Friday, October 4, 2013 09:13:31

Review: Reaper Is a Gorgeous, Engaging Battle RPG

I wouldn't say I am much of an RPG gamer, but when I saw Hexage's game, Reaper, I knew I had to try it. As Jerome Smith says in Simply the best: Games:

Reaper is one of the most beautiful games to ever grace my tablet. It's completely polished from top to bottom and is hands down one of the best gaming experiences on Android. The graphics are a wonder to behold and the gesture based control scheme works perfect on tablet or phone. Get it while it's hot!

If you look at the game's Playboard page you will see similarly enthusiastic reviews from many community members, including T. Fergason, Christoph Kerschbaumer, and others. This game definitely has a lot going for it.

Concept and Graphics


Explaining the backstory.

Reaper has a relatively fleshed-out backstory: You are playing in a continent called Wilderness, which has been invaded by a foreign force called the Imperium about a decade before the game starts. The invading Imperium forces came armed with traditional weapons, but the Wilderness natives were not helpless: They used the power of magic to defend themselves. Eventually a sort of stalemate was reached, and this is where you find yourself at the outset of the game.

You're a knight, and you're not affiliated with any side of the conflict. In other words, you're just doing your own thing. The game is played on a large map which is gradually filled in with more and more destinations as you explore it. When you play the game, you move between destinations, occasionally getting into battles. When you do battle, you gain (of course) experience points and gold, which you can then use to buy new gear. Just like in real life!

Battle Mechanics and Controls


Showing those blobs who's boss!

In practice, Reaper is a quick-moving sequence of battles. Fight fight fight, move to a new spot on the map, and fight some more. Make money, gain XP, level up, buy gear, fight some more. I know that sounds repetitive (and it is), but the combination of the great graphics along with the excellent controls makes the game addictive and engaging.

The controls work like this: The left side of the screen controls your characters movement. Slide your finger left, and you move left; slide right, and you move right. The right half of the screen is dedicated to action gestures: To deliver a death-blow, swipe down. To lunge forward, swipe forward. To jump, tap up (and you can double-jump, too).

There are many gestures and they take a few moments to master, but thankfully, the difficulty ramps up quite gently, giving you plenty of time to get your bearings without getting killed over and over again.

Overall Experience


It's money time.

Reaper is a freemium title: You get the game for free, and if you wish to level your character over level 10, you need to pay up. Interestingly, you can opt for one of three different payment levels -- there are essentially three different versions of the game you can buy.

Hexage has done well with Reaper's monetization: It doesn't pester you for constant in-app purchases, and you can really get a good feel for the game before running up against the need to upgrade (I played it for about two hours before it started asking me to upgrade).

All in all, Reaper is a terrific game, and one you should really try out -- even if you don't think you're into RPGs.