I love mobile games. Here’s a platform that’s a throwback to the old days where a small team (or even a lone programmer) can put something together quickly and and cheaply and afford to be creative and original because you’re not risking a million dollar budget.
What I hate about it is that most of the games are anything but original. For every Angry Birds you’ll have a lot of cheap imitation Unhappy Chickens games, for every Fruit Ninja you’ll have a Veggie Samurai.
But when a game like Nimble Quest comes along, I can temporarily forget about how much I hate those knock off games because stuff like this is gold.
It’s essentially Snake from the old Nokia phones, but remixed into a retro 16-bit RPG vibe. The graphics and music have a wonderful old school charm, and the characters themselves are well designed to be unique and pretty cute in some cases.
Instead of a snake, you have a party of adventurers. Each time you add a new adventurer into your party, your “snake” gets longer and you’re more likely to walk into yourself and die.
Instead of eating fruits, your party walks around trying to kill the bad guys wandering around in the zone. Each character has their own fighting style: some are ranged attackers, others are melee fighters that deal heavy damage. They automatically attack, so you just have to concentrate on not walking into walls or bad guys.
As you collect money you can spend gems to level up your characters for superior stats and skills. At the max level, some characters get pretty mad skills like freezing enemies in place or healing.
And that’s where the replayability of the game lies: each game can be pretty fast, but you keep playing to unlock new characters and level them up. You’ll have your favorites, but you’ll need to level them all up if you’re going to survive the later stages.
Nimblebit is a studio that’s been putting out some amazing games like Tiny Tower and Pocket Planes. They’ve scored another big winner with Nimble Quest.
And while this game is free to play and definitely beatable without requiring you to spend, I found myself buying the unlocks just to support the studio with my spare change. I also gave money to my sis to buy some of the upgrades and I urge you to do the same. I mean, do you really want to play another Angry Birds clone instead?