Is there nothing better than an RPG? Well, if you grew up on the genre, you’re probably familiar with the old fashioned style RPGs, such as the aforementioned Dungeon Master. These are the games with the grids for movement, and active turn-based combat systems with plenty of text (dialogue and story) to read through to get a complete feel for what you need to do next. It’s hard to find this style of RPG in the App Store these days, so Coldfire Keep is definitely a welcome addition.
While Coldfire Keep is an old-school type game, it doesn’t mean it has old graphics. The game features beautifully modern, crisp visuals that look great on your Retina iDevice, and it is on par with what you would expect to find on a PC game of the same genre these days, such as Legend of Grimrock. The movement animations are smooth and fluid, as I did not experience any lag when controlling my characters. The game also features a fitting soundtrack for your dungeon crawling adventure.
There are up to three save slots for Coldfire Keep, so you can have multiple people playing the game at the same time on a single device. Once you select a game slot to save your game in, you will be asked to give all of your characters names, and then the journey will begin.
Following in the footsteps of the classics, Coldfire Keep features a lot of text. If you don’t enjoy reading a lot of dialogue that will advance the story and give you hints on what to do next, then Coldfire Keep is probably not the best game for you. You will quickly learn from you team of four members that there is a dangerous evil that is within a castle called Coldfire Keep, and it is threatening the peaceful little town of Newsettle.
There are two options for controls in the game. By default, the game will use touch controls, where you simply swipe in the direction that you want to go, based on the grid layout for movement. The other option is the traditional controls, which will feature virtual buttons for moving forward and back, turning, and looking up and down. Personally, I found the default swiping controls to be easier to manage, because there are a lot of buttons in the traditional setup, and I would need to always look at the buttons to make sure I’m tapping the correct one.
However, if you have an iOS 7 game controller, Coldfire Keep can be played this way instead, which would probably be better than both touch screen control methods. Unfortunately, I don’t have a game controller for my iPhone, so I was unable to test this feature out. If you have tried the game with a controller, let us know how well Coldfire Keep plays with it in the comments!
When you encounter monsters in the dungeon, the combat system will be turn based, and you can choose the attack or cast buttons underneath your character portraits to decide what to do. Depending on what classes your characters are, they will have mana or some other form of energy for their skills. You can see the health and mana for each character on their portrait.
Along the way, you will find items and gold scattered around in the dungeon. To pick up gold, just give it a tap. For items that you find, double tap on them and then select the character you want to give the item to. You can tap on each character’s portrait to view their current stats, as well as equip them, and view their current inventory. This is also where you will go to manage items per character, such as giving them a new item or dropping junk to make room for more valuables.
I’ve barely scratched the surface of Coldfire Keep, but the experience is enjoyable so far. It’s definitely a homage to the old-school RPGs, and if you’ve played those in the past, then this is definitely a welcome experience for you. Even if you have never played these types of games before, it’s quite easy to get into, with the only caveat being the fact that there is a lot of reading to do. Coldfire Keep has over 10 hours of gameplay, so this is definitely a mobile title that will keep you entertained for a good while before you complete it. I also really enjoy the fact that there are absolutely no in-app purchases, so this game is all about your skill.
If you’re a fan of old-school RPGs, or want to start, then I recommend checking out Coldfire Keep. It’s definitely an experience for RPG fans to experience, and a pleasant one at that.