Bastion iPad Review

By , on August 29, 2012

Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5


  • Retooled controls; smart-tap auto-attack system - original controls still available.
  • Picturesque isometric level design; like a story-book unfolding before you.
  • Multiple save slots for those who like to experiment.


  • The visceral nature of the combat is deminished by the default controls; limited to what the AI locks on to.


The breathtaking action title Bastion is born again on the App Store, complete with all new controls that suit the large touchscreen almost perfectly; if you haven't played it yet, don't hesitate to grab it now.

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Having already found a home on the XBLA and PC, Supergiant Game's stunning title Bastion has leapt (from almost nowhere) on to the App Store and in particular on to the iPad. It's a welcome surprise as it doesn't simply demand players to stick with the control system of the first two releases (though it is still available), opting instead for an intuitive semi-auto fire tap and drag system instead. The only question that remains is, does it still feel like Bastion?

For those unfamiliar with the title, you play the role of 'The Kid', a capable warrior adept in the use of weapons ranging from hulking two-handed hammers to mines, grenades, samurai swords, and akimbo-pistols. It's an eclectic range, but you'll appreciate the variety as you encounter the mysterious floating-world's vicious inhabitants. Whether you're fighting a gloop spewing Scumbag, a fire-spewing Pyth bull, or the always frustratingly armored Lunkheads, you'll be able to dodge, hit, shoot and maybe even fire off a special attack or two to keep ahead of the curve.

While you could play the game using a virtualized version of the original controls (stick-based movement with an arrangement of buttons to dodge, shoot, and so on), the iPad version boasts its own smart-control system. Tap or double tap and you'll respectively walk or dodge in that direction. Hold down and drag and The Kid will chase after your finger. In either case you'll start attacking hostiles automatically as soon as they're in range. This may sound cheap, but as it is you still need to avoid attacks while positioning yourself up for counter-strikes and power-shots, balancing things out.

Traveling through the world of Bastion is a unique experience all on its own as it forms itself from broken fragments as you move about. As you do so your actions are narrated by the friendly elder 'Rucks', giving the game an almost story-book like feel as new areas are constructed before your very eyes.

This actually becomes a core aspect of the game as you attempt to recreate the world by collecting crystals, granting access to stores that invite experimentation by changing The Kid's weapon load-out; modifying passive boosts; reforging weapons for new effects; and even remembering the fallen victims of the calamity that surrounds you.

Bastion for the iPad is a wonderful adaption of an outstanding action title and one that feels at home on the App Store thanks to its control modifications. Purists may balk at the reduction of challenge, but Bastion's beauty is not in the difficulty, but in unfolding its delicate story, one skway at a time.


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