Posts Tagged ‘Mobile Game Reviews’

Mobile Game Review: Ultima Forever

ultima-forever-1Produced by: EA’s Mythic Games
Available on: iOS
Cost: FREE
Reviewed on: iPhone 5S
Genre: Action/Adventure
Released: Aug. 7, 2013

Ultima Forever is a shockingly deep dungeon crawler available for the iPod (gen 5 and up). iPhone (4s and up), and iPad (gen 2 and up), which you can play alone or with friends – whether it’s people you know on Facebook , or random strangers who just happen to be online at the same time as you. The game brilliantly balances depth and simplicity, and it impresses both visually and aurally. The controls are all very simple and intuitive, but the amount of content in the game makes it hard to believe it is a free-to-play game on a phone.

ultima-forever-2The action primarily consists of navigating towns and dungeons and battling monsters. Movement is controlled through simply holding your finger down in front of your character in the direction you want them to go, and battle is done through tapping on enemies. Depth is added in a number of ways. The most obvious one is weapon and armor upgrades (including matching visual changes in-game). There are also special moves to unlock, which are activated through an icon on the left of the screen. Later levels unlock additional icon slots so players can have more of their special moves available at a time. There are also eight Virtues which are important both to the story and the mechanics of the game. Players will be asked to make choices which will affect their stats and which options will be available in the future.

The game is free to play, but like any major iOS game it has a means to buy bonuses. In this case those bonuses come in the form of keys. Keys can be found all throughout the game (including daily bonuses for things as simple as just logging on), and they come in various types – bronze, silver and gold. Along the way through dungeons, players will encounter chests. Each chest can be opened with a certain number of bronze, silver, or gold keys. The rarer the keys used to pay, the better the loot. It’s a simple way to buy bonuses that still allows non-paying players to enjoy their own progression without feeling like they’re missing out on entire features of the game.

ultima-forever-iphone-screen02-iosI generally try to balance things by having at least some positive and some negative comments about each game, but honestly I can’t think of much to critique here besides the lack of playable classes. As far as I could determine, the only options are a warrior (aka melee) and a mage (aka range). On the plus side, they at least let you have one save slot for each. The only other gripe that comes to mind was a frustrating number of connection losses.

Gameplay: 9.5/10 – If you’re a fan of Diablo, Torchlight, or any other dungeon grinding loot hoarding game, you’ll love this game. The action and customization are substantial and the story is The lack of classes does affect replay value, but compared to other games on the same platform for the same price the amount of content and polish is astounding.

Graphics: 9/10Ultima Forever is a very good looking game, and it uses the retina display (when available) to great effect for crisp, sharp visuals. Sometimes the models look a bit bulky and simplistic, but really that’s just because we’ve been spoiled by advanced handheld gaming devices. Compared the gaming-specific devices, the graphics are nothing special. But compared to other games on the iPhone they are masterful.

ultima-forever-quest-for-the-avatar_moral-quandrySound: 8/10 – The game recommends headphones when playing, and I can see why. The sound is great without headphones – good music, plenty of sound effects, and moderate voice acting – but the nuance really comes to life with the surround-sound capabilities of quality headphones.

Overall: 9.5/10 – I don’t like to give out 10/10s on principal. Nothing is perfect and it would be a lie to say it is. The connection issues were annoying and the cap at two playable classes is pretty limiting. But beyond those minor grievances this is one of the most well-rounded gaming experiences I’ve had on the iPhone. Ultima Forever is a very full gaming experience, all for an amazing price of zero dollars. It’s a hard deal to turn down.

No review codes or review requests were made for this game.  This was a game reviewed at the request of the managing editor.


Copyright 2012 Beazley Entertainment
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