Game of Watchcraft: Spawn of Squishy in Review: Everything New Is Old Again

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The retro craze is in full swing, with many developers making games that look, sound and often play like games that came out 20 years ago or more.  In some cases they have even made modern versions of those games that try to retain the “flair” of the originals.  Game of Watchcraft: Spawn of Squishy takes an entirely different approach to the concept.  It poses the question “What would Warcraft look like as an LCD game?”  If you don’t know what that even means you can either count yourself fortunate or underprivileged depending on your perspective.  Either way the developers have done a fine job of recreating a brand new “classic”, though a true fan of Warcraft would have to tell me if it captures the essence of that universe or not.

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You are a wizard that looks suspiciously like the villain from the Scream movies, and you must either fight hellspawn or tackle goblins depending on which side of the screen you’re playing on.  Your goals are simple things like “kill X number of goblins” or “fight the boss”, and once you complete a task on one board the passage to the other will be opened.  When you complete tasks on the top board you’ll earn new equipment that you can pick up on your way back to the bottom board, but don’t forget to hit the action button to collect the goods as you won’t automatically pick up any items.  I’m not really sure what all the equipment does, but it’s cool to have.  You earn XP and level up just like in an RPG, but again I’m not sure that it means much.  At least you don’t have to worry about dying.  You lose your equipment and have to restart the current mission, but everything else stays in tact.

To control the wizard you use a simple Nintendo-like d-pad in the lower left corner.  While it seems pretty responsive, it’s small enough that I find myself “slipping” off of it frequently, even though it’s on an iPad.  In the lower right there is an action button that you use to do everything else.  Note that in the upper screen you can actually hurl lightning bolts as long as you have mana, but when it runs out you’re relegated to close range attack until it replenishes.  In addition to everything I’ve described previously the game does support Game Center for leaderboards and 17 achievements that you can earn.  You can also tweet or exploits or post them to Facebook if you like.  Unfortunately you can only have one game going at a time, but whenever you feel like it you can restart from the beginning or if you’re up for a greater challenge restart at the highest level you’ve conquered and see how good of a score you can get.

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The visuals are what you’d expect if you knew what to expect from an LCD game, which means they are pretty cool (if you like that sort of thing).  In grand tradition the background is primarily still and rendered in just a couple of colors, though this game does uses some black pixels to animate the backdrop in a couple of spots, which I don’t remember actual games like this doing.  The characters are pretty basic designs though they still look cool, and are silhouettes due to the technology that was used to render them when they were actually LCD visuals.  The sound effects are all beeps and boops, again keeping in character with the underlying concept, and there is no music.  That’s the one thing I don’t miss about LCD games.

I’m not going to lie to you.  It will probably take a special kind of person to truly enjoy this game.  Fans of World Of Warcraft might get a kick out of it for a while, and retro fans will certainly find some amusement in it.  But the folks that will ultimately declare this game a triumph are the ones that have experienced the LCD phenomenon first hand and actually thought it was cool.  I am one of those folks, and I think this game is great.  Now if they could just release an actual LCD version of the game…

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Game of Watchcraft: Spawn of SquishyDeveloper: Clicker
Reviewed Ver:Min OS Req:
Price:$0.99App Size:
  • Presents games like WOW in an “old” light
  • Captures the essence of LCD games
  • Neat graphical style
  • D-pad a bit small
  • Can get repetitive quickly
  • No music

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