Shake Spears! review (iPhone / iPad [HD])June 5, 2012
♫ “On iron horse he flies, On iron horse he gladly dies”
10 word description: Become a valiant knight and enter jousting tournaments. Game Center.
10 word review: Well crafted joust-em-up; attractive; decent controls; fun upgrades.
You will like this if you enjoy: A simplified 2D cartoon version of Infinity Blade, but with jousting. Damn, I should have used that for the 10 word review. If you enjoy timing/reaction based fighting games, with a load of decent power-ups, you need this game.
The good news: Pretty graphics and amusing, if slightly clunky, animations. Great interpretation of jousting, concentrating on the skill of simultaneously defending with your shield and aiming your lance at your opponent. Upgrades are excellent; the power-ups make a massive difference to the outcome of fights but still rely heavily on your own abilities. Although there are IAPs, I can’t see any logical reason why anyone would need to use them. Three modes – campaign, endless (sudden death) and bluetooth ‘versus’ mode.
The bad news: Shake Lances would obviously be a rather more accurate name for the game, but Shake Spears sounds better. Also, it’s a shame there are two separate apps and not a universal version.
Arcadelife verdict: This one was a big surprise. I expected something dismal, kind of hoped for mediocre and it turns out to be an excellent game. The basics of defending with your shield and aiming your lance are handled very well, with perfectly adequate controls, but the real fun begins when you start buying the magic powers.
Early on, I was using the lance-breaker (electric shield) followed by the one that destroys every piece of the enemy’s armour (apart from his shield) and close fights were turning into almost instant KO’s. When the opponents start using these skills against you, it merely adds to the fun and makes you think of strategies to counter each particular spell.
Overall, a very fun game that is probably different enough from every other game you own to make it an almost essential acquisition.