Barbarian iOS Review
It is pretty obvious from the start that Barbarian was not designed for mobile. It is not about the controls which do work fine on the touchscreen, it is about the overall shape of the game.
Barbarian doesn’t even try to fit into the quick-bite rhythm of mobile play. From the start, you feel sadly underpowered, and there are no concessions to let you gain skills or equipment quickly.
Progress is very tough in the game, at least on the default difficulty, and the game makes no apologies for it.
Barbarian is not a game for casual mobile gamers, nor is it the game that is going to make them fork out a hefty sum of money upfront. But, it does have violent fun contained within.
The game puts you in control of a dude in a bear suit who has been chosen to represent his tribe in a series of trials.
Those trials involve killing everything that moves while trying to stay alive.
There is more to the story than that but since it is such a slow burn, dribbling little bits of information as you play, we don’t want to go any deeper.
Instead, let’s focus on the core of the game, ‘the slaughter’.
To begin with the options you are offered feels decidedly flat. You got two buttons, one that unleashes your standard attack, and the other lets you roll into massive groups of enemies when it is all charged up.
That doesn’t sound like much and to be fair, it isn’t.
The first few fights are mindless button-mashing scraps. Slowly but surely though you are going to start getting into grips with the intricacies on the experience.
For starters, there are people you can recruit, they float about in goo filled tubes, and once you free them they will join your cause and fight by your side.
Upgrade them in the hub world, and they can become arches and knights. You will also earn cash to spend on new in-game power-ups.
Before long you will periodically swap-out your axe for a machine gun and all manner of other projectile weapons.
As well as boosting your health and your minion resurrection skills.
As the game Barbarian, reveals more and more of itself, you are going to realize the simple brawler you thought it was, to begin with, is actually a façade.
There is something bubbling beneath every mechanic here, an extra layer that makes sure things stay fresh.
But, the lack of concessions for mobile, means that it’s possible that you will buy this game out of at a fairly steep for mobile $8.99, and then cast it aside as nothing more than a screen hammering simulation.
There is more to Barbarian than that though.
It does suffer from that Dynasty Warrior style repetition of hundreds of enemies flying at your face every second.
And Barbarian is an expensive game, at least within the mobile landscape.
But if you got the time and the patience to let it develop, you are going to find something more rich under the surface.
Download Barbarian for iOS below: