Can you handle The Quest?
The Quest is an epic Role Playing Game for the iPhone in the style, both in graphics and gameplay, of the old dungeon exploring games straight out the the eighties, which not only has an extensive story arc to follow but also a huge number of side quests. You can find yourself investigating smugglers in a town, searching out the cause of a strange odour emanating from the direction of a graveyard, or searching for a lost mirror in a cave filled with giant bats. These are just a handful of the many missions you are tasked with early on in the game.
The game begins with you creating your character, choosing things such as name, core skills, race and appearance. Appearance, however, does not really mean much as you play the game from a first person perspective – you do not really see much if any of your character throughout the game other than occasionally hands holding weapons. It is still a nice touch though and fills in the picture in your mind. Your core skills when you start determine your class, hunter being better with a bow and such. But once you actually start playing, gaining experience and receiving points to improve your skills, it is completely up to the player where these are put allowing you to create an original and personal character template.
From there on in you are thrown right into the game. With most Role Playing Games, controls and user interface are explained in a manual. But as this is on the iPhone it takes a little experimenting, trial and error, first of which is moving and attacking which is pretty simple to work out. In the bottom right of your screen is a section that is divided into six touch screen buttons for movement, forward, back, turn left and right along with side step left and right. Although a little awkward to begin with, it soon becomes easier to use but does not change the fact that it feels a little clunky in that it is not smooth movement. It’s like the game world is divided into squares and you move from one to the other with a tap of a direction. It all feels very old school. Then add to that a single attack button which, while in combat, you just mash as combat is more turn based. You hit, then the enemy hits and as long as you are still hitting the attack button, you hit again, so it comes down to the weapon and skills you are using. It’s not the best controls system. It does the job but feels very dated. As for the rest, your inventory, equipping weapons, armour and using objects and potions takes a little working out but in the end is a case of tapping items and/or dragging them around the inventory screen and dropping them where you would like them to be.
The looks and sounds of the game also seem to have made a trip forward in time from gaming yesteryears. The graphics, although you can tell what things are supposed to be, seem to have taken a step back from what we are growing accustomed to with some NPC’s, and by this I mean some characters, quite literally cardboard cut outs. The looks of the game do what they need to do, but not much else, not what we really expect these days even on a phone game. The sound also does what it needs to. The music is atmospheric, suiting the game perfectly. The monsters and enemies make sounds too, which helps a lot as it guides you to them making them easier to find. Other than that, the sound is as vintage as the rest of the game.
The game itself promises around forty to fifty hours of play with a huge map and huge number of quests included. There is plenty to do and enough to keep you going for a fair amount of time. For an RPG that is not a bad thing, it is the kind of game length you would expect on a console. Unfortunately this is where I have a problem with the game and I do know that it is something that does not only bug me. The problem is not so much with the game itself, rather with the fact that playing an epic sized Role Playing Game on the iPhone, or any phone, just feels wrong. When I think of games on phones, I think of a game you can pick up and play for five minutes when you have a little spare time and The Quest requires you put a little more into it than a five or ten minute session.
And so, what it comes down to is that you have a Role Playing Game in the style of older games in the genre. If this is the kind of thing you are looking for, then you are in the right place. But unfortunately, in my opinion, what you get here is an outdated looking game with a hit and miss control system. The one thing it has going for it is that it is a lengthy game, meaning you will have plenty to do. But again this is my main problem with the game. It is not ideally suited as a phone based game, which are more fun with games played in short chunks.
If you are looking for a RPG to play on your phone, there is not much choice out there so this may suit your needs. Just do not get your hopes up for anything overly special.
The Quest is published by Chillingo and is available here on the App Store for Â£2.99