Across Age HD is a time-traveling adeventure game for the iPad that has been compared to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. For the majority of the gameplay, players will control both protagonists simultaneously as they traverse three main dungeons in search of the three artifacts that must be collected to challenge the story's antagonist.
Defeating monsters in the field earns experience points for your characters and increases the strength of their abilities. Items may also be purchased, found, or reborn through time with the help of a Rebirth Stone to create a new (or old) item with similar (though not necessarily better) properties.
Though fully customizable controls are not present, they can be moved to the liking of the player. Games can be saved to one of three save slots, and Game Center is also enabled.The Good
Like other games that embrace the two-protagonist mechanic (i.e. Mario and Luigi: SuperStar Saga), playing as two characters offers a fun way to approach the dungeon-crawler RPG that may be new to some gamers. Fans of classic adventure games will enjoy the graphics, which do well to capture a vintage-feel for the game while maintaining a contemporary sense of style and effort on the part of the artists. In the event of your character's death, players are given the chance to restart at that room or area, which is nice to see on the mobile platform.The Bad
With only one town (which means one shop, one inn, and so on) and three main dungeons, players may feel limited in their gaming world, though this seemingly-small amount of area is made larger by the ability to explore it across time, which can really increase one's wanderings through the Across Age universe. Back-tracking and wandering are sure to be part of your gaming experience, and with no Main Map or Dungeon Maps, this can become frustrating. The memo-book, which contains the only help or guidance offered in the game, is often unclear and does not help if players have come to a specific point where they are stuck.
Some of the puzzles (like rafting) will test players' patience for their inability to emulate a tactile d-pad, but with practice, players can become adept at navigating the world with the touch-screen controls. Dungeon-crawling will also test players' patience and memory. Because there are no dungeon maps and only the mini-map, players who grow frustrated and give up to play another day will find themselves confused and disoriented when they return, forced to re-explore and backtrack again if they have forgotten their way.The Verdict
Across Age HD looks great, but it doesn't offer the necessary help that casual players will need for a fulfilling experience on a mobile platform where gameplay is discontinuous and unfocused. Though it offers a fun game mechanic and a familiar feel, it is only recommended for seriously dedicated and self-motivated gamers with a determination that can endure the consequences of time-travel.