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Dark Shrine Review

By , on March 16, 2010

Dark Shrine
4 out of 5


  • Controls and visuals make the most of Touch devices.
  • Fun 3D action RPG gameplay.
  • Deadly bunnies.


  • Inconsistent swipe recognition.
  • No word wrapping in dialogues, hard to read at times.


Dark Shrine is well worth sitting down and enjoying completely thanks to its bite-sized levels, fun story and basic RPG gameplay.

  • Full Review

It has been a while since I've had the pleasure of driving a cocky son-of-a-demon through a manic and strange RPG-world. Despite some surface similarities to the world of Disgaea, Dark Shrine by Devsisters and Hotdog is a great new action-RPG for the App Store that's only marginally diminished by its temperamental controls.

The story and gameplay is linear, but broken up in to accessible bite-sized chunks of individual levels that are quick and easy enjoy. One the main features is its interesting combination of touch-driven controls that are used to cast magic or initiate attacks and a vertical screen orientation. Unless you're running around this gives the illusion of a much larger screen and works well for this title. Screen swipes for special moves can register inconsistently and require lightning quick accuracy, but "swipe-smashing" will usually eventually get it to work and isn't a major concern.

To compensate for its extremely small size and texture detail, Dark Shrine uses stylized models that are creative and at times even amusing to watch. The blocky layout of each level does feel clunky, but the frantic pace of gameplay will keep you distracted. Mini-games are unlocked as you progress and for those after a special challenge a "hard mode" is available after finishing the game.

If you've felt that 3D action RPGs have been lacking polish then Dark Shrine make you a believer. It's not perfect, but it's still hours and hours of solid, enjoyable fun.