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Published 25.01.2018 00:00
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Meteorfall: Journey review

Meteorfall: Journey imagines a version of Reigns that involves less talking and more fighting. The game is a dungeon-crawler distilled down into a card game where players swipe left or right to decide what actions to take. It makes for a game that feels a bit simple, but that's more than made up for with the game's unique art style, variety of cards, and tight sense of balance.

Card crawl

The setup for Meteorfall is extremely straightforward, even as dungeon-crawlers go. You pick from one of four heroes (mage, warrior, rogue, or priest) and then choose a type of dungeon to take on. These dungeons are procedurally generated every time, but always have a good amount of enemies and loot to come across in them.

The unique spin on this-of course-is that all of your questing takes place in a sort of card game setup. Each hero you choose starts with a deck of cards, which consists of basic attacks, special abilities, or items, which you draw from whenever you encounter an enemy. Instead of drawing a hand of cards though, you only draw one card at a time and then have to decide whether to use it and expend some stamina, or save your strength and hope a better card is underneath. On your turn, you only get a few chances of drawing cards before letting your enemy do the same.

Roguelike reshuffles

The basic goal in Meteorfall is to make your way through the decks of enemies that comprise a dungeon without being defeated. Between fights, your character gains experience points and can customize their deck with new and different cards to help them take down more difficult enemies, but all this disappears if you die.

Just like something like Downwell, Meteorfall resets your progress upon death, though there is a currency in the game that carries between rounds. This currency can be used to unlock special cards for each class, which can switch up subsequent runs and make it easier to get further into a run a bit faster.

A perfect portrait

Meteorfall's mechanics and ideas are not entirely new, but they all combine into a package that is perfectly delightful to play on-the-go. Its turn-based gameplay and portrait orientation make it easy to play with one hand, and the simple swipe controls and light mechanics make it something you can whip out and play a few turns of before picking the whole thing up again later.

Add to this a colorful art style, a wide variety of dungeons, and even a surprisingly strategic deck-building layer, and it's hard to think of a reason not to love Meteorfall. Other than being devilishly difficult at times, it's a game that's extremely difficult to find a flaw in.

The bottom line

Meteorfall is one of those rare games that feels perfectly tailored to the mobile platform. It's so easy to pick up and play, but it also has just enough layers of depth to make sure you'll be coming back to play more of it. And you really should. It's a fantastic game.

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