Ever since Gameloft's Dungeon Hunter series shifted gears towards a free-to-play model, one of the most frequent requests I've seen come up in the TouchArcade forums has been for a game that could fill the role of a paid substitute for Diablo. Unfortunately, most of the big publishers have little interest in making games like that, and the scope of something like Diablo is just a little beyond the means of most independent developers. We've seen a few attempts, but they usually end up being buggy, feeling incomplete in some regard, or dropping the ball in one of many other ways. Hopes were raised last year when a couple of familiar names from the PC scene were announced for iOS. In the case of one of those names, Torchlight, it was revealed that the game would be modified to fit a free-to-play model, so everything has come to rest on the other: DotEmu's iOS version of Titan Quest [$7.99].

There are a couple of ways to judge the results. As a port, Titan Quest has some issues, and while I'd like to wave them all away, there's no doubt that some players are going to find them to be dealbreakers. The biggest issue comes from the inconsistent framerate. Depending on what's going on, the framerate will bounce up and down, and when it goes down, it goes down hard. I tested the game on both an iPad Air 2 and an iPhone 6S Plus and saw the same issues, so I doubt it's hardware-specific. I'm not generally that concerned about framerates in games like these, but if you are, consider yourself warned. This version of Titan Quest is clearly testing the hardware, and it's finding it to be wanting. There are other things people might not like about this version of the game, such as the lack of multiplayer, the missing expansion, or some of the choices made for adapting the UI and controls.

If we look at Titan Quest relative to other iOS games in the genre, however, it's clearly the best of the lot. It's not even close, really. This particular genre has gone so far down the F2P rabbit hole on mobile that a solid example from the PC market can easily dispense with its competition for those looking for a quality single-player experience. On its home platform, Titan Quest is a good action-RPG that checks most of the important boxes for a Diablo clone, even as it fails to distinguish itself in any capacity beyond its unusual setting. On a platform with no Diablo, no Torchlight, and really very little at all beyond flawed efforts like Iesabel [$0.99], those qualifications are enough to put it at the top of the heap. If you want a single-player game that offers a Diablo-like experience on your mobile device and don't want to be hit with any monetization shenanigans, Titan Quest is unquestionably the best choice for you. It's a big 30-hour adventure with plenty of faces to smash and lots of loot to grab.

Originally released for Windows PCs in 2006, Titan Quest is a hack-and-slash action-RPG that takes you through a few interesting locales. You'll start your adventure in ancient Greece, where it seems the gods have forsaken humanity. Monsters have overrun the countryside and are laying waste to just about everything. You play a hero who arrives in the small town of Helos only to see it under siege from a band of satyrs. Soon enough, you'll find yourself in the presence of the Spartan general Leonidas, who you probably remember as a beardy guy who kicked some other guy into a pit while yelling the name of his city-state. The mission he sends you on will eventually see you traveling not only through Greece, but also through Egypt and the Silk Road in Asia. Titan Quest was designed by Brian Sullivan, who is perhaps best known for being the designer of Age Of Empires.

In terms of mechanics, Titan Quest plays things very safely. If you've played any of the Diablo games, you'll find it pretty easy to slide in and start playing. This familiarity was seen as a detriment back in 2006 on PC, but on iOS in 2016, it's a great selling point. Interestingly, the iOS version of Titan Quest apes Diablo in one new way. When Diablo made its way to the PlayStation back in 1998, its point and click interface was swapped out for direct movement with the dpad and buttons for various functions. Titan Quest does the same, so instead of pointing where you want your character to go and tapping on points of interest, you'll guide them using a virtual stick and interact with objects using a context-sensitive action button.

Special attacks, items, and certain other things are assigned to their own buttons for easy access. Generally, it works fine, but the context-sensitive button can be a problem now and then. You'll want to attack the enemy in front of your face, but the button thinks you want to grab the loot of the corpse of his friend. It corrects itself quickly enough, though. The iOS version makes liberal use of pinching to zoom things in and out, to great effect. While there are still some issues when things get clustered together, with inventory management being a particular hassle at times, the game is surprisingly quite playable on a tiny touchscreen given its origins as a point-and-click PC game.

As I mentioned earlier, Titan Quest suffers from some fairly significant, and somewhat frequent, framerate drops. It's playable, but if that kind of thing bothers you, it's likely going to be an issue. The game also chews through the device's battery quite quickly, so you'll want to be careful about playing it on the road if you can't back to a charger within a reasonable span of time. I also encountered a few collision bugs during the course of playing, but nothing too dramatic. Depending on how your tastes go, the biggest drawback with this port might be the lack of multiplayer. The PC version allowed up to six players to join forces, which not only allowed for some fun interactions with friends, but also made it more feasible to specialize with your character builds. You could plan around another member of your group covering potential weaknesses in your character, but that's not an option here.

Still, I think that just about any character should be able to power through the game on normal difficulty. The higher difficulty levels might rule out certain combinations of Mastery (the game's take on job classes) and skills for a single player, though. I haven't had much time to tinker around with those settings too deeply yet. I wish there were some way to make the multiplayer happen. Titan Quest, like Diablo, is exponentially more enjoyable in groups. While I certainly appreciate having a nice, deep, single-player RPG to sink my teeth into, it would have been nice to have an option to team up with others. Given the price, I'm not too upset about the missing expansion, but it would be nice to see that as possible extra content in the future. New players won't miss it, but anyone coming to the game with previous experience will likely feel a bit of phantom pain.

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In spite of the technical issues and the lack of a multiplayer component, Titan Quest nevertheless manages to be the best game in this genre we've seen on iOS yet. Taken for what it is, this is an impressive single-player action RPG that should be in the library of any iOS RPG fan. The technical issues drag it down somewhat, and if you're sensitive to framerate drops, those problems may very well kill the game for you, but otherwise, there's no reason not to bite on Titan Quest. Action-RPG gems of this size and quality don't hit mobile very often.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Lickzy

    Hit the nail on the head with this review. Well said and accurate. A product with a little more polish and multiplayer would make this an even bigger "game changer" game.

  • Amenbrother

    I love this game for what it is and actually appreciate that its all single player 😜

    • Duane Locsin

      I didn't know about this game until I came across it by accident on dotemu.
      Purchased it straight away, and made my support by giving it a glowing review and telling other likeminded iOS gamers in other forums about it.

      I would be glad to pay more for these full, "console level" non F2P as it is a fresh breath of air after drowning in a sea of F2P/Fremium/multiplayer online only games.

  • JudasKain

    Great review. I just want to stress that I wish in-game text were scaled better for iPhones and that a full screen inventory (gotta be quite deft moving 1 squared items) had been implemented. IMHO this game has more depth in character building than any of the diablos (D2 probably being the most complex of diablos- not counting mods).

    • r10k

      Ya, the text is so tiny I turned on Accessibility Zoom to read any text and see things in the inventory...

  • Fuzzmaster

    I take it there's no controller support then?

    • Shaun Musgrave

      Sadly, no.

      • Lickzy

        Is the lack of co triller support that big of a deal? I feel the interface integrates functionality quite well

      • Duane Locsin

        It depends, I still got the game to show my support, but did put a request (and so did a few others) for MFI to be added in a n update sometime.
        It's like Dues Ex, a full beautiful console class non F2P game, but it is such a shame it does not have MFI. (BUT luckily Titan Quest is far more playable in touch then Dues Ex)

        Max Payne eventually got added MFI support a couple of months ago and I am now able to really play the game and enjoy it more now.

    • Duane Locsin

      That's the only minor thing I don't like, but it controls decently for touch and is fairly deep as Diablo (have Diablo 3 for my PS3 and PS4), so I'm just so glad that it is not F2P and is full "console" level class game on my iPad.

      I don't think it would be too difficult for the devs to add MFI support in some update as I and a few others have already requested it on the games user reviews.

  • Luciano1084

    No multiplayer makes me sad.. I'm just thinking of all the fun I had playing monster hunter.. Obviously different game but teaming up with other players is always fun.. For me at least 🤗🤗🤗

    • Duane Locsin

      Well.... For what its worth if it is as similar to Diablo you could have a NPC be as part of your party. I've been playing it for 40 minutes now and I am able to summon wolves that stay a while as support and I think it apluses to having an NPC as a party member.

      I'm just glad a game like this comes out once in a blue moon.

  • dancj

    If I had more spare time I'd be all over this, but the advertised playtime of "over 60 hours" or even the 30 quoted in the review puts me off a bit. These days I like a game to have a nice 10 hour campaign to work through and then move on to the next game.

    • boydstr

      I like a lengthy game and this one is on that side perfect but if you play on the go I can understand that people want sort levels but I use my phone more than a game device than a phone.

      • dancj

        This type of game I play on my iPad in my chair in the evening, but I manage to grab the odd half an hour to an hour every few days. At that pace,a game like this is too big for me.

      • Duane Locsin

        Treat it like a novel.

        Go through one stage, dungeon or chapter only every time you get a chance to play and have all your smaller games to fill in for all those other times.

  • GiHubb

    Would you put Battleheart Legacy in the same Diablo-like category?

    • Montanx HS

      No, not really at all.

      • gmattergames

        But still a fabulous game.

  • nezuja

    This review is spot on.

  • http://aggromagnetgames.com/ Aggro Magnet Games

    The control scheme is virtual joystick + buttons? 🙁

    I have to imagine that the developers experimented with a "touch to move / touch to attack" interface, and it just didn't pan out.

    That UI scheme worked great in Crashlands, though, which is a similar top-down action RPG. I wonder why they couldn't get it to work similarly well here?

    • StumbleSojourn

      Well, Titan Quest's action is a little more frantic, so I could see the direct control scheme being a boon on mobile devices.

  • Montanx HS

    Its a really awesome game but the fact remains, we are still waiting for that perfect multiplayer diablo-like on mobile. Its like the white whale, the holy grail, the infinity blade: dungeons of myth and legend...

    • Duane Locsin

      I understand as I've got Diablo 3 on my consoles...
      But I am glad a game like Titan Quest is on iOS and hopefully will encourage more devs/publishers to release more of these kind of games once in a blue moon then drowning in a sea of F2P/Freemium/Online multiplayer ONLY games.

      This game is long enough it may even help tide me over when they put BioShock back on the iOS store............maybe.

  • Dragontears969

    From a technical side my biggest worry with the game is I left it running in the background while connected to my PC to charge last night and woke up this morning with 18% battery, less than I went to bed with. True my PC charging is slower than some of the car chargers and wall chargers but to have a game running in the background drain more than I can charge? Hopefully, that was just a one time thing.

    Gameplay wise I'm sad about the expansion missing, mainly because of the lack of a storage space. Not only does that mean no ability to transfer items between characters but you have to store all of your runes and charms in your inventory, which is really annoying. Also makes set items almost useless. Other than that, I can live with not having the arguably most powerful mastery unavailable.

    • dancj

      If the game is running in the background and using power then it doesn't abide by Apples rules. They're very strict about what apps can do in the background.

  • Kloke

    A warning, I played last night a lot and today a lot. I save before I log every time. I saved before lunch, level 10, Dual classed, in full blues except my bow and helm.

    After lunch, just now, launched the game and I am level 6 with none of that gear anymore...

    Done with the game till they patch. The achievements on IOS still show all of my stuff unlocked but I cannot afford to play a game only to lose all my progress, especially as it's a grind fest for loot.

    It took hours of farming the Centaur boss to get that stuff. Just a warning for those on 6s+.

    • ironsam80

      You are lucky. I launched at level 3 back at the first village. Many hours and loot wasted. Cannot imagine this happen at 20hours of gameplay. For me on the ice too till a patch. Same situation with the achievements but on iPad Air, so it must be something random and not devise-wise.

      • gmattergames

        I've had to be diligent in saving, mainly due to frequent crashes, which has caused progress to be lost.

    • boydstr

      Seriously Is there nobody that testing these games? because there are a lot off save issues with the game I don't understand that they bring an product with such problems in the good old PS days these problems didn't exist.

  • Schpank

    It's the best PC-quality action RPG on iOS yet, and a steal at $6.99. I haven't yet encountered many real frame rate issues (iPad Air 2). Buy this game and show developers they don't have to turn into f2p turd factories to survive on the mobile platform! 😊

    • Duane Locsin

      It's one of the best. Let's not forget KOTOR
      🙂
      Everything else I am in 100% agreement.

  • Michael Lyons

    Good review. Thanks for that. I am thrilled to see this come to iOS and plan to pick it up soon. I do hope also that they'll later release the expansion content as an IAP. I'd be fine with that myself. I am especially glad they didn't ruin it with freemium monetization. I really hate paywalls and it isn't a case of wanting a free lunch. I am fine with paying for a good game or app. I just want them to let me and not design around that which results in poor, compromised game design. So hat's off to dotemu here and other developers who do it right.

  • Cronq

    It's really disappointing that the only way to get good games on iOS is to port games from consoles and PC's. Modern mobile developers seem completely incapable of producing deep, full game titles... or the platform just rewards laziness. I'm guessing the latter.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      It's more that there just isn't the money to develop these kind of games exclusively for mobile. The majority of iOS gamers straight up will not spend money on anything, full stop. DotEmu can make porting these games work because 95% of the dev budget was sunk on the PC version.

      • gmattergames

        I've always felt iOS was prime for a port of Fallout 1 & 2; they seem to fit the bill.

      • Kahdmus

        Could not agree more!!!!

      • Duane Locsin

        Oh PLEASE LET THIS HAPPEN!!!

        I have saved so much money not getting F2P/Freemiums/online multiplayer only games that naturally it will go to "console" class premium games like this.

        Candy Crush. Pffttt......

      • boydstr

        That's what's wrong in the AppStore these days with all the so called "FTP"the majority off people think it's free and so there is an attitude that when an premium game comes to the AppStore people don't spend money because most off the games are for free so why should they spending on a paid game,it's a real shame.

      • Duane Locsin

        What they don't realize a lot of them end up spending a lot more on those kind of games because they don't tally how much they spend in 6 months to year on a F2P/Freemium game(s), and they may have OCD that is being exploited.

        They have to ask themselves one day how publishers are able to make huge $$$$ on something that is "free", and why they are too broke to buy a $5-$15 game.

  • Bob Evanston

    I loved Titan Quest. Better than diablo for me.

  • scottsoapbox

    Can ports win game of the week?

    • Duane Locsin

      Better then a F2P/Freemium/online only multiplayer getting a game of the week.

  • JaytB

    Thanks for the great review and I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said.
    Imagine the fun if multiplayer ever got implemented! One can hope right? It would be even more of a home run.
    This is the first game on mobile since long that got me exited. Hopefully many people will buy this game so the devs could consider adding the missing parts mentioned in the review.

  • Alexythimia23

    I love original games but i love it even more when game are ported to ios ✌🏼️

  • heringer

    I thought the review was too lenient, although well written as usual with Shaun's reviews. Yes, it's a great game, but the port is subpar. Frame rate issues, stuttering and unresponsive controls. I really hope DoTEmu fix this, but I'm tempted to ask for a refund.

  • PalmerZeldritch

    Somebody has probably said this, but I haven't come across it. Touch Arcade has this listed as iPhone only, but I think the AppStore says it plays on iPads. Does this need changed?

  • Prail

    Poorly done port.... The framerate stutters pretty bad on my 6S+.

    The battery drain is insane as well. I'd wager about 1.5% per minute. Would be surprised if you could okay for much more than an hour from a full charge... Again on a 6s+

    It does appear to continue to drain the battery very quickly even when closed. So the phone is still doing something with it in the background that sucks it dry.

    • Kristof-Karolj Bodric

      Well, it's a PC game, so I don't know what you expected. Besides, how do you play this on such a tiny screen?

  • Taeles

    One tiny nitpick, the original diablo when it hit the playstation back in 1998 didnt use a dual stick control system, it used a point click system where left stick moved a square around on screen and right button sent your character to where the square was pointing. and it was god aweful 🙂

    tq on iOS actually behaves more like diablo 3 on the xbox360/one and ps3/4, much much much better 🙂

    • Shaun Musgrave

      Maybe there was a different version? The one I have here that I was playing last week uses direct character control with the dpad.

  • Pedro Rama da Silva

    Strangely enough i have not had any framerate problems on my ipod6 but the battery yes it is a pity.they will probably tweak it in the future

  • dalglir

    I freaking love this port. Looks great on Apple TV too. Just: the aforementioned preference for looting over staying alive is the only thing to drag this down for me. I don't notice the occasional framerate chugs and i don't care. This is one of my favourite ARPGs: in my pocket. Well done DotEmu. What a time to be alive.

  • Naraka

    Thanks for the review. But surprised my deal breaker not mentioned, not universal, almost bought till I saw that SD. Is there any was to add a little controller icon near the SD to show controller support. While not a deal breaker it's often a deal maker. Thanks.

    • Shaun Musgrave

      It's a universal app. I'm not sure what's up with its listing here, but if you check in the App Store, it has the universal mark.

  • M0rdresh

    They should have added multiplayer, or consider it for next update.
    It's technically viable as others demonstrated.

  • Kristof-Karolj Bodric

    At least it's not a worthless freemium exploitation. This is an epic game at a ridiculously affordable price.

  • DarkAdamm

    I am 10 hours in. I am level 9. I am playing on my iPad Air 2. I am really enjoying the game. It crashed on me once but it saved everything. I haven't noticed any extra drain. I did turn off my wifi and that always helps my battery life. I hope enough people get this that they will continue porting games like this.

  • tommet

    It's an interesting comment on the state of iOS gaming when the best game in ages is a 10 year old PC port.

  • vapourtrail

    Wish they had added Dream mastery from the original expansion. Wasn't thinking and ran Hunting to pair with Dream only to realize not there at lvl8 unlock.

    • runesnatcher

      Same here...what is a good alternative?

      • sickbigbrother

        Playing a conquerer myself (Warfare/Defense) but looked through a few forums for you. Consensus seems Nature (Ranger) or Rogue (Brigand) being the best second masteries for a Hunter.

        Hope this helped.

        For the game, really liking it despite a few issues. Not experiencing too much battery drain but got plenty of crashes so far (game always saved though). And the controls are pretty unresponsive at times. No ultimate dealbreakers though.

  • criticalmass239

    Having issues with my battery draining after downloading this game. Anyone else having similar issues?

  • Bloody Mary

    Why it is iPhone only?
    On your movies you play on iPad...
    Release iPad version!

  • iOS_Gamer

    I can't find anywhere that says whether this game works with the Steelseries Nimbus or not. Does anyone know?

    • Shaun Musgrave

      No controller support at all, sorry.

      • iOS_Gamer

        Oh poop. Ok cheers Shaun.

  • Duane Locsin

    This game is FANTASTIC!
    I am so happy there is another "console" level game on iOS, that is not F2P and a great port.
    Frame rates aside, Diablo3 also suffered that on the PS3 when things got crazy on screen so, but if there is more development or ports of these games in increasing levels of more powerful mobile devices then it will not be an issue much longer.

    I have added this game to my collection of full 'console level' premium games like KOTOR, shadow run, XCOM, dues ex, Baldurs gate, GTA series etc.. on my iPad and is becoming my mobile console on the go.

  • Carabak

    Agreed this game is EPIC, to be able to play a full 3D RPG on IOS without freemium is just unbelievable.

  • Scott Dobbin

    The game is very buggy, can't get past the Athen Docks, game won't let me talk to the Captain, should play the game thoroughly before reviewing it, game is broken and needs to be fixed.

    • Shaun James Musgrave

      Hi Scott. I cleared the game prior to writing the review, and other than a crash at the end, I didn't run into any game-breaking bugs. It's very possible some new bugs have crept into subsequent versions, though. I wish it were possible to keep reviews updated with each new update, but it's just not feasible.

      Be sure to let Dotemu know. I know they're pretty good about fixing bugs as long as they are aware of them. Heck, I can let them know for you. Which version of the game are you playing, iOS or Android?

      • Scott Dobbin

        I am playing Android on a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, game is fun, the only problem is I'm stuck on the Athens Docks, game won't let me go to Crete, and I have beaten all the quests in Greece. Thanks for replying back.

      • Shaun James Musgrave

        Thanks. I'll let DotEmu know.

Titan Quest Reviewed by Shaun Musgrave on . Rating: 4.5