There are some great games of the past that some think can’t be translated to the iOS touch screen. Don’t tell that to The Game Bakers, as they have just revolutionized a genre with their new game Combo Crew. It’s an old school brawler that delivers action packed combat, but it doesn’t rely on shoehorning in virtual archaic controls. Instead, it reinvents the way such a game could be controlled with every single action available through touch. You don’t directly move your character, and instead simply swipe across the enemy you want to attack, and your character will carry out the move. That simple premise opens the door for an overload of action that is effortlessly and intuitively handled.
The heart of the game is the single player campaign where you have to battle your way through the boss tower with seven sets of five intense levels. There’s a unique background, and boss battle for each of the seven sets, and each one offers a high score challenge in its own right. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also an endless mode to just battle floor after floor with increasingly difficult enemies. The best part of the endless mode is that the game saves your progress, so you don’t have to play until you die in one sitting. There’s also a neat friend integration that provides asynchronous multiplayer allowing your friends to rescue you to continue the endless climb if you’re defeated.
There’s a great replay factor, and plenty of content to fight your way through that will end up making your fingers burn. That’s because the control scheme allows for some frantic swiping action all revolving around combos. You can simply swipe to do a basic attack, swipe and hold for a charged attack, or tap to perform a counter attack. There’s so much more though, all revolving around two finger swipes in all four directions. A two finger swipe is connected to a combo power move for some intense damage. As you fight your way up the tower, there are over 80 moves to unlock, which can be assigned to the four dual finger swipe directions. Each one comes with a unique animation, and damage potential which will keep your fingers flying across the screen. It’s classic arcade action that couldn’t be smoother to interact with as you dual swipe across enemies, tap to counterattack, and keep the offensive on to maintain your combo.
As the name suggests, the game is all about combos, and your goal is to string together attacks to get your combo point multiplier into the hundreds. Everything in Combo Crew is set-up to help you maintain that combo, and that also ties into filling your power meter to throw down a special attack. Once you fill the meter, you can swipe across enemies rapidly for a super string of speedy attacks. It’s such an action packed slug fest with ornate moves to witness in such fluid motion. The best part is that it’s classic arcade gaming made to be played in short bursts on the go, but can still be enjoyed in long sittings. The touch controls are super smooth, and precise allowing you to fully appreciate all that’s included in the game.
The only drawback is that the moves can feel a bit repetitive after awhile, and the only change comes in if you feel like experimenting in swiping in different directions. Luckily, the game gets nice and challenging after a little bit, so you’re doing all you can to maintain your combo while beating the level. Once the action gets so intense, you have no time to think about the repetition that has transformed a button masher into a swipe fest. Another problem is that the tap to counterattack waits until after you complete a special dual swipe move, so you can often times lose a combo chain even while trying to tap to counterattack. There should be a way to override an attack to knock back an enemy.
Combo Crew ($1.99, Universal) reinvents the classic arcade brawler to fit so well on iOS and provides such enjoyable action that it is a treat to interact with making it a should buy.