Brave Dwarves, now that has got to be the perfect title for me to review. I am from Sweden, land of the Vikings, and the dwarves look a bit like small Vikings. I am also short with stumpy legs, and I consider myself at least moderately brave. Perfect for a brave dwarf to review Brave Dwarves then.
Brave Dwarves is a action platformer with a massive amount of levels to beat, 100 in fact. You can choose to play either as axe wielding warrior or as a magic wielding wizard. Both heroes have an impressive array of attacks that you unlock as you progress. You collect orbs of magic to refill your attack capability. To progress you have to find three keys on each level, and find the door to exit. Levels get bigger and enemies get harder as you trudge on. There are boss battles for every 20 levels you complete, which is too seldom I think.
The touch controls are really good, nimble and responsive with a control pad at the bottom left. Multitouch is working letting you jump, steer and attack in one swift move. Actually the best controls I have encountered in a platformer. There are tilt controls for movement as well which I didn’t like as much but they do work.
Music and the majority of sound effects are good. The soundtrack is a bit out of place with up-tempo techno. You can play your own music and keep the sound effects, which is a feature I really like.
Game life is more or less unlimited with a whopping 100 levels. There is a level select letting you replay levels, how to distinguish between the 100 levels I don’t know. There is a map and the different areas have their own style.
Trying out new weapons is kind of cool, and there is a lot of them. I still prefer to jump around with an axe though.
The game is too repetitive; the 100 levels have the same objectives that gets old quickly. I got bored at level four, and trudging on just to collect gold felt like torture.
The graphics are good when nothing is moving. Bats, snakes and other enemies tend to blend in with the background and collectable items. This tendency for the graphics to merge into a mess is tiring both to the eyes and gameplay. Add enemies that respawn to that and it becomes truly painful. Small blue bats keep killing me because I don’t see them once I have killed them, and suddenly they reappear. An overhaul of the graphics is needed to remove the clutter. I am not saying that the textures, animations or objects look bad rather that there is too much going on. Most iPhone titles are sparse in the graphics department, and Brave Dwarves is the first game I have seen that suffers from too much graphics.
Brave Dwarves is hard to rate as it does a lot of things right, and at the same time I get bored playing it. Repetition, blending textures and lack of incentive to continue are major downers spoiling the experience. There is a lite version that I can recommend if you want to try a platformer that gets the touch controls right.