Descend review

Something bad has happened at the Temple of Amlyn, and you have been sent out by the king to find out exactly how bad it is. Priests have been abducted, and that forebodes something evil. After creation of two heroes you set out to clean up the mess, and find those priests.

Descend is a turn based RPG in true old school fashion. There are quite a few of these around for iOS such as Undercroft, and The Quest series. Descend tries to infuse the genre with a higher definition graphics engine, and that is something that it succeeds with. All other aspects of the game have gone down the drain in the process instead.

bild22Playing Descend is not fun, and the first thing that brings me down is the lack of a map. Now you wander around aimlessly through corridors, and have to remember what turns you have taken. This is 2011, and I refuse to use pen and paper, or my iPad to draw my routes. The developers understood some of these concerns as they removed the completely ridiculous hunger aspect of the game. Before the latest update the heroes died of hunger when being lost in the mazes, and to me that isn’t the least fun. It also hindered any kind of exploration. Without a map exploration becomes a must, and when I have stumbled upon the same door five times without finding any keys my patience was gone. Add to this a meagre selection of potions to find, and random enemy encounters you get a shoddy attempt at creating a game. After about twenty minutes your heroes are almost dead, and finding potions is near impossible. At that point you are left with restarting the game, or removing it from your device. Your choice, I know how I chose.

The RPG elements are light, and limited to making sure the random dice for stats when you create your characters show as much as possible. Levelling up refills life, and increases stats. There is no skill distribution, or skill tree in the game. Heck your heroes are just as useful as the computer support team for schools in Sweden. Walking into walls hurts them, even if it is sideways.

Touching arrows does walking about, and once in a while you encounter a fiend. Taking turns in dishing out the pain is slow, and painfully devoid of excitement. You can see who the enemy will attack next, and choose to defend instead of attacking.

bild13There is no pause screen, no quest summary and not much of an inventory screen. I have not found any merchants, or other ways to get new weapons. Overall this is not a finished product, and it should never have been released in this state.

The graphics look great with cool lighting effects, and a nice gleam to surfaces. Most enemies also look really cool, albeit there is a lack of battle animations. Sound is limited to footsteps, grunts of battle, and grunts of walking into walls. No music to set the mood is really weird for an RPG.

Descend can be seen as a rather expensive tech demo of how the graphics could look in a 3d turn based RPG. The game is not there at all. I can’t recommend this half-baked game to anyone but those who are interested in the graphics. The game lacks nerve, action and purpose.

Final Rating


Descend $3.99
Version: 1.1
Seller: Steve Jarman

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    Dear developers,
    Your game suck’s compared to almost any RPG on the App store
    Signed, the world

  • gh3ry0n

    Dear World,

    You fail.

    Descend is a one-man-made RPG, a first try with (i agree) some flaws but also some obvious perks. It is also one of the only grid & 1st person RPG on the appstore with decent graphics, a real level of difficulty and some new ideas (as you’re forced to consider who the enemy is targeting before taking action).
    You may prefer KRPG@tinywhinysmallbuttonmyfingerscanneverreachwithoutactivating3otherskillsatthesametime, but I won’t blame you.

    Signed, a RPG fan.


    Dear RPG fan, I have played way more challenging RPG’s then this like the first Zenonia. You don’t know the meaning of hard until you play that. Now if you excuse me, I am going to play the far superior, Alaron,Sword and Shadow.

  • gh3ry0n

    This is obviously where you got it wrong : a game isn’t good nor bad from a comparison with other games.

    I enjoy playing Descend as much as The Quest or Aralon, or nearly all of the many RPG I’ve installed. Each of them has its own perks and flaws and as long as the firsts overtake the last, it suits me.

    This judgement is obviously based on the fact that I’m lucky enough to be able to afford all those games, I admit it. But I can’t help thinking that comparing isn’t always a good way to review a game (well, it never is in fact to me…).

    And I’m sure you understood the pun about KRPGs : their style (graphics & mechanics) just doesn’t suit me, that’s all… I won’t blame anyone for playing them. For now.

  • Quickmix

    Great Game.
    It looks like Dungeon Master and Lands of Lore!

  • Vince


    rofl…that’s like saying Eternal Legacy looks like Final Fantasy X.