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Only One Review

By , on February 18, 2014


Only One
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • Perfect pixel art
  • Lots of challenge
  • Versatile upgrade system

CONS

  • Controls can occasionally feel sluggish
  • Will frustrate casual players

VERDICT

Though only a basic top down hack-and-slash at heart, Only One's stylish visuals, nuanced combat, and versatile upgrade system make it well worth a look.


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Only One's developer, Ernest Szoka, seems to understand that, sometimes, the simplest ideas can be the best. Starting with a basic top-down hack-and-slash format, he has tweaked the concept just enough to turn it into something wonderful.

Only One is an arena brawler which throws waves of increasingly difficult enemies at you, and challenges you to be the last one standing. Beating your foes is not complicated - a simple slash of your sword usually gets the job done.

But this apparent simplicity hides a game of complex strategy and timing.

To control your pixellated avatar, you use a virtual pad that appears wherever you place your left thumb. The slash and special move buttons are located to the right. Most of the time these prove responsive, but on a few occasions they did let us down as we struggled to keep up with multiple attackers.

The pixel art graphics not only look good, but keep the arena free of visual clutter. The entire play field is visible for you to plan your attacks. Despite the small scale of the characters, the tiny models still manage to perfectly convey what type of enemy you're fighting, and what they are planning to do to you.

As each of Only One's levels consists of multiple attacking waves, it is important to prepare. As you fight, your sword will level-up giving you a choice of new upgrades. These upgrades are bought using power. This can be gathered from vanquished foes (meaning you won't want to knock too many out of the arena) or purchased in-app. These are never vital to progress, but new abilities do provide new strategic options to suit personal play styles.

With the later stages and boss fights proving more than a little challenging, Only One is not for the faint hearted. But, people looking for an aggressive bite-sized fix of retro combat will find this endearing and engaging brawler the perfect fit.

Screenshots

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