The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Storm Casters

We first got our hands on Storm Casters [$1.99] from Get Set Games back at GDC in March, when it was called Battle Casters. Even in that brief time, with a pretty early version of the game, I knew that Storm Casters was something special. To back things up, Storm Casters is a dual-stick (or single-stick with an auto-aim attack button), top-down dungeon crawler. It has randomly generated levels, several types of cool weapons to utilize, and plenty of mobs to lay waste to. In all those ways, Storm Casters is a great little game, but one that's been done thousands of times before.

The thing that sets it apart is its focus on timed gameplay. Think of a racing game where you have a limited amount of time to beat a section of a track and make it to a checkpoint, but once you hit that checkpoint, you're given a bit more time on the clock and now must make it to the next checkpoint. Now apply that to a dungeon crawler and that's Storm Casters. Each floor of the dungeon is like a section of track in a racing game, and you have a limited amount of time to make it to the exit. When you do you get a bit more time added to the clock and move on to the next floor, and so on as the floors increase in difficulty as you progress.

iPad-StormCasters-006

Normally in dungeon crawlers I fully take my time exploring every inch of a level, obsessing over making sure I've gathered every item and defeated every enemy before moving on. Storm Casters forces me out of that habit, and I like it. The amount of time given to complete a floor can also be upgraded with coins collected during play, so you can give yourself a bit of extra time to play around with and go looting if you choose. There's also no timer during the boss fights happen on the last floor of each "zone" in the dungeon, so you can focus on the battle and not the clock. Overall though, the timer adds a sense of urgency to a type of game that doesn't often see it, and it's refreshing.

Besides all that, Storm Casters also features a fairly robust card system which handles the bulk of your character's special items and attributes. The card system is also an interesting wrinkle, as you'll earn tons of cards through normal play but you'll only ever be able to take three of them into battle with you at a time. Which three those are is determined randomly, and can force you to play in a certain way based on what they are. You can "re-roll" those card choices for a cost, but the element of randomness is a cool way to keep you on your toes.

My only real gripe with Storm Casters at this point is that it's a bit buggy and has momentarily froze up on me a few times, and some people in our forums are reporting problems with the currency and experience bar displays. However, Get Set Games is great about addressing things like that, and I'm confident everything will be sorted out. Also, Storm Casters does contain IAP, but it's strictly for buying the in-game gems that are used solely for buying card packs. You earn plenty of gems and cards just by playing, so it's really just for anyone looking to buy more cards more quickly. There are no energy mechanics or timers, and all character upgrading is handled using coins which are only earned through playing.

For a couple of bucks, I highly recommend checking out Storm Casters if you're interested in a nice twist on the tried and true dungeon crawler formula.

  • Marvin

    For the people worried about the timer, you can upgrade it to last longer and it seems very manageable the further you get

    • Marvin

      To those wondering the ONLY IAP is so you can unlock card packs, which all cards are able to be found through the game. Gold is used to upgrade your timer and attack and there's plenty of it. The IAP is only for those to impatient to find the cards on their own

      • worldcitizen1919

        It's not good encouraging devs to use IAP with premium games. They are only testing the waters to see how far they can go. See the strategy for what it is. Praising premium games with IAP gives the devs the free light to charge us more, exploit us more and rip,off more and it has been happening and will continue to happen just watch. By next year all prices will have gone up 30% and almost all premium will have IAP with paywalls sneakily applied.

    • worldcitizen1919

      Deleted. Not paying and on top paying more. People promoting IAP in premium games are only selling gamers out. When's it going to end with $70 ios games?? Devs are pushing it $ by $ quietly sneaking IAP into premium games while slowly our games get more expensive not only to buy but to play after buying. Your sending a message to all devs that premium with IAP us ok -it's not ok. Why should we have to pay twice for the same product?

      • Marvin

        The problem with what you're saying is this is truly optional IAP. The timers and such are 100% IAP free, as in it costs gold to upgrade AND there's no way to convert the IAP to gold as it's strictly for purchasing Card Packs, that are free to earn through gameplay.

  • Rennerd

    Hmm, you chose bill killem for the same reason...

    • worldcitizen1919

      Bill killem was a freemium game. This is premium. Big difference.

  • HelperMonkey

    Another out-of-the-blue selection for GOTW. You guys are sneaky.

    I like this hurry-up concept for a dungeon crawler. So much time in your average game in the genre is spent checking every nook and cranny, breaking every crate and urn, investigating chests, flipping levers, etc. And it's essentially down time. Charging through with a clock ticking would certainly crank up the tension and keep things lively and action-oriented.
    So hey, nice work. This wasn't on my radar at all, but now I'm interested.

  • spader623

    IAP's? For a 'premium' game? HOW DARE THEY. We need another 100+ post to discuss how horrible this is to games and how it's ruining gaming.

    Honest answer, that's a neat twist on a genre I've loved. I'll have to try it out, though maybe after some bugs are fixed. It's only $2

  • awp69

    Second week in a row with a good pick. Loving this one and it's genre mix of rogue-like, RPG, DSS and even twitch gaming with the timing aspect.

  • Roleki

    No one has praised the graphics yet - they're great! I'm tired of all the "pixelated" graphics out there, and this one has a slightly "Hearthstone feel" to it, and that works for me at least.

  • BustaFoo

    Wow this game is WEAK. For the first time I am judging a game on the weakest attempt at promotion that I have ever seen...also this whole random CARD crap idea is so played OUT anymore. I mean pleeeeease....ooh I got some random cool card...pffffft....please....GROW UP! If...and I mean IF, you want some cool looting then make it all about the drops...half the video the guy wasn't picking up everything...and IF anyone out there worth their SALT knows that picking up EVERYTHING during a level is a MUST if you want to call yourself a looter. Sigh...ok...I'm done, will NOT be playing this TRASH anyway. Sorry to the Devs but you got it all wrong with this video.

    • rich_952000

      Really? Is this a serious post? There are a thousand dungeon crawlers available on iOS. They are all essentially the same, rehashed gameplay. This game brings fresh ideas that are executed in a fun, highly playable way. Great job on this one devs.

    • HelperMonkey

      REGARDLESS of whether this post is MEANT to be SERIOUS, or if the HUMOR was INTENTIONAL, I still LAUGHED.

    • gnome9er

      oh? and what do u suggest we play then?

      • LarryWP

        Read a book?

  • Cookies

    This just makes me want to go back to Solomon's Boneyard or Minigore (1&2), where dual stick shooters were done best.

    Still looks good though.

  • DemoEvolved

    Solomon's keep, still amazing

  • gnome9er

    wow what a great game! i only have one issue and thats the game chops out to an unplayable state on my iPad mini non-retina.

  • troyau

    Excellent game, level 50 and still lovin it :) if anything it's a little too generous with dishing out the gems for free.

  • scottbailey

    Anyone having Warp stone problems?

    It says I have 10, but when I try to purchase the pack that costs 10 stones, it says I don't have enough.

    Additionally, I've earned several more stones, but my count remains at 10.

  • worldcitizen1919

    Please don't sell us gamers out Touch Arcade. Devs are testing the waters to see just how far they can push their GREED and to put IAP with a Premium game is an abomination and rip off.

    This game clearly has timers in game designed to push their greed and Touch Arcade awards it game of the week. Because of awards like this we gamers are being exploited with all premium games now including IAP's. We gamers areclearly being sold out. No more premium games with IAP for me.

    • rich_952000

      Have you played this game? The timers have nothing to do with buying anything. They are the challenge in each level. Games have had timers since very early on. Please, be informed before posting this crap.

      • worldcitizen1919

        Yes of course I've played it. Premium is premium not laced with IAP.

      • Zeillusion

        Laced with iap *giggle.

        Dude, it's for 2 iap for 2 card packs. Never asks you to purchase either, until you obtain the right amount of gems. It's just a few cards to support the devs. Love went into this game, if you wanna drop the dev some money you can.

        It's a complete premium experience. You can play all you want, earn everything easily, and best of all, absolutely nothing is stopping you from playing, leveling, earning, and beating it I'm the required time.

        Loved it, want some cards? Wanna support the dev? Buy a card pack. Beast game for a sodas worth.

        Take your nonsense elsewhere.

        Cry some MOOOOR 4 us ;)

    • iSupah

      Wow..You judge a book by its cover...Maybe see how the game is before judging? This kinda makes you look stupid.

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

      Your comments are so far off base it's laughable. You did this exact same thing with Godfire, remember? You went on and on and on and on and on about how it was a paid game with IAP, bitching about it incessantly in the forums. You even cried to Apple and got a refund for it, only to come back later, after you know, actually PLAYING the game, and gushed about how much you enjoyed it and wished they'd make more levels. Yes, make MORE levels for the game that you shit on and got for free.

      Now, with this game, which has probably the most optional IAP I've ever seen in a game before, you're shitting all over it and clearly have no understanding of the game itself based on your comment. Your knee jerk reactions and spreading of misinformation do a disservice to anyone unfortunate enough to actually read your comments and take them seriously.

      • Marvin

        It's a shame I can only click like once here, as this guy said the same meaningless crap on my post. He said he deleted the game because of its IAP but it's a complete experience without spending a dollar more than the game is priced at. Some people should just keep their mouth shit because all that comes out is stupid

      • worldcitizen1919

        I've never agreed with having IAP in premium games. I just don't think its right. Doesn't mean I don't buy and play them but I don't agree with IAP in premium games that's all. Sorry if I offended as that was not my intention. I'm not saying the game itself is no good just the inclusion of IAP. My sincere apologies.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        The problem is you do, quite literally, the exact same thing on nearly every game you play it seems. Oddly enough, you often come to the same conclusion as Godfire in that the game you're complaining about (and potentially even went as far as getting a refund for) is pretty good.

        I'd encourage you to think before you type, and potentially reach a full conclusion on a game before spewing venom on the internet. When you post these crazy knee-jerk reactions all you're doing is spreading toxicity for no reasonable reason I can think of, killing the tone around here, and forcing developers to be on the defensive when all they did was release a cool game.

      • worldcitizen1919

        That's just not true. I've 5 starred many games off the bat. Sorry but I see premium as one price for a full game no IAP. That's just my view.

      • worldcitizen1919

        Godfire is a great game except that for the $8.99 I pad I didn't get the weapons.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-White/1633850433 Matthew White

    There's nothing I hate more than a free to play game they charge money for. I bought this due to the recommendation on this page, but at every turn they are trying to sell you something. and the timer mechanic for levels is the lamest idea ever. Do yourselves a favor and skip this one. 3/10

    • Zeillusion

      You cannot be serious, dude. If not, punch yourself in the throat for me.

    • Marvin

      And how are they trying to make you purchase something at every turn or how is this game a freemium with a premium price?

  • Rohal

    It's a shame that so many people are complaining about good games which cost a few bucks! Have you an idea how long it takes to develop such a game....?

    • Morgan01

      Some of the comments posted here are laughable. I am not a fan of Freemium games where you have to pay to continue or with hidden fees, you are not sure how much you are required to spend. Some Freemium games have even admitted to being designed to make over $100 per player. Here, you have an upfront game with a cost, not required IAP, just optional, and people are complaining? If you want no optional IAP, then may you shouldn't be playing games on a mobile device. Warning, even many console games are including DLC for purchase (DLC is just like IAP).

  • uFinKnow

    Very Unstable game at the moment. Stuck at loading screen. Great game but do not purchase until there is a stability update. Cheers

  • PoloBaquerizoH

    Excellent game totally addictive 5/5 , totally worth !

  • PoloBaquerizoH

    There is no need of IAP , I have been able to buy golden card packs twice without IAP, this game is excellent and really fun

  • karaoke

    Nope. It's a game mechanic, not a paywall. Huge difference!

  • Ryan Grittman

    Just wanted to warn everyone that the fine print reading "This game is optimized for iPhone 5" ended up being more like a minimum device requirement. This is by far the worst performing game that I've ever been allowed to install on my iPhone 4 (iOS 7), average about 5 fps if I had to guess.

    • bilboad

      Usually when it says "Optimized for iPhone 5" that just means it supports widescreen. When you see the device list under the "Compatibility" section in iTunes, it's just listing all the devices which can run the iOS versions the developer specified. Unfortunately the only way Apple provides for developers to specify specific device requirements is in the app description, so it's good to always check the description if you have an older device. Not sure if the developer just added this, but at the end of the app description it says:

      If You Have An iPhone 4:

      We're really sorry but if you have an iPhone 4, Storm Casters will not run well on it. We tried really hard but found that there wasn't much we could do without making the game less fun. We'll keep trying, but in the meantime, please do not buy Storm Casters if you have an iPhone 4.

      • Marvin

        They've already said on the games discussion page that they believe performance will be fixed in one of the next two patches since it seems to be wide spread

      • Ryan Grittman

        Cool, I'll keep an eye out

  • rabbitsamlcs

    Worldcitizen 1919 and Matthew White are jokers.... Whining about IAP even without understanding the game mechanics... The game is absolutely fine and enjoyably playable without having to buy IAP, all cards can be earned, paying IAP or not, the cards are still being earned at random. The timers and the randomness just make u say "oh come on! One more round!" And there u go for another 100 rounds, without realizing it....