It’s a pretty nice week for early releases with both Final Fantasy IX ($20.99) and Ys Chronicles 2 ($4.99) out in the wild and likely sucking up a large portion of everybody’s time. However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with these big ol’ RPGs and looking to cleanse your palate with something a bit more breezy, another really awesome new game just dropped ahead of the normal weekly releases. It’s Happymagenta’s Tomb of the Mask (Free), and the best way I could possibly describe it is it’s as if Pac-Man ($3.99), Downwell ($2.99), and The Last Rocket ($1.99) all had a three-way lovechild (which is totally possible, haven’t you seen The Brothers Solomon?).
The level structure is very much like Downwell, except instead of racing down you’re constantly racing upwards and away from a rising wave of colorful death. When you reach the end of one area you move on to the next very similarly to Downwell. The control scheme is very much like The Last Rocket, as swiping in any of the cardinal directions will fling your character that way, but there’s no stopping or changing directions in the middle of your movement. So you’ll need to strategically decide when and where to leap to so that you’ll be able to continue on up through the level. Finally, it’s like Pac-Man because your character is traveling through very maze-like levels and collecting dots along the way. Could this be the #puppymonkeybaby of iOS?
I haven’t had a chance to dig too deeply into Tomb of the Mask just yet, but in the short amount of time I’ve fiddled around with it it’s proven to be incredibly fun. The level layouts are random with each new run, and as you play you’ll earn experience and level up (just like Downwell!) which unlocks additional special ability masks for your character. The swiping feels super natural and the game moves at a brisk pace but doesn’t feel so fast that it makes me panic, though I’ve definitely already gotten myself through some extremely close calls that had my heart racing. Tomb of the Mask is free to play, but it’s pretty tame. There’s a single in-game currency which you can buy in IAP packs or earn through opt-in ads, and this goes towards buying power-ups. You can also buy a revive with coins or watching an ad. There’s also pop-up ads that can be disabled with a one-time 99¢ IAP.
Overall I’m very impressed with how much I’m enjoying Tomb of the Mask, especially in light of so many high-profile games releasing recently. The players in our forums are digging it too, so if you need an arcadey break from all your RPG’ing, I’d recommend giving it a shot.