The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best” thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.
These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.
Without further ado…
Has there ever been any game associated with Nitrome that’s been bad? I don’t think so. Their stellar streak continues this week with the just released Sprint RPG (Free), one of the most unique games I’ve ever played. Why is that? Well, it’s because Sprint RPG tries to trick you into thinking its an old-school first-person dungeon crawler. Oh sure, it’s got the Game Boy-esque pixel art and monochrome graphics, and the first-person viewpoint where you wander down dingy hallways and come across all manner of treasure and creepy enemies. It is definitely an old-school dungeon crawler on its surface, but underneath this is a hardcore twitch game for the ages.
You navigate each dungeon in Sprint RPG as you’d expect. There’s a set of virtual buttons for movement directions, attacking, and defending. The twist comes in the form of a timer bar at the top of the screen which is slowly running out of time from the moment you start. So, while you may feel compelled to take your time exploring, it’s in your best interest to hurry the heck up, because if that timer runs out before you make it to the exit of a floor, your game is over.
Making matters worse is that any wrong movement will penalize you by taking a chunk out of the timer bar. That means if you accidentally move forward into an enemy instead of pressing the attack button, you now have less time to make it to the exit. Rack up multiple mistakes on a single level, and well, you’re pretty much screwing yourself. Compounding all this is that as you progress in the game the actions required become more complex, so while a bat on level 1 takes a single swing of an axe, a later enemy may require you to swing your sword, then defend with your shield, then swing your sword again. Obviously because you’re also under a time crunch, these seemingly simple actions become all the more vexing as the pressures mount and each mis-tap costs you another chunk of your already limited time.
In this way Sprint RPG is more akin to something like Timber Man or The Firm or even many rhythm games, as it’s not necessarily the action itself which is challenging, but performing the action under the intense pressure of the clock while you’re slowly devolving into full-blown panic mode is where the difficulty lies. And damn if it isn’t exhilarating, if that’s your thing. Sprint RPG is a hardcore game, but it also has a really light sense of humor with a ton of weird equipment to outfit your character with and fun things like unlockable graphical overlays and an assortment of trophies to collect. It’s just the perfect sort of one-handed game to bust out when you have a few moments to kill and you need an adrenaline rush.
Sprint RPG is free with ads and a one-time IAP to remove them, so there’s no reason not to give this incredibly unique game a try, and then pop over to our forums to let everyone else know what you think about it.