Skyfall: The Next Great Social RPG?
Rolando creator ngmoco hopes to dominate iOS and Android with this promising fantasy adventure.
Ever battled a corrupted bear? How about taking a break from work to collect spider legs? Probably no on both counts, but don't worry. You'll do that and more in ngmoco's upcoming social role-playing game, Skyfall, launching in the near future across multiple Android devices and iOS soon after.
This free to play adventure lets you explore three huge continents as one of three unique character types: the heroic warrior, the spell casting mage or the sneaky rogue. You select one of these heroes, tweak his or her hair, face and skin color, then set off to slaughter over 100 animated enemies, including bears, wolves, harpies, golems and even dragons.
Perform well, and you'll earn valuable XP used to upgrade four attributes: attack, source (magic), defense and luck. The latter is especially key, since along the way, you'll find treasure chests containing powerful and rare items. You can pay a small and undetermined fee to open that sucker, or take your chances with a lock pick in the hope that it opens. Break the lock, and you'll never open that chest.
While on subject of items, grabbing loot is one of the more compelling reasons to play this game. Thus far, the developers have shoved over 1,000 things to grab, such as swords, staffs, pants, rings, gloves, shoes, bear meat, potions and other fun goodies. This also accounts for 200 equip-able weapons and 500 pieces of armor that also raise your stats. Conversely, you can sell treasure to pocket gold.
That said, equipping this stuff couldn't be simpler. Just head to the inventory screen and insert/swap items using an easy to understand interface. Want to check out that razor sharp sword you just picked up? Find and then drag it to one of two available weapon slots; there are 12 slots total, including two spells.
As for spells, these run the proverbial gamut, from powerful lightning strikes to fireballs.
Naturally, you must complete missions and defeat monsters in the field to gain access to all this sweet goodness. A untold number of non-player characters provide an equally sizable amount of quests to complete. Succeed, and they offer rewards. You don't even have to travel all the way back to the appropriate NPC, as the game automatically acknowledges a finished quest regardless of your character's position.
You can also forget about wrestling with a virtual analog stick to move around. Instead, ngmoco obscures much of the world with blocks, and you uncover new areas by tapping said blocks to make them disappear, so long as they're green; you must find another way to bust through red ones.
That's by design, of course. The company intends Skyfall to be accessible to a wide audience, regardless of whether you intend to play for hours on end or spend just a few minutes a day killing bad guys on the go.
To that end, this is a social experience just as much as it is a solo affair. Visit towns, and you'll see other players' heroes. From there, you can send messages, form alliances and even invite someone's avatar to join yours in combat; for now, this is solely for your benefit.
Combat, meanwhile, involves a single button press and excellent timing. Ngmoco placed an AttackBar along the top of the screen. Press the attack button at just the right time (as a scrolling vertical bar passes over a narrow red area), and your enemies take maximum damage; some weapons also allow for critical hits. Just keep in mind that you can also miss completely, and the same holds true for the opposition.
Taking all of this into account, Skyfall is quite ambitious, but don't expect cutting edge graphics. Ngmoco created this game to run as smoothly as possible on several devices. As such, the 2D graphics still manage to shine, with detailed characters, varied types of terrain and a cool pseudo 3D effect where you're able to, during battle, play with the foreground and background for each character window, so long as the phone comes equipped with a gyroscope.
All told, it's a fun RPG for the casual crowd, most importantly Android users desperately seeking new, exciting and semi-exclusive pieces of content. As of this writing, ngmoco has yet to announce the official release date, but expect to see Skyfall this month, working in tandem with the publisher's mobage service. Apple iPhone and iPad users, on the other hand, should see the game in December.