Just plain rotten. There are some things us gamers take for granted in modern games. Take, for instance, the savegame. The ability to save our progress at convenient points is what separates Dragon Age from Rogue, and Gears of War from Dark Forces. Rotten City neglects to include this feature in an accessible way, and this one omission drags the rest of the game down with it.
Rotten City has plenty of potential. The game is a sort of top-down Left 4 Dead with RPG elements. The player is thrust into a city filled with infected, and must battle their way to the airport and escape. Rotten City places an emphasis on the acquisition of new weapon types and gems, the game’s currency. Each area contains something interesting, be it railroad tracks or a weapons store. These base mechanics are compelling, but the way the game executes them is off the mark.
Your character levels up in Rotten City, unfortunately the impact is not all that clear, and the game doesn’t even tell you that you have leveled outside of changing a small number in the HUD. Shooting infected can be tricky due to the rigid controls, the whole time you will pine for the infinitely more smooth controls of iDracula. Finding your way out of the city shouldn’t be a cakewalk, but after purchasing a map that doesn’t even include a “you are here” feature you will be both upset and confused. To round out the game’s flaws, the character must walk all the way back to the starting area to save the game. This means you can progress for quite some time, die, and lose all of your progress. Some games I can handle that in, but in an iPhone game this is clearly unacceptable. If you need to leave the game for any reason, you better have enough time to make it all the way back to the beginning- a feat made more difficult due to the game’s cruddy map.
Rotten City feels like a game that can get much better with some obvious updates. The developer has already put some effort into changing the controls, so fixes may well be in store. Until those fixes come, though, Rotten City is a genuinely rotten place to be.
Rotten City is available on the App store for 99 cents
This game was reviewed on a 2nd gen device