Important information

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. By continuing to use our site, you consent to Steel Media's privacy policy.

Steel Media websites use two types of cookie: (1) those that enable the site to function and perform as required; and (2) analytical cookies which anonymously track visitors only while using the site. If you are not happy with this use of these cookies please review our Privacy Policy to learn how they can be disabled. By disabling cookies some features of the site will not work.


Update (ver. 1.2.2): Rōnin Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on March 23, 2013
Last modified 1 year ago


Rōnin
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Fluid motion and combat; razor sharp responses to swipes and solid framerate make this a silky experience.
  • Unlockable spells and passives add a layer of depth to reaching later areas.
  • Score multiplier increases based on the abilities equipped (also missions now provide further bonuses for greater leeway); the more you have, the less you'll score point for point.
  • Excellent high-score motivation thanks to the inclusion of high-score 'waypoints'.

CONS

  • Occasional frustrating pairing of obstacles (e.g. needing to dodge a flame followed by an archer); even with helpers this can be difficult
  • Variety in locations and main line objectives still fairly low; offset somewhat by a new variety of hazards.

VERDICT

Rōnin has come leaps and bounds from its release version, refining its package in to a potentially addictive high-score chasing endless runner.


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info
  •  

[Version 1.2.2 Update: Since we last reviewed Ronin, the game has had some major changes made to its outer shell, focusing its efforts on the high-scoring aspect, while providing enough base motivation through upgrades and basic missions to keep casual audiences entertained (at least much longer than before). Other nifty updates include an alternative control scheme (you can now tap to attack, with swiping for 'evasions' only), new hazards to add to the fighting mechanic's novelty, and markers that indicate various objectives such as your daily best run. Thanks to these changes as well as the inclusion of an even higher cap to your multiplier, the game flow feels a lot smoother; you can choose how you proceed without also feeling like you're punishing yourself. A solid pick-up for endless runner fans.]

Sometimes all you want is a mindless game that rewards you with chimes, explosions and other gifts for the senses to pass the time. The recent God of Blades made good on this front thanks to combining pseudo-endless gameplay with combat that remained entertaining for as long as new blades remained unlocked, and Ronin by Bulwark Studios adds to the concept with missions and skills to extend your runs.

As a lone swordsman you'll travel from left to right, swiping to jump or slide, avoiding blows from your enemies and swiping towards them to unleash a single deadly strike that will defeat anyone standing in the way. In many respects, this is all you have to expect of the game - enemies come in different flavors and require you to dodge in different ways, but if you time your jumps and strikes just right, you'll go far.

You'll earn points and experience for dispatching foes or completing mini-missions handed out at the beginning of each area. Earn enough and you'll level up, gaining skill points to spend on active magic, or passive skills. (As a side note, as of the reviewed build there's little to indicate that turning off your skills will activate a score multiplier that can also be leveled up over time.)

Wisps need to be collected to activate some of these abilities, but the trade off is more than worth the effort as you're either launched ahead as an invincible wolf; stun enemies for a short period; survive a deadly blow; or regenerate one of your missing bars of health.

As beautiful and as simple as the game may seem, the experience fails to cohere in to a flawless whole thanks to its counter-intuitive design. Despite instructions to the contrary, jumping makes it easier to avoid arrows (as opposed to ducking underneath them); similarly, the game asks you to slide in to the blade of a pole-arm in order to defeat them. This wouldn't be problematic if the intuitive solution didn't result in placing you in significantly more danger - the players sense of agency over the character's actions is effectively diminished.

Thankfully Bulwark Studios is working together with the community to resolve these issues, but until the full potential of the game is realized it's simply a pretty distraction without much shelf life.

Screenshots

Screenshot 1 of 5 Screenshot 2 of 5 Screenshot 3 of 5 Screenshot 4 of 5 Screenshot 5 of 5

Comments