It's also gratifying to gracefully maneuver Tack around hordes of enemies and dispatch them. Rampage's control scheme, while looking unseemly to the uninitiated, actually works quite well in allowing players to accomplish this.

mzl.seexhlgf.480x480-75Quadropus Rampage is rogue-like in the sense that each depth level is procedurally generated with different enemies, rewards and weapon drops. I particularly loved the weapon drops as the weapon names, while randomized, are hilarious on their own. Names aren't the only thing randomized, of course, as stats, attack range, and even attack speed all vary widely with weapons. While I wish there was a way to improve weapons so you can keep them a bit longer during runs (turnover is pretty high), at least another crazy weapon isn't too far away.

Tying the game together are a bevy of long-term Mastery objectives, stat-boosting items  and the standard two-prong freemium currency system for stat increases. Masteries unlock after completing an objective (for example level up 25 times over all runs) and give players an opportunityt o pick one of two traits under that mastery. Traits are perpetual for all runs and can be changed at will between runs. I really enjoyed the Mastery system as it does a great job fusing long-term objective goals with actual rewards that make a difference during play. It makes achievements in Quadropus actually have meaning, increasing replaybility.

The dual-currency, meanwhile, is what you'd expect in a freemium environment. Orbs are the common currency, are earned (rather liberally) during standard play, and are used to purchase permanent stat upgrades and purchase weapons from a random shopkeep during runs. Doubloons are the premium currency and can be found sparingly during play, bought in-game with orbs (only if the shopkeep offers it) or purchased via IAP. Doubloons are restricted towards early unlocks of masteries (i.e. unlock traits without completing the requisite objectives) and resurrecting a run. Unlike most freemium games, doubloons aren't required to experience the whole game or to even enjoy the game to its fullest. This is freemium done well and I appreciate the way Quadropus Rampage implements its system.

There's very little to complain about with Quadropus Rampage. It's an excellent roguelike/brawler hybrid with a control system that matches the fast-paced action. In addition, the randomized aspects, long-term Masteries and upgrade systems do a great job keep you playing. Finally, the story, humor and overall tone are simply amusing and make each run a fun experience. If it was paid I'd recommend it whole-heartedly, as a free-to-play title, you have no excuse to quit reading and download it right now.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Mrwubbs

    This game is awesome. They are working on some sweet updates as well. The developers are really nice guys and are a lot of fun to chat with on twitter. Please don't let the freemium model turn you off. The game is a lot of fun and never feels like work. It plays like a premium game and the Iap are only for the impatient, but I bought some because I want to support butterscotch.

  • themostunclean

    Good review. Just one correction- Mastery abilities can be switched while you're playing, not just between runs.

  • MrHSakerEsq

    I'm really sad these devs have gone down the IAP route, disenfranchising many loyal fans.

    • ShamusLowlander

      "Many" loyal fans sadly wasn't enough to stop towelfight 2 from failing financially. They've said on their blog that they prefer premium, but need a larger fanbase befire they can do it successfuly.

    • Vestid

      They don't have many loyal fans, just lots of ones that steal from them.

    • Greyskull

      The doubloons mean nothing in this game. Don't worry about the dual currencies.

  • Mj1ggy

    Please don't let the freemium model of this game turn you off. It's full of humor, an absolute blast to play, and purchases are about as optional and unnecessary as possible. I'll probably throw the devs a couple of bucks for their efforts, but if you really hate paying for content you don't need to. This has instantaneously become my favorite game on my phone and it can be yours too for zero entry cost. Only complaint would be the closeness of the dodge and attack buttons.

  • ImJPaul

    I LOVELOVELOVEDDDD TF2 by them, however with the control scheme/perspective I found it too frustrating constantly falling down holes when I didn't mean to because the controls weren't to my liking. I'm gonna give it more time because I'm such a huge fan of their earlier title but so far this has been a hit and a miss for me.

  • detourne

    Made good on my promise after I got into towel fight 2 when it became a freebie. Bought the orb doubler

    • Jerutix

      Same here. Worth it.

  • Himmat Singh

    FYI, I managed to upgrade fully w/o IAPs in about 10 hours of playtime, maybe less. Very bearable freemium and you should play till you defeat Pete at least.

  • Benegesserit

    Most IAP freemium currencies are not required but what you don't appropriately address is the in-game grind to get it. If it takes an unreasonable time to get the freemium currency then it is not IAP done right

    • Frungi

      I think that would have been mentioned in the review, and as something other than "done right." Also, see the comment about playtime posted immediately before yours.

    • Frungi

      Wait, I think I misunderstood your misunderstanding. If you don't NEED the premium currency, it doesn't matter how long it takes to get it. And the review says you don't. Seriously, you can play through the whole game without spending any of it. It's just for the lazy/impatient and for extra lives.

  • bhornburg

    Anyone else experiencing huge slowdown (on iPhone 4) when the screen gets busy? I love this game and wanted to support the devs, but the performance issue is turning me off pretty bad...sucks, I was starting to get hooked. :(

  • Josh Dombro

    Awesome game, just wanted to throw in my thanks to developers who are doing it right. Nice review too, Eric.

Quadropus Rampage Reviewed by Eric Ford on . Rating: 4.5