App of the Week: Infinity Blade

Infinity Blade
Publisher: Epic Games
Price: $5.99
Platform: iOS

What's this?  An iOS game made it into the rotation?  You, the intelligent and observant reader, might ask "Christian, you suave devil, what happened to you?  You're playing on an iOS device!?"  Yes, it's true.  I've fallen to the charms of what may be the greatest mobile game I've ever played.  A game that, much to my chagrin, is not and most likely will never be available to Windows Phone/Windows 8 users.

Infinity Blade was released on December 9, 2010 and quickly became the fastest-grossing app in iOS history.  Since then, it has spawned a sequel, Infinity Blade II, and a book, Infinity Blade: Awakening.

Infinity Blade's story follows the fated bloodline of an unknown family in their struggle to slay the immortal God King.  Upon reaching one of two endings or dying, the next generation takes their ancestor's place in the never-ending quest.  Players must traverse a sprawling castle, fighting the many deadly denizens that lurk its halls.  And it's the combat where Infinity Blade truly shines.

Combat is deceptively simple and engrossing in its complexity.  Players must swipe to attack and their sword will follow the swipe.  Tapping either bottom corner will make the player dodge and tapping the center blocks.  However, depending on how many points have been put into blocking, only so many blocks can be made.  Combat quickly becomes a game about learning your enemies' patterns and how best to counter.  As players progress through the game and subsequent bloodlines, the game gradually increases the difficulty.  Enemies learn powerful new tricks which can leave the player wondering what the hell happened between generations.

Aiding the player and their descendants are various armors, weapons, and magic rings that can be purchased.  Increasingly powerful items are unlocked as the player gains levels and the price tags soar exponentially as they progress.  This is where Infinity Blade's  RPG elements come into play with players having to manage equipment, stats, and leveling of equipment.  It's not the most complicated system in gaming, but it's involved enough for the infinite amount of replay value.

Infinity Blade revolutionized mobile gaming and is a must have for any iOS device.  This is old new to many, but for those stalwart few like myself, Infinity Blade is an absolute treat.  It's intuitive controls make it easy to pick up and its addictive gameplay make it equally hard to put down.