Cthulhu Saves The World
You just can't keep a tentacled water being down.
Horror fans recognize the cosmic entity, Cthulhu, as a pillar of deceased author H.P. Lovecraft's writing. That said, we never had the privilege of reading about this fearsome tentacle creature, but we thoroughly enjoyed its appearance in the hit animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, in "The Collect Call of Cathulhu"; view the episode here.
Regardless of whether you obsessed over Lovecraft's work or watched the TV show, it's clear that Cthulhu means business. With this in mind, this big, bad monster has no qualms throwing down in Zeboyd Games' critically acclaimed role-playing effort, Cthulhu Saves the World, finally brought to iOS and Android with help from TinkerHouse. This light-hearted, at times humorous and difficult adventure puts you in control of Lovecraft's creation, except it doesn't appear as a towering monstrosity threatening to flatten mankind. Cthulhu certainly dreams of doing this, but first, it must reclaim its stolen powers by acting as a true hero, an uncharacteristic position, to say the least.
That said, you and Cthulhu's party members (including a hyper young girl named Umi and a sword called Sharpe) traverse the land running into different characters and, of course, engaging in random battles with a plethora of monsters. With this in mind, the game pays homage to classic 8-bit and 16-bit RPGs from back in the day (Sega's Phantasy Star comes to mind), complete with pixel graphics and music. Combat is naturally turn-based, and the developers encourage you to destroy enemies as quickly as possible, as they grow stronger over time. In addition, you'll be able to select from a variety of attacks, including those of the magical variety, and level up. You can even make baddies go insane.
Where the game shines brightest, though, is the narrative. Characters break the fourth wall at will, and dialogue is genuinely amusing. If anything, you continue playing just for the opportunity to meet someone to see how the story unfolds.
As for the port (this game first appeared on Xbox Live and Steam), you receive all of the content from the previous version, like Score Attack mode, Highlander mode (only one character can battle at a time) and Cthulhu's Angels mode (new characters, bosses and dialogue). What we don't like are the controls. Instead of implementing a proper d-pad the developers force you to guide the party around by pointing on screen, and this makes reaching specific areas and objects more difficult than necessary.
Aside from this complaint, Cthulhu Saves the World is a quality adventure well worth $1.99, with enough humor and gameplay to spare. Not only that, but you'll get acquainted with Cthulhu's somewhat soft and squishy side. Yes, Lovecraft's evil being has a heart, as well as an appetite for destruction. Ah well.
What's Hot: Old school RPG gameplay, well-written and funny dialogue, 16-bit style graphics, a wealth of content to enjoy, laying the smack down as Cthulhu, director's commentary.
What's Not: Weird controls, random battles.