Hands On With the iPhone's First Fantasy Action Game

Illustration for article titled Hands On With the iPhone's First Fantasy Action Game

Remember that stunning God of War-esque iPhone game shown off at the World Wide Developers Conference in January? The one that looked like a pretty amazing action game featuring a hammer-wielding barbarian? Well it's out on the App Store. I noticed Kroll last night while doing my semi-regular App Store check on my iPhone and immediately bought it. In the game you play as a barbarian named Delon off to find Kroll, the Lord of Life, last of the seven mage lords, and use his power to return a loved one back to life. I'm sorta guessing here, because the plot is ultra light, though delivered inside the illustrated pages of a digital book.

Illustration for article titled Hands On With the iPhone's First Fantasy Action Game

I've played through the first two levels so far and it seems like your typical side-scrolling action fare. You play the game holding the iPhone sideways. To move you touch the transparent arrows at the bottom of your screen. To attack you touch one of four transparent hammer icons, two on each side of the screen. The top icon delivers a heavy attack and the bottom a regular attack. Touching the left ones attacks to your left and the right attacks to your right. I found that by tapping between the two types of attacks or repeatedly tapping the same attack you can pull off a couple of mini combos.As you fight you build up life energy which can power up your weapon, making the hammer larger and spikier. The weapon auto upgrades as you battle, but maxes at after two upgrades. Those upgrades disappear if you die, but having them prevents you from starting the level over, instead you lose the upgrade but revive on the spot. You can also pull off a special attack, if you save up power earned through kills, by either tapping Delon or shaking the iPhone. I found that shaking works better, because if you miss with the tap you pause the game. Which can get a little annoying. The levels are broken up into long crawls across the screen battle bad guys and end with a boss fight that involves tapping icons that appear on the screen. The animation for these fights, and the game overall, is some of the best I've seen in an iPhone to date. So far it appears that the game is relatively light on variety, really only giving you the option to slug it out as you move left to right through the world. Of course I'm only two levels in, but I suspect that is what the game is, an old-school button masher, a screen masher, if you will. What I would like to see, and perhaps will find, are more weapons, power-ups, something to reward me for my dungeon crawl. Having said that, I'm still really enjoying Kroll so far. Let's just hope it's longer than the three levels it shows on the current page of the book I'm on.



THS s fr fntsy fns wth btch tts wh rg whthr lrd vldmrt cld bt gnflf n fntsy mssgbrds, y ll sck y nd yr pthtc nln cmmnts

Pncch (prnncd [pËnÉkËj] n tln) s fctnl chrctr tht frst pprd n 1883, n Th dvntrs f Pncch by Crl Clld, nd hs snc pprd n mny dpttns f tht stry nd thrs. Crvd frm pc f pn by wdcrvr nmd Gpptt n smll tln vllg, h ws crtd s wdn pppt, bt drmt f bcmng rl by. Th nm Pncch s Tscn wrd mnng "pn nt" (th stndrd tln trm s pnl prnncd [pËnÉËl]).



* 1 Fctnl chrctr bgrphy

1.1 rgns

1.2 Th mrntt thtr

1.3 ncntr wth th Fx nd th Ct

1.4 Frst mtng wth th Fry

1.5 Th cty f Ctchfls

1.6 Th frmr

1.7 Th Rtrn f th Fry

1.8 s dnky

1.9 Trdtnl ndng

* 2 pprncs n pplr cltr

* 3 Nts

* 4 xtrnl lnks

[dt] Fctnl chrctr bgrphy

[dt] rgns

Bgnnng lf s smpl pn lg, Pncch s gvn t mn clld Mstr Clg, wh plns t crv hm nt lg fr hs tbl. Whn h bgns, hwvr, lttl vc crs, "N, y hrt m!" Dstrbd by th tlkng lg, Mstr Clg cntns t crv th pc f wd, whn gn th lttl vc wls t's pn. Bcmng frstrtd nd cnfsd, Mstr Clg vntlly gvs p tryng t crv th wd, nd nds p gvng t t hs frnd, th crpntr Gpptt, wh crvs wdn dlls.

s Gpptt crvs th pppt, th ns bgns t grw.

s Gpptt crvs th pppt, th ns bgns t grw.

s sn s Pncch's ns hs bn crvd, t bgns t grw wth hs cngntl mpdnc. nc th pppt hs bn fnshd nd Gpptt tchs hm t wlk, Pncch rns t th dr nd wy nt th twn. H s cght by crbnr, bt whn ppl rvl tht Gpptt dslks chldrn, th crbnr ssms tht Pncch hs bn bsd nd mprsns Gpptt.

nc Pncch rrvs hm, Th Tlkng Crckt, wh hs lvd n th hs fr vr cntry, tlls hm tht bys wh d nt by thr prnts grw p t b dnkys. n rtltn, Pncch thrws hmmr t th crckt, mr ccrtly thn h ntndd t, nd ccdntlly klls t.

nbl t fnd fd n th hs, Pncch crs hmslf t slp wth hs ft pn th stv. Th nxt mrnng h wks t fnd tht hs ft hv brnt ff. Hs fthr, wh hs bn rlsd frm jl nd hs wth hm thr prs fr ml, mks hs sn nw pr f ft. Snc Pncch sys h s strvng, Gpptt gvs hm th prs nd tchs Pncch t wst nthng. n grttd, Pncch prmss t g t schl. Snc Gpptt hs n mny t by schl bks, h slls hs nly ct.

[dt] Th mrntt thtr

Pncch hds ff t schl, bt n th wy h hrs msc nd crwds. Crs, h fllws th snds ntl h fnds hmslf n crwd f ppl, ll cngrgtd t s th Grt Mrntt Thtr. nbl t wthstnd th rg, h slls hs schl bk fr tckts t th shw. Drng th prfrmnc, th pppts Hrlqn, Pnch, nd Sgnr Rsr (wh r n stg) s Pncch nd stp ctng, cryng t, "t s r brthr Pncch!" Whl th pppts rjc, hwvr, th dnc grws ngry, nd th thtr drctr, Mngfc, cms t t s wht s gng n. pst, h brks p th xctmnt nd dcds t s Pncch s frwd t ck hs lmb dnnr. ftr Pncch plds t b svd, Mngfc gvs n nd dcds t brn Hrlqn. ftr Pncch plds fr Hrlqn's slvtn, Mngfc gvs p. Whn h lrns bt Pncch's pr fthr, h gvs th mrntt fv gld pcs fr Gpptt.

[dt] ncntr wth th Fx nd th Ct

Mn rtcl: Fx nd th Ct

s Pncch hds hm t gv th cns t hs fthr, h mts fx (wh prtnds t b lm) nd ct (wh prtnds t b blnd) n th sd f th rd. Thy tll hm tht f h plnts hs cns n th Fld f Mrcls, tsd th cty f Ctchfls, thn thy wll grw nt tr wth thsnd gld cns. Blvng thm, Pncch hds ff n jrny t Ctchfls wth th Ct nd Fx. n th wy thy stp t th nn f th Rd Lbstr, whr th Fx nd Ct grg thmslvs n fd t Pncch's xpns. Drng th nght, th nnkpr wks Pncch, syng tht th Fx nd Ct hv lft n n mrgncy, bt wll mt p wth Pncch n Ctchfls.

Pncch mts Th Fx nd th Ct, s drwn by nrc Mzznt

Pncch mts Th Fx nd th Ct, s drwn by nrc Mzznt

s Pncch sts ff fr Ctchfls, th ghst f th Tlkng Crckt pprs, tllng hm t g hm nd gv th cns t hs fthr. Pncch gnrs hm gn, hwvr, nd sts ff fr Ctchfls. s h psss thrgh frst, th Fx nd Ct, dsgsd s bndts, jmp t nd try t rb Pncch. Th mrntt hds th cns n hs mth nd rns p tr, bt th bndts kndl fr ndrnth t. Pncch jmps dwn nd thy try t pry hs mth pn, bt h bts th Ct's hnd ff nd scps dpr nt th frst. s Pncch rns thrgh th frst, h ss wht hs hd. Stppng t knck n th dr, h s grtd by Th Fry wth Trqs Hr. Hwvr, s h spks t hr, th bndts ctch hm nd hng hm n tr. ftr whl th Fx nd Ct gt trd f wtng fr th mrntt t sffct nd lv.

[dt] Frst mtng wth th Fry

Th Fry wth Trqs Hr snds flcn nd pdl t rsc Pncch, nd sh clls n thr fms dctrs t tll hr f Pncch s dd r nt. Th frst tw (n wl nd crw) r ncrtn, bt th thrdâth Tlkng Crckt â knws tht Pncch s fn nd tlls th mrntt tht h hs bn dsbdnt nd hrt hs fthr.

Th Trqs Fry sks Pncch whr th gld cns r. Pncch ls, syng h hs lst thm. s h tlls ths l (nd mr) hs ns bgns t grw ntl t s s lng h cnnt trn rnd n th rm. Th Fry xplns t Pncch tht t s hs ls tht r mkng hs ns grw lng, thn clls n flck f wdpckrs t chsl dwn hs ns.

â Thr r tw knd f ls, ls wth shrt lgs nd ls wth lng nss. Yrs...hppn t hv lng nss. â

[dt] Th cty f Ctchfls

Pncch nd th Trqs Fry dcd t bcm brthr nd sstr, nd th Fry snds fr Gpptt t cm lv wth thm n th frst. Pncch hds t t mt hs fthr, bt n th wy h mts th fx nd ct gn (whm h hd nt rcgnzd s th bndts, vn thgh h hs hnt frm th ct's bndgd frnt pw—whch h hd bttn rlr; th fx tlls hm th ct hd shwn mstkn kndnss t wlf). Thy rmnd Pncch f th Fld f Mrcls, nd fnlly h grs t g wth thm nd plnt hs gld. ftr hlf dy's jrny, thy rch th cty f Ctchfls. vryn n th twn hs dn smthng xcdngly flsh nd nw sffrs s rslt.

Whn thy rch th "Fld f Mrcls", Pncch brs hs gld thn rns ff t wt th twnty mnts t wll tk fr hs gld t grw. ftr twnty mnts h rtrns, nly t fnd n tr ndâvn wrsân gld cns. Rlzng wht hs hppnd, h gs t Ctchfls nd tlls th jdg bt th fx nd ct. Th jdg (s s th cstm n Ctchfls) snds Pncch t prsn fr hs flshnss. Whl n prsn, hwvr, th mprr f Ctchfls dclrs clbrtn, nd ll prsnrs r st fr.

s Pncch hds bck t th frst, h fnds n nrms srpnt wth smkng tl blckng th wy. ftr sm cnfsn, h sks th srpnt t mv, bt th srpnt rmns cmpltly stll. Cncldng tht t s dd, Pncch bgns t stp vr t, bt th srpnt sddnly rss p nd hsss t th mrntt, tpplng hm vr nt hs hd. Strck by Pncch's frght nd cmcl pstn, th snk lghs s hrd h brst n rtry nd ds.

[dt] Th frmr

Whl snkng nt frmr's yrd t tk sm grps, Pncch s cght n wsl trp. Whn th frmr cms t nd fnds Pncch, h ts hm p n dghs t grd hs chckn cp.

Tht nght, grp f wsls cm nd tll Pncch tht thy hd md dl wth frmr wtchdg Mlmp t lt thm rd th chckn cp f h cld hv chckn. Pncch sys h wnts tw chckns, s th wsls gr nd g nt th hnhs. Pncch thn lcks th dr nd brks ldly. Th frmr gts th wsls nd frs Pncch s rwrd.

Pncch cms t whr th cttg ws nd fnds nthng bt grvstn. Blvng th Trqs Fry dd frm srrw, h wps ntl frndly pgn ffrs t gv hm rd t th sshr, whr Gpptt s bldng bt t g t nd srch fr Pncch. Thy fly t th sshr nd Pncch ss Gpptt t n bt. Th pppt lps nt th wtr nd trs t swm t Gpptt, bt th wvs r t rgh nd Pncch s wshd ndrwtr s Gpptt s swllwd by trrbl shrk.

knd dlphn gvs Pncch rd t th nrst slnd, whch s th slnd f Bsy Bs. vryn s wrkng nd n n wll gv Pncch ny fd s lng s h wll nt hlp thm. H fnlly ffrs t crry ldy's jg hm n rtrn fr fd nd wtr.

[dt] Th Rtrn f th Fry

Whn thy gt t th hs, Pncch rcgnzs th ldy s th Trqs Fry, nw mrclsly ld ngh t b hs mthr. Sh sys sh wll ct s Pncch's mthr nd Pncch wll bgn gng t schl. Sh hnts tht f Pncch ds wll n schl h wll bcm rl by.

Pncch strts schl nxt dy nd ftr shwng hs dtrmntn bcms frnd t ll th schlbys. whl ltr grp f bys trck Pncch nt plyng hky by syng thy sw lrg whl t th bch. Hpng tht t s th whl tht swllwd Gptt, h ccmpns thm t th bch nly t fnd h hs bn fld. H bgns fghtng wth th bys nd n by grbs schlbk f Pncch's nd thrws t t hm. Th mrntt dcks nd th bk hts nthr by nmd gn, wh s knckd t. Th thr bys fl whl Pncch trs t rvv gn.

Thn tw plcmn cm p nd ccs Pncch f njrng gn. Bfr h cn xpln, th plcmn grb hm t tk hm t jl â bt h scps nd s chsd nt th s by th plc dg. Th dg strts t drwn nd Pncch svs hm. Th dg s grtfl nd prmss t b Pncch's frnd. Pncch hpply strts swmmng t shr.

Thn Th Grn Fshrmn ctchs Pncch n hs nt nd strts t t th fsh, syng Pncch mst b vry spcl fsh. Tkng ff th mrntt's clths nd cvrng hm wth flr, th gr prprs t t Pncch. Th plc dg thn cms n nd rscs Pncch frm th gr. n th wy hm, Pncch stps t mn's hs nd sks bt gn. Th mn sys gn s fn, bt tht Pncch mst b trnt. Pncch sys tht h s lwys trthfl nd bdnt. gn hs ns grws lngr nd Pncch mmdtly tlls th trth bt hmslf, csng th ns t shrnk bck t nrml.

Pncch gts hm n th mddl f th nght. H kncks n th dr nd snl pns th thrd-stry wndw. Pncch plds t b lt n nd th snl sys h wll cm dwn. Snc snl s slw, t tks ll nght fr th snl t cm dwn nd lt Pncch n. By th tm th snl cms dwn Pncch hs bngd hs ft gnst th dr nd gttn stck. Th snl brngs Pncch rtfcl fd nd th mrntt fnts. Whn h wks, h s n th cch nd th Fry sys sh wll gv hm nthr chnc.

Pncch ds xcllntly n schl nd psss wth hgh hnrs. Th Fry prmss tht Pncch wll b rl by nxt dy nd sys h shld nvt ll hs frnds t prty. H gs t nvt vryn, bt h s sdtrckd whn h mts by nmd Rmâncknmd Cndlwck bcs h s s tll nd sknny. Cndlwck s bt t g t plc clld th Lnd f Ply, whr vryn plys ll dy nd nvr wrks. Pncch gs lng wth hm nd thy hv wndrfl tm n th lnd f Plyântl n mrnng Pncch wks wth dnky rs. ms tlls hm tht bys wh d nthng bt ply nd nvr wrk lwys grw nt dnkys.

[dt] s dnky

Wthn shrt whl Pncch hs bcm dnky. H s sld t crcs nd s trnd t d ll knds f trcks. Thn n nght n th crcs h flls nd sprns hs lg. Th crcs wnr slls th dnky t mn wh wnts t skn hm nd mk drm. Th mn thrws th dnky nt th s t drwn hm â nd brngs p lvng wdn by. Pncch xplns tht th fsh t ll th dnky skn ff f hm nd h s nw mrntt gn.

l Trrbl Psccn swllws Pncch, s drwn by nrc Mzznt

l Trrbl Psccn swllws Pncch, s drwn by nrc Mzznt

Pncch dvs bck nt th wtr nd swms t t s â whn h s swllwd by Th Trrbl Dgfsh. nsd th dgfsh Pncch mts tn wh s rsgnd t th ft nd jst sys thy wll hv t wt t b dgstd. Pncch ss lght frm fr ff nd h fllws th lght. t th thr nd s Gpptt, wh hd bn lvng n shp tht ws ls n th dgfsh. Pncch nd Gpptt nd th tn mng t gt t frm nsd th dgfsh nd Pncch hrclly ttmpts t swm wth Gpptt t shr, whch trns t t b t fr; hwvr, th tn rscs thm nd brngs thm t shr.

Pncch nd Gpptt try t fnd plc t sty. Thy pss tw bggrs, wh r th Fx nd th Ct. Th Ct s, rnclly, rlly blnd nw, nd th fx s ctlly lm, tllss (hvng sld hs tl fr mny) nd mngy. Thy pld fr fd r mny, bt Pncch wll gv thm nthng. Thy rrv t smll hs, nd lvng thr s th Tlkng Crckt, wh sys thy cn sty. Pncch gts jb dng wrk fr frmr, whs dnky s dyng. Pncch rcgnzs th dnky s Cndlwck. Pncch mrns vr Cndlwck's dd bdy nd th frmr s prplxd s t why. Pncch sys tht Cndlwck ws hs frnd nd thy wnt t schl tgthr, csng Frmr Jhn t b vn mr cnfsd.

[dt] Trdtnl ndng

ftr lng mnths f wrkng fr th frmr nd spprtng th lng Gpptt h gs t twn wth wht mny h hs svd (frty cppr pnns t b xct) t by hmslf nw st. H mts th snl, wh tlls hm tht th Trqs Fry s ll nd nds mny. Pncch nstntly gvs th snl ll th mny h hs, prmsng tht h wll hlp hs mthr s mch s h s hlpng hs fthr. Tht nght, h drms h s vstd by th Fry, wh ksss hm. Whn h wks p, h s rl by t lst. Frthrmr, Pncch fnds tht th Fry lft hm nw st nd bts, nd bg whch Pncch thnks s th frty pnns h rgnlly lnd t th Bl Fry. Th by s shckd t fnd nstd frty frshly mntd gld cns. H s ls rntd wth Gpptt, nw hlthy nd rsmng wdcrvng. Thy lv hpply vr ftr.

[dt] pprncs n pplr cltr