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Tiny Rogue in Review – Fun Mobile Rogue-Like (But No Small Packages Jokes Here)

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With the somewhat rogue-like Devious Dungeon series under their belt, I was kind of surprised to see Ravenous Games release another rogue-like game.  However, Tiny Rogue is a decidedly different game than that other series, and so far I quite like it.  The game utilizes a more traditional top down perspective, and random everything makes it feel like a completely fresh experience every time.  The single screen layouts are also easier to navigate and much more manageable for an on the go experience.  For me this has been a great portable rogue-like experience.

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There’s not really a plot to this game, but I’m pretty sure you won’t miss that fact.  You do start out each game with a quest, but all that does is toss some extra points your way if you end up completing it.  Don’t worry, either, because the “quest” is usually something simple like finding a treasure chest or rescuing a princess.  That’s assuming, of course, you can actually make it to the level where the quest item is to be found.  You might have to sweat the “defeat the dragon” quest a little bit, though, depending on how well you’ve built up your character up to that point.

The main objective of each play through is to traverse as many levels in the dungeon as you can before the monsters overwhelm you.  Each level is randomly generated every time, both in layout and content.  The one thing you can be sure of is that after the first couple of levels there will be plenty of opponents, and there are usually at least a couple of items for you to pick up on each level.  There are a variety of creatures, and they all have their own fighting tactics.  Some can attack you at long range, others get more than one move at a time, and some just won’t stay dead.  You’ll have to learn all of their tricks so that you can take them out in the most efficient manner with the least damage to yourself.

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Luckily you get one heart restored to you when you complete a level, and you can also pick up health potions along the way to restore your much needed life.  Other pickups include extra throwing daggers, offensive spells like fireball and freeze and defensive measures like teleportation and the ability to skip a turn.  As you slay monsters you’ll earn experience points, and eventually you’ll advance to a new skill level.  At that point you’ll be able to choose from one of three enhancements, which can include more space in your inventory, extra umph with your attacks or even an additional heart.  Part of what makes the game so interesting is that these three choices are random every time, so you’re more or less forced to choose a unique strategy for building up your character with each play through the game.

Maneuvering through the levels is a simple matter of swiping in the direction you wish to move.  If there’s a monster standing next to you in said direction you’ll automatically attack that monster.  To use an item from your inventory you tap on it, and then depending on the item you’ll either tap on yourself or a target creature or you’ll swipe towards the creature you wish to affect.  The interface is basic and effective, though it would be nice if once everything was cleared away you could just tap the exit to go to the next level instead of having to swipe one move at a time.  Tiny Rogue offers one leaderboard based on total score for a single run through as well as 17 achievements to earn.

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Due to the unique perspective employed in Tiny Rogue versus most of Ravenous Games’ other efforts the visuals do look a bit different, but in this case that’s a good thing.  They still have the pixel-y goodness we’ve come to expect from the Ravenous Games catalog, and people can’t accuse Tiny Rogue of looking just like everything else the company has done.  The audio is also different than their other games, but here it’s not as favorable.  The sound effects are kind of bland compared to the Devious Dungeon games, and unlike those games where there was an effort to have a variety of noises everything sounded basically the same here.  Also, I’m pretty sure the music was just a slight variant on the theme from those games, which was a bit disappointing.  Not that it’s a bad song, but it would have been nice if Tiny Rogue had original music.

If you have this apprehension that all Ravenous Games offerings feel the same, which I’ve read on more than one occasion in various forums, I think you’ll be pleased with Tiny Rogue.  The overhead perspective gives it a decidedly different look than all of their side scrolling affairs, and the turn based movement separates it from a standard platform game.  The random nature of everything allows for infinite replays, and the simple control scheme works quite well on touch screen device.  The sound could use a bit of sprucing up and a quick exit feature on a given level would be nice, but otherwise Tiny Rogue is another top notch Ravenous Games adventure.

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App Summary
Title: Tiny RogueDeveloper: Ravenous Games Inc.
Reviewed Ver:1.0Min OS Req: iOS 6.0
Price:$2.99App Size:36.51MB
  • Simple, mobile friendly game play
  • Randomly generated everything keeps game fresh
  • Cool pixel graphics
  • Needs “express route” to level exits
  • Audio is lacking

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