Reviews

Solomon’s Keep review

Solomon’s Keep is a dungeon crawler where you play the role of a young apprentice. Darkness surrounds you, and hordes of monsters attack you. Thankfully you have a large pointy hat, and the magical abilities that go with it.

The game is a dual stick shooter with the usual touch controls setup. I found the aiming/shooting controls to be somewhat off, and often I have had to fire some extra magical bolts as tracers. This can be a problem since the magic used consumes mana, and it comes in limited supply. Sure it keeps regenerating, but tell that to the poor wizard being chased by 10 zombies.
img_0867Upgrading your character is important to any dungeon crawler walking the Diablo path. In Solomon’s Keep upgrades come frequently, and the focus is on health, mana, walking speed and offensive magic. I found this simplification quite refreshing, and whatever upgrade chosen really affects the game. You get an option of three different upgrades for each level. If none of them are what you look for simply restart the game, and you will get three new options.

The graphics in Solomon’s Keep are quite nice, that is what little you actually get to see. The screen is covered with darkness. Playing this game outside on a sunny day is near impossible, and even inside in good conditions it tires me. Sure it is meant to be a dungeon crawler, but with such a small screen to start with you really need all the estate for the game. img_0868The hero floats in a strange way, and is quite poorly animated in my opinion. The bestiary is more interesting, with quite a good variety. Bosses are large, but as I only see a small part of them due to the surrounding blackness they never feel threatening. At times the game slows down significantly even on an iPhone 3GS. This is most common when opening a portal.

The music and sound effects are quite good. There are some problems with the spoken audio that tends to crack up a bit. The music is your classical haunted dungeon string theme, and you can use your own music instead if you would like to.

img_0869Traveling back to the start lets you purchase items from one of your magical buddies. You can have one staff, and two magic rings equipped. The items found in the game are quite rare, and there is no customization at all.

Solomon’s Keep is a short game that can be beaten within an hour if you are good at dual stick shooters. There are no online scores, achievements or unlockables to warrant a second journey trough the keep. You get a cool list of what you accomplished when the game is over though including number of tweets, and Iraqis liberated.

At a buck Solomon’s Keep might be an interesting diversion for the dual stick shooter and dungeon crawler fan. Technical issues, short game life, and strange design choices makes it less appealing to the casual gamer. I would like to see a lite version for people to try out.

Final Rating

2pt5-stars

Solomon’s Keep $0.99 (get it from Solomon's Keep)
Version: 1.1
Seller: Raptisoft

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  • http://www.touchaholics.com jacques b

    the point of the game, in my opinion, is to play multiple times, and see if the level ups are still as good on you or not! the point of the short story time and random leveling up is to encourage multiple game playthroughs!

  • CowboyB-Puss

    HORRIBLE review KamBlad.
    you seem to miss the point of the game.
    you are a dissapointment to me.

  • John

    Horrible review indeed. I think this game is fantastic and ranks as one of my favorite all time iPhone games. The game must be played more than once and each time discovering new skills, items and abilities is a ton of fun. With version 1.2 out, almost all technical issues were solved and with version 2 just around the corner, more awesomeness is guaranteed (as in a new boss, 13 levels, 2nd play through with the character’s skills intact at a higher difficulty). Overall this game is just simply loads of fun and highly recommended. 5 Stars from me.

  • Torbjorn Kamblad, Sweden

    Thanks for your feedback John, CowboyB and Jacques b. I will give it one more go to see if I can get what you get from this game.

  • CowboyB-Puss

    ok then KamBlad, give it another go and maybe you wont be a dissapointment. ha.

  • shane d.

    I also disagree with your review. I have been playing and playing this game, and while it isn’t without its flaws (the controls can be awkward sometimes, and I’ve gotten myself into situations where I can’t continue), but all in all, it’s quite addictive!

  • WIggleboom

    I agree with the others on here – this game is fantastic and my favourite of all iPhone games. I must have played through it about 25 times now and still look forward to starting over each time with the plan to build my player differently than the last. I only hope that the updates keep coming with longer and bigger stories.

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