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…
We first got our hands on Storm Casters ($0.99) 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.
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.