Back in July we learned that Plug in Digital would be bringing ScourgeBringer, the fast-paced rogue-lite action platformer from Flying Oak Games, to iOS and Android devices, and friends that day has finally come. The game originally launched on PC and console in October of 2020, and in his assessment of the Nintendo Switch release from back then, our own Shaun Musgrave mused that ScourgeBringer “genuinely feels like someone looked at Celeste and Dead Cells and saw a chance for a chocolate and peanut butter moment." Indeed, if you take satisfying combat and extensive skill tree and loot mechanics of Dead Cells but threw in some of that wonderful air-dash-based platforming of Celeste, that’s a rough back-of-the-box explanation of ScourgeBringer. Shaun also noted that this sort of thing very easily “could have gone badly" but thankfully that’s not the case here.
Of course, even if you haven’t played ScourgeBringer before you’d likely look at that trailer and wonder to yourself “How the heck is such a fast-paced game going to play with virtual controls?" Well for this new mobile release, we can again make a Dead Cells comparison by way of that game’s excellent mobile version. Plug in Digital has implemented an auto-attack so that whenever your character gets close up to an enemy she’ll just melee away at it until it’s good and smashed. If you’re a ScourgeBringer veteran from other platforms then you might think this would water down the experience, and perhaps it does somewhat, but as is the case with mobile Dead Cells and its auto-attack feature, this change absolutely retains the fun and overall vibe of the original game while removing what would have likely been a very frustrating virtual controls experience.
I think that whatever may have been sacrificed in depth of combat was worth it considering how exhilarating an experience ScourgeBringer still is on mobile. One thing I will point out though is that, unlike Dead Cells on mobile where you can toggle the auto-attack on or off, it appears the only way you’re able to disable this feature in ScourgeBringer on mobile is by connecting and using a physical controller. I’m someone who never played Dead Cells until its mobile release, so I loved the auto-attack feature in the beginning while I was slowly learning the ropes of the game, but there did come a point when I wanted something more out of the experience and so I appreciated being able to switch auto-attack off so I could learn how to play the game as it was originally intended.
There may be a point where I feel similarly about the auto-attack in ScourgeBringer and wish I could turn it off, but let me just reiterate that at this point in time it’s not an issue and I’m having an absolute blast with this version. I should also point out that there’s another pretty big change with the virtual control scheme in that your dashing is now mapped to simply swiping in any direction on the virtual analog stick, and I have to say that this change feels really great. At the risk of bringing a third comparison into the fold, it feels very much like ScourgeBringer: Dandara Edition. Swiping to zip around and pulling off insane air-based combos makes the whole experience feel like an incredibly awesome airborne ninja ballet.
Rather than looking at these new control assists as watering down the experience, I’d almost look at it like it’s just offering an entirely new way to play ScourgeBringer, with the original way to play still available for anyone with a controller. It’s kind of awesome, actually. Whatever way you choose to play, ScourgeBringer on iOS and Android is seemingly a fantastic port for mobile devices, and players in our forums seem to agree. It’s a pay-once experience on both platforms too, so if you’re craving action-packed premium experience this one gets a hearty recommendation from me.