You are in for a treat because Rimelands: Hammer of Thor ($4.99, universal, via iTunes) is one of the best turn based RPG’s in the world of mobile gaming. I finished the game and I was so impressed with how a game that showcases a variety of skills can fit into the turn based system different from what Final Fantasy uses… never thought it would be possible, but it is, thanks to an impressive, unique system. More on that later.
In the world of Rimelands, humans overpollute the earth and it brings back the ice age. Human are forced into hiding in caves called vaults for a thousand years and when they emerged, as what the game colorfully says, “the land was not ours” and faeries rule the earth. A war was waged between two races and a frail truce was made to stop spilling blood.
A war is about to break again and you, Rose Cristo, is stuck between the crossfires for a reason to be revealed at the end of the game. In order to delay the war, your grandmother (who uncannily looks like the fairy godmother in Shrek) sends you into those vaults people once inhabited to retrieve some stuff… And you are pushed into a series of events and it is up to you to save the world from an antagonist that reveals itself mid game.
The excellent aspect of Rimelands is not the story, though — it is the game system.
Zis is a stikkup. Put ze money into ze bag.
First, there is an excellent upgrade tree — every level up, you get to choose to strengthen a discipline — brawler, assassin or mage. You can choose to specialize in one (which I recommend because the good skills are towards mid mastery) or you can mix different skills up to produce an all around fighter, although not particularly good any.
Second is the creative turn based system using dice. Basically the dice has five types of values which includes skulls, double skulls, x and a shield which determine the strength of your attack or how much damage you can ward off. It is a little confusing at first but I think during your second vault dwelling expedition, you will get it. Your dice can be increased via equipment. More dice, more damage multipliers when attacking and more defense you can muster when attacked.
As with other games, Rimelands also has some flaws:
One problem I found in the game is that it starts to become a cakewalk on the later part of the game. My specialized assassin throws eight dices, converts all shields (which are useless when attacking) into double skulls and regenerates mana when far from the enemy. The only foe that posed a challenge is the final boss, which was also easy, when I figured out what to do with him.
Another problem too, was the poorly written script. There were times that the script awkwardly ruins the mood, for example, Thor (the God of thunder) says, “Pretty please, I will give you potions…” and sometimes it does not fit into the story, like when Rose is asked to steal something and she responds, “What next, murder?” when she just killed a few people on the way home.
"Steal? What next, Murder?" "Honey, you've been murdering people for three years." "Oops, yea, sorry."
The game was too short, too. There are only a few dungeons, two towns and two bonus challenges after the game. Could you believe that I finished the game in one sitting? I think I finished in around eight to ten hours. There is replay value, though. I am restarting the game, and am planning to build Rose as a gun-trotting mage. Hope it works.
Overall, with the game system like that, Rimelands left me wanting for a sequel. I hope the developers make the sequel longer and more expansive, and I hope they hire a better scriptwriter, too.
Rimelands: Hammer of Thor at a Glance:
PROS: Good story, excellent and unique turn based system, skill tree that works
CONS: Gets really easy towards the end, poorly written script, over too soon
The Point: This is worth to buy if you are not a script nazi.
Price: $4.99 for iPhone and iPad (universal)
Download Link: Universal for iPhone and iPad: Rimelands: Hammer of Thor HD – Crescent Moon Games