Fun & Balanced But Repetitive
Lightbringers by Frima Studios is an RPG that’s playable through your browser on the web, through the Facebook interface and now, on the iOS as well as Android platforms. I played it on the iOS platform on an iPad3. It will not run on the iPad2 or the iPad Mini (same processor as the iPad2, smaller screen). Frima is well aware of the demands of the game as the first tip you see when you boot up the game is to shut down all other apps and use WiFi instead of 3G.
The story provides the background and reason for killing monsters. You are a “lightbringer” cleaning up the world of evil, releasing the nexus cores that these nasty critters have captured and harnessed for their own dastardly, nefarious purposes.
Aesthetics – 7.0
Graphics are crisp and the characters are well rendered. The view is the usual isometric top down forced perspective which works so well for these games. There isn’t any aesthetic character customization though. You get to choose male or female and have 3 weapon choices – staff, sword, or rings – known as edges in the game. Environments and monsters are limited. The maps are rooms with the same elements just in different shapes and colors, and the monsters just hit harder and are more numerous in different levels of difficulty.
The sound and music are suitably heroic: Your footsteps echo in the chambers as you run from around, your character grunts with each action and you hear the beloved Hollywood “schwing” of metal against metal when you draw your weapons. Alien and battle sounds are equally good: The spider-like critters click and chitter evilly as they swarm you, the bosses roar. You can change the balance of sound and music in options, or like most, simply turn it off.
The HUD is suitably simple for a mobile game. Like many mobile games, the joystick is smack down at the bottom left corner of the screen, the attack button on the bottom right corner, forcing you to brace the device in your hand instead of the base of the thumb, leading to cramping in the hand should you play too long. In fact, the only game I’ve seen with the joystick a third of the way up the screen are the games by Spacetime Studios such as Star Legends. Could we mobile users start a movement to request that these HUD items be moved UP a little? Just make sure there is some transparency to prevent things from being hidden by them!
Gameplay – 8.5
You start of with selecting gender, weapon and a nexus orb which gives you a bonus – and there are quite a few to choose from; XP, skill, weapon damage, etc. You are introduced to the game in the first few map levels, gaining skills and levels as you go, gaining level 5 and finally your name (you don’t get to name your character at creation).
Character development is through weapon upgrades with gold, nexus upgrades (passive), skill upgrades and armor upgrades. The latter are all through random drops and purchases through the shop. Ah yes, the shop. Lightbringers is free to download and play and players are introduced to the shop in the tutorial as you spend the diamonds earned – the premium currency – you can’t skip this step to save those diamonds, but you get a random nexus core.
There are potions in games, termed phials and these are also random drops or purchased in the shop. Each time you complete a map, you earn gold and random drops. The faster you finish it, the better the rewards so it totally serves you to go back to the earlier maps with a higher level character and skills. Similar to collecting runes in Diablo we collect orbs and merge them in a forge to produce better orbs.