Not for the first time and surely not for the last, our forums here at TouchArcade have called my attention to a game, and I'm glad they did. Legend Dary: Classic [$0.99] is a pretty low-key game all around, but if you dig on platform shooters like Mega Man or Random Heroes [Free], you'll probably have a good time here. It's more or less the work of a single person, so it's not quite as fully-featured as some games, but the core is solid and there's plenty here to justify the price.

The princess of the kingdom has been kidnapped and for whatever reason, the king tasks the job of rescuing her to a guy named Dary. Dary's got a bit of a biker look to him and is packing a gun, and apart from a bit of attitude shown in the opening cutscene, that's pretty much all we learn about him. The game itself is a pretty straightforward stage-based free-scrolling platformer. At present, there are two worlds with 18 stages each, with the promise of more to come from the developer. Spoiler: Dary won't be finishing his quest in the current version.

screen1136x1136-121Legend Dary doesn't break any new ground, to be sure. It's a bit more open compared to the platformers we usually see on iOS, with lots of vertical space and plenty of nooks and crannies, but you're going to be doing the same type of stuff as usual for this genre. Hopping around precarious platforms, shooting and avoiding enemies, timing your way through traps, and so on. To exit each stage, you'll need to find not only the exit door, but its key as well. While you're searching for the key, you'll also want to keep your eyes open for the three stars placed around the stage. You'll need a certain amount of them to unlock the boss stages of each world. One nice point is that once you've collected a star, you've got it, even if you die and have to start again.

Like the game's concept, Dary's moveset is pretty simple, too, with just the ability to jump and shoot in his repertoire. You can power up his gun and unlock new costumes using the coins you'll find scattered generously throughout each stage. The enemies are a bit bullet-spongey, even with a powered-up gun, so it pays to work your way through the levels cautiously, especially if you're up high where a bat can ruin your day pretty quickly. There are also two vehicles to be found in the game, and both of them are a lot of fun to use while you have them. You play using virtual controls, with left-right buttons and buttons for jumping and shooting. To jump down from a platform, you just swipe downward, which I prefer quite a bit over the "hold jump" method in Random Heroes.

Overall, the controls work quite well. The game is clearly designed around Dary's capabilities and the limitations of virtual controls, making controls failures fairly rare. I'm actually pretty impressed the developer nailed this so well on their first swing at the genre. It feels good to play, and I think that's the most important base a game can work from. The other aspect where the game succeeds quite well is in the level designs. While the first several levels are fairly unimpressive and even a bit dull, the design soon comes into its own, with nice, big levels with many paths and traps set up. It's enjoyable to poke around looking for the stars, though I will say that the game relies a little too frequently on using arrows made out of coins to guide the player.

screen1136x1136-122It's a very forgiving game, only seldom baring its fangs at the player. You have unlimited lives, and although there aren't any checkpoints, any stars you find will be kept, so checkpoints aren't really needed, in my opinion. There are only a couple of levels where the challenge heats up, even if you are searching out every star, but the game throws enough at you regularly that you won't get bored, even with the low difficulty. The bosses, large beasts that can hit in pretty wide arcs, are intimidating at first, but their patterns are pretty simple, so it's really just a matter of whittling down their life bars and trying not to mess up your routine.

The graphics were apparently mostly done by one person, and with that in mind, they look fine. It's a pretty typical pixel-art style, but it's done well enough. I actually really like the monster designs. They communicate the monsters' abilities well, and they're quite cute. So, visually, it's good enough, if nothing special. I wish I could say the same for the music, however. There are two songs in the whole game, and only one of them ever plays during gameplay. It's pretty much just six notes playing over and over again, with percussion, and while I know that means it could have been the biggest hit single of 1999, it gets old very, very fast while you're playing.

There's not much else to say here, I suppose. Legend Dary: Classic isn't the biggest game, the longest game, or the most innovative game, but it's got a lot of heart, and man, if this were a Rocky movie, that would mean top marks. Sadly, this isn't a Rocky movie, so instead I'll just end off by saying that if you dig this genre of game, your dollar (or other currency equivalent) will be well spent, even if there's not a ton of meat on the bone at the moment.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • shaymon

    My kids love this on smaller ipod devices. I know I will like it once the controls are fixed which sounds like they should be soon. Actually thought they would be by now. I can't comment much but the controls are awful on a full size ipad. Once those are fixed, I guarantee I will be putting some hours into this. The dev and his wife deserve some good credit on this. Nice to see a review out. Hopefully this will lead to more content/games.

    • cloudpuff

      There has been an update to fix the controls and lower a couple if enemies health.

      • cloudpuff

        Actually just launched the app and it seems the buttons are still large.

      • Lazer Kat

        Go into settings, and you can change the size with a slider

      • cloudpuff

        Thanks, I missed that.

      • shaymon

        Wow, sure thing. Not sure how I missed that. Definitely better. No way to move them down though eh?

  • Park Pill

    I just saw the review. I'm impressed with its quantity and quality as well! Thank you for the great review. I'm currently working on more stages. It'll take some time because i'm on my first anniversary travel. But I'll do what I can do here! Cheers!

    • isblackhawk

      Is this game inspired by How I Met Your Mother by any chance? Or maybe more specifically, Neil Patrick Harris? The title immediately caught my attention :D

      • Park Pill

        I do enjoy watching that and live the character. But, no, it isn't. Its original name was Almost Legendary. And I got it shortened. So it became Legend Dary. :]

      • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

        Or Kevin Nealon in Weeds? "LEGENDARRRRRYYYYYYY!!!!"
        Perhaps one of the funniest things I remember from that amazing show!

    • shaymon

      Congratulations and have a great time!

      • Park Pill

        Thank you :]

  • repapermunky

    Random Heroes came to mind immediately when I started playing this. The way the coins explode from enemies, the way said enemies have different HP and attacks. I do like the game very much, but I bought it before fully reading the review through, saying it was much like RH. Finding out how the game was made, made me respect the game even more; however, I do think it is too much alike RH, and if you have one, you don't necessarily NEED the other. Although true, this game has some new and exciting features that RH does not have, and that makes it stand out. So it's also a matter of preference. I will say, that it doesn't hurt to have them all. I always like adding quality games to my library. Bottom line: Get this game. Also, if you liked and beat the RH games, and crave more like it (and are able to afford it) get this game. If I had to choose between the two, it's tough, but as Ravenous already has many blockbusters, I'm going to go ahead and say get Legend Dary. Support this dev and his awesome work.

    • Lazer Kat

      They're definitely similar, but if you love 2D plaatformers then actually you do need both.
      They both offer a unique, high-quality experience.
      I cut ally prefer this to RH.

      • repapermunky

        Oh, I agree. That's why I said, if possible, get both. But if you can only get one, get this.

  • Kloo13

    This game seems to be really cool! if you are looking for a great platformer there is Pixhelland, it's a Super Meat Boy like, very fun!

Legend Dary: Classic Reviewed by Shaun Musgrave on . Rating: 3.5