TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Watcher Chronicles’

TouchArcade Rating:

The term “Souls-like" gets tossed around almost as much as Rogue-like nowadays, so it’s not always easy to understand what that actually means when a game says it’s a Souls-like or Souls-inspired. For myself, I take it to mean an action game that has an intricate combat system that rewards patience and skill over wild button mashing, and isn’t afraid to kill you in an instant if you do hack and slash away carelessly. In that context Watcher Chronicles from Third Sphere Game Studios does back up its Souls-like claim and it does so in a way that is surprisingly efficient and well-suited to mobile touchscreen play.

You are a lost soul wandering Purgatory, and your job in Watcher Chronicles is to battle through dungeons laying waste to all sorts of enemies before squaring up against ginormous bosses, 20 of them in total across the whole game, in your effort to fend off a bunch of crumb bums who are trying to turn Purgatory into the next Hell. It’s a 2D side-scrolling game that takes place on a single plane, and combat consists of 5 basic moves: Your main melee attack, a special ranged attack, a dodge roll, jumping, and blocking. It sounds overly simple, but when an enemy can down you in a single hit or two, you really need to make strategic use of all these actions.

There is of course limited Stamina and Energy bars to make sure you can’t spam any one move too much, so if you’re a card-carrying member of the Button Masher Club then you’re going to have to adapt. Honestly that’s what makes these Souls-like games so fun. Yes they can seem unfair at times, but putting in the effort to learn boss patterns or how certain enemies attack and then using that knowledge to best them in combat by utilizing all your capabilities is an incredibly rewarding experience. That’s true in massive open world 3D games like Elden Ring, and it’s true in this more streamlined 2D world of Watcher Chronicles.

There is of course a bunch of weapons and gear for you to find during your adventuring, and another big part of the Souls-like appeal is a healthy RPG-like progression system to glue everything together. Watcher Chronicles has that going for it too. If you aren’t sure if this type of game is for you or not, I can say it gives me heavy vibes of playing the excellent Grimvalor several years ago, if that helps you. Also you can just download the game and play through the whole first area for free, with the full game available as a one-time IAP, so really the best thing to do would be to give this one a shot for yourself and see if a Souls-like experience is your bag or not.

  • Watcher Chronicles

    Play the first area for free. In-app purchase the full game. 14+ hours first playthrough with new game+. Full controller…
    Buy Now