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‘Justice Royale’ First Impressions – It Could be a Knockout

I am lucky enough to be in the position to play Justice Royale  by Zapling Studios during it’s soft release here in Australia. You are lucky enough to be in a position to read my first impressions before its hard launch in the App Store on the 30th May, 2018. It’s a win, win, situation. I downloaded ‘Justice Royal’ thinking it would be just another brawler, I thought I would play a few times and then quickly lose interest in the beat ’em up fun and move on to the next game. I was wrong.

Justice Royale is a amusing little beat ’em up with a cute story told in comic like cut scenes at the beginning of each episode. It is fun to play through the beginning episodes, and with five different difficulty levels you can play as an unstoppable hero or try something harder. The few hours I have played so far have been quite enjoyable, I am yet to beat the boss fight, even on easy, but that’s ok I like my games to be challenging.

The game description mentions you can change the appearance of your avatar and you can, albeit only the colour of your hero’s hair, skin, and clothes. Personally, this adds nothing extra to the game and I am just as happy with the default avatar look. Speaking of looks, the game design is simplistic, but purposefully so. The emphasis in ‘Justice Royal’ is fast and furious fun, my favorite episodic levels are the ones with ten rounds of opponents, each round getting harder than the last.

Unassuming, rolling backgrounds with generic characters drawn as not much more than stick people work really well to give Justice Royale a classic arcade fighter feel. A few minutes of playing had me feeling quite nostalgic for my high school days, feeding coins to the arcade machines with friends at the fish ‘n’ chip shop, hoping a teacher didn’t come along and bust us all playing hookey.

The touch screen controls are easy to pick up, you use a series of swipes and taps with your right thumb while keeping your left thumb on the screen to move like a joystick and control direction. Even though the control schematics are simple they are the cause a very annoying issue for those, who like me are iPhone X users. Imagine, you’re in the heat of battle, swiping like your pixelated life depends on it (which it does), suddenly you’re staring at your wallpaper or opening something from your multitasked apps.

The game pauses when you leave suddenly, so I haven’t lost a life as a direct result of the iPhone issue, however it is quite jarring and frustrating when it happens again and again in the same battle. I hope this issue is something the developers can look into as it is the only flaw I noticed. It’s a big one however, and one that has me putting my phone down in frustration and walking away from what is otherwise a very engaging and awesomely fun brawler.

Even though I put the game down in frustration when it keeps getting confused over the swipe gestures and dumping me out, I keep going back. It’s just fun, pure and simple, nothing too taxing on the mind is involved. The issue with swiping yourself right out of the game is worse when you are in a big fight, such as the boss or higher difficulties. In my opinion, it is not an insurmountable flaw, bigger bugs have been fixed. Even with the occasional frustration Justice Royale is an enjoyable game, I am still playing it and am definitely recommending anyone who loves a classic brawler to download it as soon as it is launched.

Justice Royale provides you with a lobby playlist, songs composed for the game are unlocked as you finish the episodes. Juist like the rest of the game the songs are unassuming and fun to listen to. Zappling studio have produced an entertaining game with a classic feel. Chances are if you try it you will be left hooked (see what I did there?) and wanting more. So, strap on your gloves and start practicing ‘Justice Royale’ is coming soon to an App Store near you.