If you’re looking for some slapstick arcade shooter shenanigans, then Pixeljam’s Glorkian Warrior: Trials of Glork [$2.99] will most likely be your new favorite game. The goofy mashup is a collaboration between Eisner Award winning cartoonist James Kochalka and indie game studio Pixeljam themselves, the very same developers of the prehistorically entertaining Dino Run!

Don’t be fooled, this is no space invaders. Taking on the role of a Glorkian Warrior, you and your trusty Super Backpack sidekick must battle an endless onslaught of alien creatures as they hypnotically dance their way across the screen - (if you’ve played Galaga, this may come as familiar to you). As you run and jump back and forth, obliterated enemies will drop energy crackers, which you can pick up to create some bullet hell warfare with an impressive combination of double lasers, twisty lasers, triple lasers and fireballs, to name but a few.


So what can you expect? For one, failure is inevitable. Whichever mode of difficulty you may be playing it on, you can still expect to be annihilated several times over. Before you start throwing your iPhone or iPad in frustration though, keep in mind that each separate playthrough adds up to your overall progress. It’ll never get boring, and it’ll never get old. Not to mention, the amusing skits before and after each session of play are worth every moment of defeat.

As eye-catching and awesome as Glorkian Warrior is, there are some slight gripes that sometimes get in the way of the enjoyment factor. Though there are three different control systems, the “default” controls, which are recommended in-game, are the ones I found to be the most problematic. In this mode, you tap either side of the screen to move right or left, and swipe up to jump.


Sometimes they managed to flow well, other times I’d find they were touch-and-go especially when the difficulty ramps up and precise jumping becomes key, so if you’re as easily frustrated by dodgy controls like I am, you’d be better off switching to a more preferable choice like the virtual D-Pad. Luckily, the alternatives are pretty solid, so it’s not so much a disappointment as just a mild grievance that can be just as easily avoided.

Another frustrating factor is exhausting all your powers when you’re in the midst of a boss fight, which means combat can get pretty tiring at times when you’re left to kick huge alien butt with the default blaster. You fire automatically, so it's not like you can be strategic with when you use your powers, which makes these sort of situations feel a little too luck based that powerups drop at the right times.


That said, it’s not all bad, as accumulating crackers unlocks new items and worlds which keep gameplay fresh and exciting. The ongoing determination to best your friends scores also adds huge replay value, and you’ll want to keep coming back if just for the competition of it all.

The vibrant cartoony visuals are beautifully conspicuous and the fantastic soundtrack compliments the game to a T. If you’re also wondering why it looks and sounds so oddly familiar, James Kochalka is indeed the mastermind behind the brightly colored, beautifully designed graphic novel “The Glorkian Warrior Delivers A Pizza,” which you should also pick up if you’re a fan of reading, outer-space adventures and pizza.

You won’t want to miss out on Glorkian Warrior: Trials of Glork, especially if you’re a huge fan of arcade shooters with hilariously great jokes and some marvellous comic visuals. It's got a few flaws, but the good vastly outweighs the bad.

TouchArcade Rating

  • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

    <3 this game so much


    Number 18 in the world I'm so happy for this game I love it



  • Frost

    Some things:

    The unlock tree has some comic scenes, weird and awesome power-ups and different stages with different properties on it. There is also a Rank system that makes it better every time you level up. The game also features random missions like "Try Harder!" or "Die Gloriously" that award you crackers every now and then. One of my favorites on iOS. I really love Glorkian Warrior.

    • rich_952000

      Yeah, I'm really enjoying it too, makes me glad to be an iOS gamer.

  • heyday72

    Same here. For the moment, easley the best ios game of 2014. Man, who thought portable gaming on the best platform ever would be this fun and beautifull. Love you people at Pixejam for bringing us ios gamers such gaming joy.

  • your personal robot

    What a gem! After only two sessions I can safely say that it's my new fav iOS arcade game!

  • Ramaz1234

    Why do you guys disrespect Fours4ken so much. You always take so long to review their games. Where as this game released a week later gets reviewed first.

    • ZarieoZ

      Well as they told you several times before, Foursaken games are always too deep & have several layers to uncover before they can give you a fair review. Mostly simple games get reviewed fast. But deep games take their time & get played a lot before issuing a review. Lol you are in most of the reviews asking for Foursaken games reviews, if it wasn't for knowing how much decent the guys at Foursaken are, I would have said you are paid (which I know you are not-to clear any misunderstanding). Other than that I generally read & like the rest of your conversations that doesn't involve Foursaken 😉

  • R3TAL1AT3

    Great review!
    I just wanted to give my own thought to the games. Been playing it since release and i have to say the experience is GLORKIN' AWESOME!
    This game will truly remind true gamers why we got hooked playing video games.
    In the first few seconds of the game i was pretty captivated by the simple cartoony artwork and design and vibrant colors. The old-PC style chiptune soundtrack got me feeling giddy like a little kid again. I tapped on 'Start' and was greeted by a funny and quirky cutscenes that's so masterfully done it brought a Cheshire grin to my face, reminding me some of my favourite classic funnies and comics strips. Then the game starts with a brief tutorial and control plans, at a decent but laid back pace. You stroll left and right across the screen while shooting enemies from above, and a jump button. Enemies start coming in waves and in formations and patterns like Galaga or Space Invaders l. Then several seconds into the game, things starts to go crazy. The enemies starts throwing everything at you, be it projectiles or themselves and it suddenly feels like a franctic bullet hell shmup. I started avoiding everything from kamikaze aliens to an asteroid, even cute fire-breathing crawlies. In a panic
    , i started moving the Glorkian around the screen like a roughly handled puppet. Instead of frustration, i was smirking the whole time because it was then i found that the controls for the game is pretty tight. Then power-ups started dropping and when i picked the first one up, a loud cheery children voices, like those Sesame Street number readouts, gave me a rather heartwarming and nostalgic feeling that you know its a family game. And in all that frantic action, it wasn't 'hell' , it was both a party and a riot. And out of nowhere, a boss appears. After getting chased by crazy enemy attacks and a few seconds of running, I died. And then i realized, that was only a few minutes in iand i wanted more. Then the closing cutscene shows another hilarious pizza strip and Crackers started accumulating and i reached the first milestone and unlocked the title changer which was so cool. The game just keeps getting fresher, funnier, all the time and always reward you for just playing it. You unlock more stages and power ups and drops, even a special bonus comic, and others are just for bragging rights.

    The game is heavily influenced by classic shooters like Galaxian, Galaga, Space Invaders, etc. But its fresh, with a mix of early platforming titles and some 90's J-Puzzle arcade games; and they really fleshed out the core of those classics and delivered something great and refreshing. People love classic games, just have to interest us with something special or different. And they Glorkin' delivered.

    I have to say after Mage Gauntlet, this is a new favourite game for me. Not many titles make me play and finish from purchase til the next couple days. Best 3 bucks i ever spent since 2010). Everyone should give this a go. I just wish and hope they add a portrait mode and one touch control in future update since the screen scrolls left and right on landscape anyways. Thanks to James Kochalka and Pixeljam for the Glorkin' game.

  • http://twitter.com/BeRad_Ent Be-Rad

    Cool style!

  • Anotherkellydown

    I prefer the default control scheme personally.

  • daniel schroeder

    Backpack sidekicks don't get enough attention these days.

  • RenTin850

    Adult swim game?

Glorkian Warrior: Trials Of Glork Reviewed by Lucy Ingram on . Rating: 4