It feels like forever since we first learned about the follow-up to Rocketcat's awesome action RPG Mage Gauntlet [$2.99]. It's actually only been a couple of years, but in iOS time, that feels like a lifetime. Known by many names over the course of its development, Wayward Souls has finally been released. With all of that anticipation, there's always a high risk of disappointment, but I'm very happy to report that Wayward Souls [$6.99] delivers fully on its promise. If you came to this review wondering if you should buy the game or not, let me save you some time: go open up the App Store and get this now. It's an incredible game. It's one of those games where after you play it, you're filled with a sort of infectious enthusiasm that makes you want to tell someone all about it.

Luckily, that's my job, so let's talk about Wayward Souls. You could either call it an action RPG with rogue-like aspects or a rogue-like with action RPG aspects. The dungeons, including layout, loot, and monsters, are randomized and death is permanent. The basic goal of finding the exit on each floor is here, as well. Rather than the usual turn-based system found in rogue-likes, however, the combat in this game is real-time, feeling rather like the Legend of Zelda games or Secret of Mana [$8.99]. While there's a lot of luck involved in what kind of trouble you run into or what items you stumble across, it's not quite as severe as rogue-likes usually are. Enemy attacks can be avoided through pure skill and good strategy, just as in a quality action game. It's a little Diablo, it's a little Demon's/Dark Souls, but most of all, it's a whole ton of fun.

Photo 2014-04-25, 13 49 04

I don't want to spoil much of the story since experiencing it is part of the fun, but suffice it to say, there is a big, bad tower with a big, bad guy in it, and you'll take the role of one of six different characters looking to conquer it, each with their own story and stake in the battle. Each floor you clear with a particular character will give you a little bit more of their tale, while certain common parts of the story play out in real time in the dungeons themselves. If you want to get the every detail of the game's story, you're going to have to make your way through with every character. Each character has an interesting background to them, and peeling back the layers of their reasons for being at the tower is very satisfying.

Initially, you can only choose from three different characters, but by clearing each of the dungeons once, you'll unlock three more. The starting choices are a warrior, a mage, and a rogue, while the unlockables are the adventurer, the spellsword, and the cultist. Characters vary not only in appearance and stats, but also in terms of abilities and items. The strategies for playing these characters successfully vary wildly, giving the game a massive amount of replay value. At the moment, I prefer the warrior, who makes slow and steady progress with his physical power and useful shield, but a good case can be made for any of the characters, since they all have advantages and disadvantages. Maybe the large HP and interesting bag of tricks will draw you to the adventurer. Perhaps you prefer a stick and move approach that the rogue can realize better than the others.

Photo 2014-04-25, 13 48 40

While you explore the dungeons, you'll come across many useful items, along with shrines and forges. The shrines will grant you a temporary blessing of some sort, making you invincible or increasing your speed, for example. The forges allow you to choose between two power-ups for one of your traits or abilities. These power-ups slightly alter the look of your player, and will persist for the rest of that session. There are a lot of different effects and powers to discover, but don't get too attached, because once you die, your character is back to square one in terms of abilities and gear. If an item looks useful, use it. Your inventory is limited anyway.

While you'll lose almost everything when you die, the coins you pick up persist from game to game. You can use them to buy and upgrade various traits unique to each character. Even if you lose, you can come back a little bit stronger, which helps keep death from stinging too much. Also, once you've cleared a dungeon with a particular character, a checkpoint is made so that if you die, you can return to the start of the farthest dungeon you've reached. While the dungeons are made up of multiple floors, this small act of mercy at least ensures that you can make steady progress without having to do it all correctly in one run. There's one other thing that you get to keep, though. Fans of Rocketcat's awesome Punch Quest [Free] have surely learned to appreciate a good hat, and the developer has loaded Wayward Souls up with a ton of them to find. It's a nice little touch of customization that also serves as a reward beyond the main game.

Photo 2014-04-25, 13 52 03

The dungeons themselves are amazing. Randomized dungeons can offer suffer from a general lack of character and variety, but that's not a problem here. It feels like every single time I played, I ran into something I hadn't seen before. The level designs seem to be striking a bargain between random and designed, which works out very well, providing diverse layouts while still including rooms that seem to tell a story through their design. Assisting with that is the spectacular attention to detail in the graphics. Rooms are full of little objects that exist for no other reason than to add to the atmosphere and be smashed. Even though they're nothing more than set dressing and a place to hide coins or items in, they all still break apart with their own unique animations. Torches and lights brighten the areas around them, giving way to darkness if you destroy them. Just as enemies do, the remains of objects stick around for a while, leaving your fingerprint on each room you clear.

That attention to detail is evident all throughout Wayward Souls. There are tons of enemies, gorgeously detailed and beautifully animated. The player characters themselves look great, with fantastic animation quality. I've gushed about the destructible objects, but there are plenty of elements just there to add atmosphere, like lamps hanging from chains that swing when you run into them. This is some of the best sprite artwork I've seen in ages. If you told me this was a lost game from Squaresoft's SNES era, I'd believe you in a heartbeat. What's even more amazing is that the sound holds up its end equally well. The music is both varied and excellent, and the sound effects add to the setting and action just the way they need to.

Photo 2014-04-25, 13 49 21

The controls are simple and intuitive. Use your left thumb to move your character around, and your right thumb for actions. Tapping on the right side of the screen will perform your basic attack, while holding it down charges a special attack. Flick up to use an offensive special ability, and flick down to use a defensive one. Items can be used by going into the menu and double tapping on them. That's all there is to it, and it works extremely well. The action in this game gets pretty heavy at times, but the controls never once let me down.

Stunningly beautiful, jam-packed with replay value and secrets, and loaded with tons of great action, Wayward Souls is an absolute must-have. Seeing everything this game has to offer will take tons of time, but it's time you won't at all mind spending because it's just so downright enjoyable. This is easily the top of the heap as far as mobile action RPGs go, and even compares favorably to some the best gaming in general has to offer. Hopefully you heeded my advice in the opening paragraph of this review and went to download it. It should be finished installing by now, so go play!

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Maglor

    ⊂_ヽ
      \\ Λ_Λ
       \(´∀`) That 5 Stars!!!
        > ⌒ヽ
       /   へ\
       /  / \\
       レ ノ   ヽ_つ
      / /
      / /|
     ( (ヽ
     | |、\
     | 丿 \ ⌒)
     | |  ) /
    ノ )  Lノ
    (_/

    • LarryWP

      That takes some work! Good job.

      • Themostunclean

        Cut & paste. I've seen him use it at least a dozen times. Still, took some work at one point I guess.

      • mclifford82

        Probably not by him, either. It doesn't even mean anything. Might as well say, "Those awesome paragraphs!"

      • LarryWP

        I never thought of cut and paste. I was looking at each digit being placed above the next row and knowing ahead of time where to place them. I'm no artist so I looked like good thinking to me, whoever did it originally.

      • LarryWP

        That "I" was supposed to be "it." Dang post button was right where I went to edit my post. :)

      • Suji

        "That 'I'" should be specified since he have more than one "I" if you want to be that much specific and a troll.

      • LearnIIBurn

        It even looks good on the mobile app :)

  • VirtualBoyFreak

    The part I like the most of the review is "It should be finished installing by now, so go play!". Spot on! :)

  • Zeillusion

    Great review, I totally agree with everything said. One of the best games I've ever played. Hours & hours & hours of replay value. Advance lighting / destructible objects ( full scale ) / beautiful visuals / stunning music. Intuitive / tight / on-point controls. It can't get any better than this (:

  • CkX82

    Fantastic game.

  • bcredonk

    Best rpg out for the iPhone, I NEED MOAR HATS

    • worldcitizen1919

      Why is it the best? Please provide details not just subjective comments. I play a hell of a lot of RPGs but I'm not buying another one until I know more.

      • number9dream

        What are you favourite RPGs? The best one ice played so far is Zenonia 3.

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

        Do not buy this game.

  • MistaBoz

    I was just playing it when this review posted! Just got killed by the butler on the fifth floor on my first try... If at first you don't succeed! Great game!

  • clompah

    Is this a rogue-like?

    • collasta

      More of a flarogueliteppy with some minimalistdesign2048. It's in a dungeon looking thing!

      Depends on what you want in a rogue like. Certainly not by that silly Berlin thing. It has procedural generation (though it doesn't say that anywhere so rocketcat may be doing something else), and loss of items on death. But you keep some progress between games.

    • thiagovscoelho

      it's a roguelike except they take away every single thing which was ever turn-based so that there's more action

  • paradsecar

    I agree with the controls being spot on if playing on an iPhone, but activating the special abilities on an iPad is not easy, especially when things get hectic.

    • Flynn Taggart

      They said there's a quick fix for that in the next update

  • Amenbrother

    Love it to death!

    • worldcitizen1919

      Why? I'll get it if someone can please tell me what's so good about it?? Saying you love it doesn't mean much. I see the bad reports too and they indicate specifics such as controls or dying and playing all over again but the 'love it' group need to give some specifics please. Love it, like it is very vague.

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

        Don't buy it. There, now you can stop badgering every single person who is posting that they like this game demanding they explain themselves to you. Again: don't buy this game, worldcitizen1919. Do not buy it.

      • Bliquid

        Why? I won't buy it if someone can explain to me why he shouldn't buy it! Or i'll buy it, if he buys it. Or i'll buy some ice cream, if someone can explain to me why should i buy it. Everyone says it's good, but no one explains!

      • tahzblade

        I don't know why but your comment made me laugh. Nice one.

      • tahzblade

        worldcitizen1919 Can you stop trolling ?
        If you want to know why its good and people like it read the review. Don't go around reading the comments and asking random people in a "mean" way why they like the game.

        Read this review or watch video reviews they all say its good. You wan't to know why its good "READ THIS REVIEW AND OTHER REVIEWS ALSO WATCH VIDEO REVIEWS AND GAMEPLAY ".

        I suggest you don't get this game because its too good of a game for you. Go play the "many" RPG games you have.
        You wan't to know why I sad don't get the game ? READ THE SENTENCE BEFORE THIS SENTENCE !
        :D
        Love this game bye the way 5/5 star rating from me !
        Best iOs game I have played this year !
        Really fun game.

  • Sestion

    Five stars easy. You need this game.

  • darkprophet2088

    incredible game! easily the best release this year

  • Klonis

    Wayward Souls and Oceanhorn best rpg's iOS has to offer!

    • JCho133

      What about Mage Gauntlet

    • Gabriel.Voyager

      However not are RPG ;)
      Action game at last, but not RPG

      • Brown Cow

        Thank you for your helpful insight, Captain Semantics.

  • worldcitizen1919

    Apart from just saying its good and to go get it what's so good about this game? Not a very good review for someone who wants to make an informed decision free of peer pressure to buy it just because TA says to. What makes it so good? Please elaborate and give me some substance so I can make a decision and not all this subjective crap. Some specifics please. Just general statements aren't helping and I'm not an iTA sheep. I use my own mind.

    • bcredonk

      Dude he described all of the mechanics of the game, what more do you want? There's a few hours of gameplay on YouTube and twitch from Eli appspy and others too if you wanna watch that and then make your decision. If you're not into the game you're not into it, no reason to call anyone else names for enjoying it.

    • bilboa

      What are you talking about?!? It sounds like you only read the first and last sentence, and skipped the 1000+ word review in between. That combined with the video should give you plenty of info to decide if it's something you're interested in.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Another quality comment from worldcitizen1919 who has his browser set on cruise control to headline, score, troll comments.

      • Intendro

        Where's my down vote button in the TA app?
        I tap it on the website and his misinformed comment still has a +1 on it.

      • mclifford82

        Voting someone down has no actual affect, because we're all winners on the internet. It's a downside, IMO, of the Disqus platform. Why it puts a number beside the upvotes and not the downvotes I'll never know.

      • Intendro

        *looks up their voting system*
        Down votes are still counted but not shown... No mention whatsoever of what they do if you can't see them...
        What. What? WHAT?!?!
        What is the point of them then?! Are you kidding me?!

      • Intendro

        ......
        So how is it I'm somehow seeing a -1 down on a comment below this comment?
        How do I know how their voting system works if their "how our voting system works" page doesn't even explain it?!

      • Themostunclean

        The dipsh**t got so many down votes it broke the Disqus scoring system and it reverted to showing negatives again. That's my theory anyway.

      • worldcitizen1919

        Ha Ha liked that comment! The review wasn't honest. Even reading here I can see people pointing out that the controls are not good. Also, some are saying they don't like dying and coming back again to have to play an entire level to fight a boss again. This was mentioned in the review but not put in an honest light. As if who wants to die and play through 5 levels to get back to fight a boss? That seems tedious. The review puts a positive spin even on negative things more like a political party does. Its a game. It has weaknesses but the review says if we're thinking about whether to get it or not to just go out and get it. Many here disagree with the review also. Disagreeing doesn't make you a troll. We're all entitled to our opinion without being intimidated or bullied or called names.

      • Shaun Musgrave

        And yet you have no problems outright calling me dishonest. Thanks, friend.

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

        You are very confused on the definition of "honest." Dying and starting over again IS the appeal of this game. It's more than clear that this game is not for you, so please do not buy it. And please try to not accuse our writers of being dishonest when you have literally zero idea what that word even means. I can't stress enough just how much I implore you not to buy this game. Even if someone gifts it to you, don't redeem it, or if you do immediately delete the game. Do not under any circumstances ever play or even own this game in any form whatsoever. Thanks. Don't buy this game.

      • worldcitizen1919

        I often buy games suggested here and often I like them. I just wasn't clear about what all the fuss was all about with this. I never meant to badger anyone and sincerely apologise if it came across that way.

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

        Fair enough, I appreciate the apology. It's just that ever major mobile game site and many of the bigger game sites have reviewed this game, there are literally hours of footage of it being played just on TA alone, and there are nearly a thousand comments already in the forum. After all that if you still don't have a clear enough idea of what this game is like and if you want to buy it or not, I just don't know what to tell you. Your comments make it seem like you think there's some grand conspiracy and everyone is just faking liking the game in order to trick you into buying it. It's not uncommon for people to just toss a "love this game!" comment onto games they like and not provide any further insight as to why.

        To answer your "why do you like this game" question directly: it's because it's a challenging, skill-based game. You start out not really knowing what you're doing, you do crappy and die quickly, and then you jump right back in again with more knowledge and improved skill and you try to do better that second time.

        This game is hard, and the process is lengthy, but eventually you improve your strategy and knowledge to the point that you can beat a dungeon. Then, you have a new, harder and longer dungeon waiting for you to tackle. Then after that an even harder and longer one still. The feeling of accomplishment from finally beating all those dungeons is huge, and is the allure to keep playing. In fact it's the thing that's the most "rogulike" about Wayward Souls.

        The brilliant thing about this game is that there's six highly unique characters that feel markedly different from one another, so basically you can multiply everything I just described by six, making this an incredibly replayable and long lasting game.

        Of course this is all topped off by Rocketcat's signature visual style, personality, and attention to detail that makes their games so great.

        Will everybody fall head over heels over this game? No. I don't think that's possible for any game. But for what WS tries to be and tries to do, it outclasses anything else available on iOS.

      • worldcitizen1919

        Thanks Jared for explaining all this. You're a great guy! I think its better I buy this before the price goes up. One can't really judge a game until one has played it or get better recommendations than from those who have.

      • worldcitizen1919

        I sincerely apologise for saying that. So I sincerely apologise and retract that statement. Please delete it. Of course I don't believe your writers are dishonest and never did I just used the wrong word. Sincerest apologies. Now in the review controls are mentioned as good but others have said they don't work as well for the iPad. All I have is an iPad Air but I'm really keen to try the game out. How are the controls on the iPad -playable?

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

        I play on iPhone myself, but from what I'm gathering from iPad players the controls on iPad are not as good. Not completely broken, but not reliable, and this is a game where one wrong move can break you.

        Kepa has stated that the iPad controls aren't implemented correctly, and they will be fixed in the next update. However, it doesn't seem by any means to be unplayable. Others have simply been getting more used to them, and say if you make sure to make deliberate, angled swipes then the controls are much more consistent. (The main problem revolves around the "swiping up/swiping down" to perform a special attack, general movement and tapping to attack work just fine.)

        So, if it's something that really worries you, you might consider waiting to see what people say after the first update. Otherwise I think it's not such a major issue that it will prevent you from enjoying the game in the meantime.

      • Themostunclean

        You have very selective (and distorted) reading comprehension skills.

    • JoeriD

      You use your own mind, badly.

  • NeonGreenKermit

    As a huge fan of both Dark Souls and Mage Gauntlet, WS complete resonates deeply with me. The humour also is perfect - little rays through an otherwise beautifully bleak tone. Just love it. I didn't enjoy Punch Quest at all, but this for me anyway is their best release yet, completely surpassing my high expectations. Well done Rocketcat.

  • JCho133

    17 nuggz at best but 21 nuggz when you have gnome party lol thnx

  • Jazzpha

    Awesome review as usual, signore Musgrave. Think I might have to pick this up now after all, instead of waiting for the PC release.

    Quick question though-- for those of you who have played it on both the iPhone and iPad, where does it work the best? I'm assuming on an iPad, but you know what they say about assumptions.

    • jontas

      Some of the other comments mention difficulties on iPad triggering some of the swipe attacks and I can confirm this is a problem occasionally (though I still managed to beat the butler with multiple characters). Apparently this isn't an issue on iphone but I haven't tried it so I can't confirm. Also there is a fix for this in the works that should be out soon so i wouldn't hesitate to play on iPad if that is your preference.

      • LarryWP

        Using an iPad 4, sometimes my character won't move at all and he just stays stuck and gets beat up bad. For the most part the left control works OK. It's frustrating. Hope the next update fixes this. I reported it too.

      • worldcitizen1919

        Thanks for the honest info. I'm using an iPad Air and trying to decide whether to buy or not. The review must have been on an iPhone so wasn't helpful to me.

      • Alan Baldwin

        I'd sincerely disagree about playing it on iPad with the way the controls are right now. It's really, really bad.

      • JoeriD

        It works fine for me, but I might be doing something wrong.

    • NeonGreenKermit

      Perfect on my mini ret, better than my iPhone 5c. I used to own a full sized ipad and gaming was a major reason I swapped the screen size down to a mini - sharper screen, and virtual controls are more accessible.

  • renatpl

    From the makers of Mage Gauntlet, i trust 100% that it's gonna be fun

  • asd1234

    i always tough "what if i could make a game ... how would it be?" wayword souls anwser'd all my question

    • asd1234

      wayward souls*

      ):

      • CzechCongo

        Are you sure you wouldn't like to fix anything else?

      • rpgmind

        Lol you're the worst!!!

      • ImJPaul

        I think he meant Wayward Gauntlet. Duh.

  • adz4u28

    Am I the only person that thinks this would have been cool 25 years ago on a Commodore 64 ? But it's 2014 and the graphics look horrendous. :/

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      We have a thread in our forums for you! http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=226331

    • gmattergames

      c64 was dead by 1989 (25 years ago), this is homage to the 16bit era that followed (think SNES.)

      • houseofg

        As a prior C64 owner I approve this message. Anything remotely like this would have utterly blown our 64KB minds.

    • Bliquid

      Yes, you are.

    • Torque2k

      Have you noticed the number of C=64 emulation sites/forums on the net?! Retro is cool, and this (and SO many other games on iOS in the past two years) touches that retro nerve for people. You either appreciate it or despise it.

      Some of the biggest games out right now have worse graphics: I play StarCommand, Fiz and Tower of Fortune all the time. The graphics are retro, but the gameplay more than makes up for them.

    • chamillion205

      They are retro dude, they are meant to look like they came from the snes/ genesis era....I think they look awesome and it's part of the appeal of the game.

  • Siveon

    I kind of wish it wasn't a rogue-like. The gameplay/graphics looks fantastic for the iPhone, but at the same time I'm not into constantly traversing dungeons and fighting enemies. Still, this game looks fantastic and I will definitely play it sometime.

    • Themostunclean

      Better now than later. Devs stated the price will go up by $1 each time they do a major content update. Don't sit around waiting for sales.

      I generally don't like roguelikes either but this has a very unique feel to it. Doesn't get repetitive and new areas unlocking is kind of like a checkpoint system.

    • RenegadeScar

      I know what you mean; given the quality of the controls, graphics, etc. I kinda wish they had an open world/Zelda-like version.

  • crunc

    I love rogue-likes and I am very tempted, but I'd much rather have physical controls. I hope it comes to Vita and/or PS4 and/or PS3. Seems like a perfect fit (I know it's on PC, but I don't have a gaming PC and probably wouldn't play it even if I did)

    • bcredonk

      Once it updates it'll have ios controller support!

  • misfitskater6

    Yup another excellent game from Rocketcat. These guys can't make a bad game. Congrats on the 5 star review!

  • Flynn Taggart

    This game makes every other ios game look crummy in every single aspect.

  • gmattergames

    Sorry to disagree with the glowing review, but despite all that is exceptional here, the controls are frustrating and unintuitive. I'm obviously missing something and will give it time, but control has to be this games biggest opportunity for improvement.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      FWIW, Kepa has mentioned a few times that one of the first things they're doing is updating to tweak the controls- Particularly for iPad users which seems to be where most people are having problem with the swipes.

      • gmattergames

        Good to know, here I was thinking I just wasn't cool enough master the control scheme.

      • gmattergames

        K, I digress, controls are just fine. I get it now, playing defensively is key to survival, duh. Less of a hack'n slash, more of a hack'n evade game. Of coarse, I'm finding more success with warrior, as wiz and rogue are to squishy for my skills at the moment.

    • riChchestMat

      Agreed. The controls are horrible. It's not just the swipe controls but the movement too. I've taken a ton of cheap damage from my warrior failing to move when he should have.

    • Themostunclean

      I've had no problems. If your playing on an iPad I've found that it's best to situate your thumbs on the side of the screen as opposed to the bottom corners. My hands always want to default to that position but the game controls MUCH better from the sides.

    • worldcitizen1919

      Controls are crucial to me if I decide to buy it. How are ipad controls are they smooth and intuitive. Any problems?

  • speedyph

    GREAT REVIEW MAN

  • rangent

    Great review! Thanks!
    Minor correction: s/offer/often/ :)

  • bcredonk

    I just want to add that I'm obsessed with the amount of breakables in this game.

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

      Yay I'm not alone!

    • JoeriD

      Those breakables are just asking for it honestly.. Not our fault mates. And might I add, I'm very glad there are no real hidden rooms... (please don't say there are).

      • bcredonk

        I've run into one but it just had treasure in it, more of a 'less than obvious' room than a secret room

      • Themostunclean

        There are. I found a wall that looked a little funny but there was nothing visible behind it (just black space) I took a swipe at it anyway and it opened into a room filled with about 50 skeletons throwing bones at me. There were 2 haste jars, a pile of loot and a big chest in there too.

        No I'm attacking walls like crazy and I have a feeling if you read this, you will be too. Sorry.

  • Chq

    "Every time we do a big content update, we will raise the price by one dollar."

    HAAAAAAHAHAHAHAAAAAHAAAAAA!!

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Probably a world where they want to do things like pay their mortgages and feed their children.

    • Intendro

      Better than early buyers having to pay more, anyway.

    • Flynn Taggart

      Look at this d bag right here

    • monoclespectacle

      A world of ignorance and entitlement, littered with trolls and fools?

      Who really needs to wake up again?

    • mclifford82

      Dude, you should know better than to call a dev greedy, even if that dev happens to be greedy. TA doesn't take kindly to that.

      Around here you should pay what what a game's pricetag says and be happy about it. Then go follow one of their awesome guides on how to play a game without giving the dev any money for their 'evil' IAP, so that their family can eat.

      • LarryWP

        People that think devs charge too much should try writing software for a year. That will reverse their opinion. Actually, they will wonder how they make ends meet at all.

    • Themostunclean

      I want to live in a world where anyone using more than one emoji in a comment is banned from the internet.

      In case that wasn't clear, you're a moron and don't deserve the privilege of technology.

  • EZ Ice

    Seems to me the only thing rogue-like is permadeath. Which doesn't work for me in an rpg. Don't feel like I want to continue wasting a ton of time playing this just to keep starting over. Maybe I haven't played enough, but already frustrated.

    • bcredonk

      You'll get better with upgrades and once you start to recognize enemy patterns

    • Darkenroll

      Maybe try a different class? I played the wizard a couple times, sucked at it, started a warrior and was breezing through. Plus got enough gold in that run to heavily upgrade for future playthroughs.

    • worldcitizen1919

      This is a point that I'm concerned about. I can't see the fun in dying and having to continually start all over again. In other games people in TA forums lambast games without a save game and checkpoint system. What's different about this? Why are TA forum goers sharply criticising some games that don't have a save game like MLB RIB 14 yet are willing to give accolades to this which you have to play all over again if you lose to a boss? What's the real difference?

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

        You don't really understand video games. Or at the very least rogue likes. It's like an arcade game. You're getting as far as you can on one quarter. When you die, you start over from the beginning.

        The difference here is that there are some persistent elements, like character upgrades and gold. Also the game is randomly generated so it's different each time you play it. These are things which are in the review above, so not sure why I have to repeat them.

        Anyway, I do not suggest you buy this game. The part about "everybody should buy it" was directed at everybody but you. In fact every fiber of my being does not want you to own this game now or ever. So please do not buy it. Thanks.

  • err404

    I like it a lot so far, but I have two issues. First this game needs iCloud support for save game syncing between my iPhone and my iPad. Second I really find the pixel art style to detract from the game. The style is extremely overdone and makes the game's art blend in with 90% of the games on iOS. A distinctive art style could have helped the game stand out.

  • MarionCotillard

    Can't wait to purchase this gam, it looks phenomenal.

  • Pavelbure

    Does this game have iCloud save syncing ?

  • ScotDamn

    Solid review. Goods heads up on not describing it as simply a RL.

  • Patricia Anaka

    This game looks fun, but just can't stomach playing arcade-type games on a touchscreen anymore. So many devs are making these great games -- it's a shame the devices don't have proper buttons.

    • bcredonk

      Sounds like you might want to invest in an ios 7 compatible controller

      • Patricia Anaka

        yeah -- have those really caught on? Like, does this game support it? I feel like those aren't really going to be ubiquitous until Apple is selling something which has it built-in. If they would just step up and make a new AppleTV which runs apps and has a controller!

      • bcredonk

        A lot of the bigger games support it, and it's been announced that Wayward will in the first round of updating. If I had the money I'd get one just for this.

      • https://twitter.com/ScotDamn Scot Damn

        The developer is saying the second update should include controller support. So that also means, 2 updates at + $1 per update = $2 more! Still would be worth every penny!

  • GiHubb

    I don't get all the hype around this game. Starting over after you die is just like an action game with a bad checkpoint system, it get old and dull fast. I found it very repetitive, very quickly. I can't see myself going up against the first boss again after dying on our first meeting and now having to run through 5 levels all over again.

    • Themostunclean

      They're different every time you play- with new upgrades, enemy types, map layouts and visual assets. It's hardly like playing the same levels over and over.

      Of course if you stopped playing the game after dying once, you'd never find that out.

      • GiHubb

        I played it like 5 times, the layout of the levels doesn't really effect the core gameplay and I have seen most of the monsters. It got repetitive fast. Even though it does throw something new from time to time, the majority of gameplay is unchanged - hack and slash through those guys who throw rocks, bats and rats. Therefore it feels like an action game with a bad checkpoint system, especially with regards to the bosses, where if defeated, you have to start way over and fight mostly similar fights again.

    • worldcitizen1919

      Neither can I. But a glowing review hooks many. I still can't get specifics from people why this is good. They just keep saying they. 'Like it' or 'love it' but won't give reasons why. I'll buy it if people can be more specific about what it is that makes it so good. I've got burned before buying stuff which us just overhyped.

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

        Then do not buy this game. Please, do not buy it. You won't like it. Do not buy.

      • HelperMonkey

        I believe that people are saying they like this game because, while playing it, they are experiencing a sensation called "having fun." Having fun is a feeling of light-hearted pleasure associated with a specific experience. In this event, that experience is the playing of this game. Most players of this game are having fun with it, which causes pleasure.
        Not specific enough? Why is fun fun? Hard to say. Judging by your comments, it may be an experience which is alien to you.

  • ImJPaul

    Wait. I thought we were all supposed to be playing Flappy Bird?

  • orangecan

    I'm enjoying it quite a lot so far but I'm glad I'm not the only one thats having issues with the controls. I've had a fair few occasions where the character hasn't moved when they should have and I don't find the swipe up/down action inuative at all.

    I can accept the 2nd point as being an issue with my abilities but the lack movement feels more like a bug to me. (I'm using touch 5th g)

  • Louis Ace

    I started to play this and thought it was overrated. Then I realized I couldn't stop playing and understood what all of the buzz was about.

  • 5hift

    This ones a keeper. I'm usually pretty dissatisfied with most iOS games but this one really sets negative feelings aside. Outstanding work Rocketcat Games. I look forward to controller support.

  • MirMiltoninha

    Nice rpg game

  • Darkenroll

    Initial impression is that this is a really fun game. I don't really get the comparison to dark souls but aesthetically it does look right at home in the SNES action-RPG genre, structured like Diablo without the loot system. It's the sort of game you'll probably enjoy until you buy all the upgrades and then set aside until the next update. Personally I think ios needs more games like this.

  • http://about.me/davidlnguyen David Nguyen

    buying this not necessarily because of the review (i do feel like either TA overrates games or wish they did a percentage scale because there's so many good games out there and i can't keep up with buying them all heh) but because i love this company and hook champ was awesome!

  • nreyes

    Is this like Flappy Bird, but with less feathers? I don't want to buy another flappy bird look-a-like so that the developer then pulls the plug on it and we are left without much needed updates. Updates are great. They fix bugs and provide additional content. Does this have a flight simulator hidden within its code? I wouldn't want to get the nasty surprise of killing all the goblins only to get some phantom level where I need to land a plane or roll left to catch the ILS on my downwind leg. I dislike it when Microsoft sort of impose themselves on us elves.

    • Jake7905

      Dude.....what!? Either I'm high or you are.

      • Themostunclean

        We all are.

  • Jake7905

    This game may be the best example of a AAA mobile game. Made for mobile, premium with no IAP, and the refinement of a console game; Wayward Souls was worth the wait.

  • renzy18

    The game looks great, good mechanic UI and visual design, havent bought it yet however i stick to zenonia 5 and Dungeon quest they are more fun, simple and popular game

  • Chungston

    Game should be $10+ if it cost what it's worth.

  • ChaosIsMe

    While the game is fun, it is a HUGE stretch to say this is anything like Diablo or Dark Souls. Hell, this isn't even much of an RPG. If anyone has negatives to say about this game it will probably come from misleading reviews trying to relate this to games that really aren't similar in mechanics.

    • Shaun Musgrave

      I was trying to think of well-known examples of action-RPG-roguelike hybrids, and those were the ones that came to mind. Especially the way you can't run into rooms guns-a blazing, but rather that you have to take care about what could be around the next corner and prepare yourself.

      I didn't intend the comparisons to be overemphasized, which is why I said "a little bit" as a qualifier. I do apologize if anyone misinterprets it.

      • ChaosIsMe

        Neither Diablo 3 or Dark Souls are roguelikes, and this certainly isn't something I'd consider an action RPG. I'm not trying to nitpick genres, but it is just really misleading to say those are anything like this game. Once again, I'm not bashing the game- I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I just think it's a disservice to draw companions between games that are completely different.

  • Phantom Bruiser

    It's fun, or has the potential to be. I'm a big RocketCat fan, and I support them, but the controls remind me of Ice Hockey on NES--skating around when you need precision. I'll buy an iOS controller when they make one worth a shit.

  • Datte

    woah, never seen such a positive comment thread :D

  • Nycteris

    I instabought, then actually realized I never finished Mage Gauntlet and got sidetracked with that. Rocketcat wins either way!

    • Nycteris

      I Hit delete and it posted... Argh. Fail.

  • MaverickX12

    So I took the plunge and got this. Holy shit...worth every penny. Tons of charm, addictive, challenging, ridiculous amount of variety. Everybody who has an Apple device should be required to have this. Wow.

  • Nycteris

    I bought this, then got nostalgic and reinstalled Mage Gauntlet (which I hadn't finished). Now I have my hands full!

    • kbot1701

      Which do you like better?

      • Nycteris

        Honestly, I like the controls much better in Mage Gauntlet, so far. :-/

  • Whitney

    speaking of controllers, ... let's get real. it's not lack of controller support that bothers me with games and I suspect this game will offer support at some point, it's the lack of a decent gamepad for the iPhone. The ones that are available are simply garbage and also ridiculously overpriced although they have come down a bit. i'm a PC gamer not a console gamer but I often use my logitech F710 which I got for 40 bucks and is great quality wireless and works with practically anything. there's nothing near that quality for iOS and that's just ridiculous. The iPhone 5s actually has the kind of processing power that rivals at least the last generation of consoles, but the lack of a decent controller is ridiculous. some games have the type of design where they actually benefit from touchscreen control, and game developers have done an incredible job of designing unique games that work great with touch control. however some type of games just demand a decent controller or a mouse and keyboard for that matter. I trust Mad Catz to a large extent and they are supposedly releasing a console quality controller any day now. maybe they will open the field and get the ball rolling. sorry to go off on somewhat of a tangent but just based on how the mechanics of this game are described it seems like a game that would really benefit from a controller. has another side note one disadvantage of the 5s is that there's not really any gaming software that makes optimal use of the 64-bit power of the A7. of course it would be fiscally stupid to spend money developing a game specifically tailored for the 5s, but unlike the PC WORLD, IOS games don't offer mods or built-in graphics options for the more powerful systems.

  • Ultima12

    I'll definitely be getting this!!

  • Veoren

    The *** kissing and bias in this review is through the roof.. Im so tired of these "retro pixelated" games, although I know this and Mage Gauntlet are some of the good ones, I still can't help but feel it is lazy design. At least the text looks good and appropriate. Unlike say the iOS final fantasies.. Oh and I really hate games with "breakable" weapons and armor. But no comment on that? Yeah, mentioning that is not important AT ALL in a review...

    • skoshu

      Pixel art is just a design genre, has nothing to do with lazy when done this well. i'm tired of the retro fad as well but would never blame a game as polished and deliberate as this to be part of the "me too" train. This is meant to be pixel art, and absolutely makes the most of it.

      • Veoren

        Ok. But pixel art is part of the retro fad right?

        Yeah, taking a good look it does look very well done, like it could've been used in one of those good games from the past. (But the fact it *isn't* from the past makes it seem a bit fake to me, so to speak. Am I alone?)

        You're right though, it isn't part of the "me too" train. I wrote this just after seeing a lot of those being promoted on the app store. I was like, really?

      • Lonely Salad

        What kind of graphics are you after? You need to consider the fact that this game was made by like two people (from what I heard on a Youtube preview trailer from one of the developers himself), an artist and a programmer.

        It takes a lot of work to create a game if you are only working with one other person, there is nothing lazy about it at all.

        There's nothing fake about having a game look retro, it's called a throwback.

        Nice to know the games release has actually annoyed you to the point where you think it's appropriate to complain because the graphics aren't what you want, especially considering the fact you did not actually think "how many people worked on this game, and for how long?". I come to that conclusion because if you had thought a bit harder before commenting the answer would be incredibly clear. Maybe you can contact the developers and ask them to make a game with more contemporary graphics so they can please you.

      • Veoren

        I wonder if you're one of the developers themselves. Your last paragraph sounds so hipster. Anyway, yeah, I don't care enough to research it before. How many nails will you be using for my crucifixion?

        I'm after graphics that actually use the retina display. Not ones that are trying to use limitations from the past as an "art form" or "thing". Excuse me.

        If it really is two developers then I can excuse it and, yeah it's pretty impressive to create a game like this or Mage Gauntlet with just two people.

        For the record I hate Fez and it's d-bag developer. Ugh.

      • Lonely Salad

        I find it pretty funny that you immediately questioned whether or not I'm one of the developers, because I'm not. I'm just standing up for the game. How did my last paragraph, the entirety of it, sound "hipster"? The fact that you use "hipster" as an insult (like a lot of other people on the internet) tells me a lot about you to be honest.

        If you're after graphics that "use" the retina display, there are plenty of other games on the App store you can go and play. This is one game out of the hundreds of thousands on the store that were promoted. The pixel art is a design style, if you don't like it then that is actually your problem, not anyone else's and especially not the developer's.

        Fair enough you hate Fez (although I do wonder how much of it you've played to come to that conclusion), but that's completely irrelevant to the question I asked about it.

      • Veoren

        Well DUH it's supposed to be funny (about you being a developer). Oh it tells you a lot about me? Oh dear, I'm afraid to ask what it is you think about me..

        Yeah guess this game is more "substance" than looks. I can understand that.

        Haven't played it at all, but really I don't even want to give a cent to that d-bag.

      • Lonely Salad

        Please, tell me why he's a d-bag, especially considering you haven't even played Fez yet feel like you have enough knowledge to comment on it.

  • skoshu

    Great game.

    Anyone else found health potions to be a bit too rare? I mean it's good they're not abundant, but they seem on the super rare side considering they don't even heal you all that much. I believe i found like 3 in over 10 runs so far...

  • Schpank

    Sorry, this game blows. Poorly conceived retro arcade game pretending to be something more. The lazy dev thought that making the game stupid hard, it would be mistaken for depth. Judging by the gushing reviews, they were correct.

  • visualplayer

    It's as addictive as Angband, with its random dungeon-exploring aspect, combined with improved-style SNES pixellated graphics. I highly reco.

  • Fangbone

    This has to be a record for most comments on a review ever

  • So Solid

    Everything else the reviewer says may be correct; critical opinion seems to be unanimous in declaring Wayward Souls a worthwhile game. However by no stretch of the imagination can it be described as 'stunningly beautiful'. I would go so far as to say that only a fool would think so.

    There is a recent trend (e.g. Block Fortress, Pixel Gun 3D) of game developers purposefully using outdated graphics and then obnoxiously implying that this reflects a unique artistic vision or is otherwise meritorious ('we're all about the gameplay you see') when it is actually lazy and cheap. This sort of corner-cutting rises to the level of insult to the consumer when the developer combines such atrocious graphics with a premium price.

    As such, its absurd to give the game a perfect score in circumstances where the price and graphics (especially in combination) are so obviously sub-par. Perhaps price does not matter to some, but the graphics are an integral component of the game, akin to the prose in a novel. Would you give a perfect score to a brilliantly-plotted book, rife with witty insight and complex characters, if it was written in the coarse misspelled language of a four-year old? Of course not. Battleheart Legacy is a five-star game. This is not even close.

    Apologies for the rant. I don't mean to crap on the review either: apart from the brain fade in relation to the price and graphics, its reasonably informative and well-written. However in any market we get what we are willing to accept, and the oh-so-common phenomenon of gamers bending over to invite developers to screw them just really gets my goat. I expect it from the teenage component of the market but its a bit sad when adult reviewers do the same.

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

      I think this game is stunningly beautiful which makes everything you just said irrelevant.

      • So Solid

        Actually it makes you a teenager, or a fool.

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

        This is beyond hilarious because it makes literally no sense! Like, only teenagers can like pixel art? What does that even mean?? Even more hilarious is that you call the price sub-par. How can a PRICE be sub-par?

        This is funny, please keep going.

  • So Solid

    My comment as to your age was partly ironic, but I would be surprised if you were not in fact a teenager, judging from your response.

    Anyway, my point is that low-resolution graphics do not embody any artistic style; they are simply the product of outdated technology. The sprites are typically so blocky that one cant be certain what it is meant to be. While a few designers still managed to give their games some character, the technological limitations meant that the sprites and animiations of this era had no artistic merit - they look like had have been drawn by children. It is similar to how the first mobile phones were invariably enormous and ugly due to the nature of the early technology.

    I dont believe that ANY gamer truly has an aesthetic preference for these ancient graphics over the high-resolution modern standard. People usually prefer to see the expression on a character's face, rather than having to imagine it in lieu of a blocky blob. However, some people apparently have an emotional attachment for these sorts of graphics due to fashion or nostalgia for the gaming days of yore. Teenagers are more likely to subscribe to this preference, not having seen first hand the evolution from them to modern graphics.

    In my view, preferring dated and objectively inferior technology on emotional grounds is stupid - like hoisting a brick-sized mobile everywhere because you got married in the year it was released. Naturally, the developers are keen to cater to this irrational impulse ('old lamps for new!'), and unfortunately it is then inflicted on the rest of the market also, who, unfortunately, are generally young, passive and easily led.

    As for my comment in relation to the price being sub-par, this was alluding to the fact that the game was poor value compared to others, particularly in light of its skimping on graphics. While it would have been more correct to use the word 'value' rather than 'price', my meaning was 'beyond obvious'. I can understand it bothering you if you are pedantic though. With all due respect, painstaking correctness is often interpreted as a sign of mediocrity and/or insecurity.

    Anyway, I would not expect you to sympathise or even understand my complaint. However, it astounds me that an intelligent, articulate and presumably adult reviewer would not only fail to acknowledge that the game had any faults whatsoever, but characterise the low-resolution graphics used by the developer (IMO cynically) as 'stunningly beautiful'.

    • Shaun Musgrave

      I don't know what to tell you. I honestly love well-done spritework. I also enjoy black-and-white photography, 8mm film, and hand-drawn animations. You're correct that sprites were, like the other things I've listed, a technological limitation that may have prevented the artist from realizing their full ambition, but I flatly reject the notion that beautiful art can't be created within limitations. Are paintings not art because animation exists? I respect that you like the artistic wonders that are possible with the latest technology and big budgets. I like them, too. But there's room in my heart for all sorts of art. As a side point, I think the way you phrased your criticism was thoroughly disrespectful. Your writing tells me you're an intelligent person, but your inability to understand the views of others on what is ultimately an entirely subjective matter tells me you're not as mature as you seem to demand others to be.

    • robotnyk

      the "high-resolution modern standard" you're going on about is massively expensive and time consuming. AAA game developers spend millions of dollars and years, AND employ dozens, or in most cases hundreds of people to achieve that. how can you expect indie studios match that level with the fraction of the money and manpower?

      and no, Battleheart Legacy isn't high res either.

      you are welcome to not like pixel art. you are fool however for expecting AAA production from indie games.

Wayward Souls Reviewed by Shaun Musgrave on . Rating: 5