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Shake Spears! Review

By , on August 1, 2011


Shake Spears!
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • Light-strategic jousting gameplay; smash faces while trying to 'out-think' your opponent.
  • Fun spells to unlock; travel through time, become a ghost, turn your lance in to a bomb, etc.
  • Smooth 2D visuals; slows down just before impact to add weight to strikes.

CONS

  • Some grinding required; difficulty can outpace the upgrades, either requiring IAP or grinding for cash.
  • No alternate modes; fun to jump in for a round, but the AI can only provide so much entertainment.

VERDICT

Jousting isn't exactly the most well-used concept for a game and Shake Spears! manages to balance strategy with basic bludgeoning fun in a way that's hard to put down.


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There are a few options available to you when trying to put together a game based on jousting - there's the obvious fantasy approach (much like Joust!) where the rules are understandable, but clearly unrealistic; there's the RPG approach where variables and random chance help to determine the victor; or there's simply ramming two men and their horses together to see what happens. Shake Spears! by Alawar Entertainment and Wake Up Studios takes the last approach, albeit with a touch of magic and some rock-paper-scissor strategy that makes it hard to put down.

Each round of your bout consists of galloping towards your opponent automatically while swiping either side of the screen to adjust to aim of your lance and shield in order to attack and defend in turn. Factors such as speed, the upgraded level of your equipment and where you hit will determine how much damage you do, but relying on armor like your shield can be dangerous as damage can strip you of these pieces, leaving you vulnerable to a deadly strike. At first the game is fairly simple - aim for vulnerable spots, repeat, collect cash. Unfortunately (or is that fortunately?) the game isn't content to leave things there and 'spells' can be activated to change the flow of battle dramatically.

These spells come from the four different classes in the game (knight, alchemist, warlock and engineer), providing bonus effects such as increasing your shield size, stealing an opponent's ability and even making yourself temporarily invulnerable. Knowing what your opponent has available and how to counter it can become pivotal in beating later challenges (especially the 'bosses' at the end of each area), though should you fail you'll restart the level giving you an opportunity to gain more gold to purchase more spells or equipment to outfit your knight.It's a shame the game only provides a single-player campaign as the AI can be woefully predictable at times and easy to exploit once you've discovered just a handful of tricks. Being able to take the fight to a friend via multiplayer would have been nice, but even without it the game is hard to put down until you've clocked it entirely.

Shake Spears! is fast, fun and deceptively deeper than first glances would assume - considering how rare an opportunity it is to participate in a jousting match in a game, this makes it a worthy pick up for those interested in some medieval fun.

Screenshots

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Comments

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onyx 3 years ago

cant understand why they dont wont to do it on iphone 3g

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sukhdev 3 years, 1 month ago

This game can have online. Matches can vary from a few seconds to a minute and can have some seperate unlocks and leveling up. Hopefully this would be included in another update

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MrGood 3 years, 1 month ago

There is a mistake here, the video review is for Time Geeks:Cloneggs:)

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MrGood 3 years, 1 month ago

There is a mistake here, the video review is for Time Geeks:Cloneggs:)