Exitium: Saviors of Vardonia: Full-Featured RPG for the Small Screen
This is no casual game. This is a nearly full-blown RPG game in the tradition of World of Warcraft and Ragnarok. This is a game you could pull out on a long car or plane trip because it could keep you occupied for several hours. You can certainly play in shorter bursts, but unlike many games it can also hold your attention.
You have a choice of four characters to play: Berserker, Paladin, Priestess, or Mage. There’s no customizing these folks at the outset, but they do have characteristics that can be managed and improved as the game moves on.
Holding true to the RPG genre, there are quests to fulfill, battles to fight, and coins to earn. I started as Kiron Asha, the Beserker, and after my farm was burned down and family killed (that explains the “berserker” part), I became a mercenary for the Arkanians in battle against Abylon. The early assignments had me operating from a base camp and setting off on quests to prove my worth, while picking up coins and potions as I took out hostile creatures along the way.
Later on in the game, the intensity picks up. Creatures and opponents get more difficult and more numerous. You will need to improve your gear (such as armor and swords), gather more potions, and earn more coins to be able to compete against these more demanding trials.
Each character has lots of quests, inventory, skills, fame, and coins to manage. There are plenty of ways to develop a personality for your character even though you started with a standard issue. And with Game Center integration, you’ll be able to see how your choices are stacking up against your friends or against the world of other players.
The game has all the familiar RPG UI elements: mini-map, character and enemy info, items, and skills. Plus, one addition for the iOS platform is a D-control area in the corner mimicking the action of joystick controls. That can be a lot of information for a small screen. Some folks could find the game more enjoyable on an iPad than on an iPhone, although the D-control area is a bit more awkward on the iPad.
One thing I did find a bit disconcerting, was that rather than just seamlessly moving through the map, you moved from one square on the map to another square on the map through “gates.” Perhaps this is necessary for the iOS platform, but it does interrupt the game play a bit as you wait for a new area to appear.
The graphics are cute in an old-school style from console games a couple of generations back. With a sort of medieval feel to the game, the music is a blend of electronica, drums, and strummed instruments, which somehow works well. And it gives the game an urgent feel that keeps the pace moving along. Some of the character renderings are quite stunning and detailed. And the information screens have a great old-world, parchment style that also serves to improve their readability.
I will admit to having had a bit of difficulty with the controls when I first began playing. The action button just didn’t want to work correctly for me. It wasn’t just me either. I asked an “expert” and they had the same difficulty. Eventually, it came around and everything was fine. It may have just been operator error, but it was a bit of a rough start.
Exitium might not be for folks new to RPG games. But if you are familiar with the typical RPG user interface, understand the stats associated with characters and items, have experience with the game play of quests, battles, and markets, you will probably enjoy Exitium as a way to take the RPG experience with you in your pocket. There’s a lot here to love.
- Full-featured RPG
- Good story line
- Familiar old-school look to the graphics and the user interface
- A bit cramped and difficult to read/see on an iPhone-sized screen
- Help could be more helpful; covers the why and what, but not the how