Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Blood Roofs [Gamesmold] - $2.99

Endless Runners really haven’t been my thing over the last couple years. There are a few that I’ve really enjoyed; Box Cat, Gravity Guy, Cuddle Bears and I’m really liking One Epic Knight at the moment, but really, with the insane amount of runners out there, they all started to look and feel the same after a while. However, there has been one developer that I’ve really enjoyed just about every title they’ve released; Gamesmold. Their last couple of endless titles, Panic Springs and Spooky Hoofs are both still on my iPod, and get played fairly often. Well, back in January, Gamesmold announced a new runner, this time titled Blood Roofs. At first, it looked like an extension of Spooky Hoofs, in a way, but done in 3D. 

Influenced by H.P. Lovecraft, Blood Roofs has you jumping across rooftops of a city that’s being overrun by evil. Jake, the main character, carries Catherine, hoping to save both of their lives while she pumps massive amounts of ammo into the creatures. There is more to the story, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, as it’s a nice little surprise at the end of the Story Mode. 
Now, Blood Roofs might seem like an Endless Runner, and, essentially, it is, but there’s two different modes; the original Story Mode, and an unlockable Survival Mode. Once you reach the end of the Story Mode, the game continues, taking you into Survival Mode. There are three major differences between the two modes; 1:) Survival Mode has no ending. 2:) There are no bosses in Survival Mode. 3:) There are no Extra Lives or Warps in Survival Mode, even if you have purchased them in the shop. 

The controls are easy to use, and semi-Temple Run like. You’ll tilt to move left and right, and have buttons for jumping and shooting, with more buttons appearing on the screen as you pick up grenades and boosters. You’re able to switch the jump and shoot buttons, moving the jump button to the right instead of the left, but other than that, there is no option for virtual control movement. That might sound like a downer, and at first, I thought that, because of the controls, I was not going to enjoy the game at all. But after about my 3rd game, the controls felt great, even on my iPad. I generally hate tilt controls when playing on my iPad, but with Blood Roofs, I actually prefer to play on my iPad instead of my iPod because the controls feel so great. However, Gamesmold is working with players to figure out some sort of virtual control set-up that would best fit the game and be comfortable to implement in a future update, so  if you’re completely against the control set-up as is, you might either want to wait to see if something can be figured out, or maybe purchase the game to help support the developer and join in on the feedback on Touch Arcade and Facebook. 

The graphics for Blood Roofs are outstanding. There are a couple of things I’d like to see changed, like the ‘plastic’ look of the characters, and maybe a shadow added to the main character, but aside from that, for being a runner, Blood Roofs is very surprisingly immersive, with great creature models, and some fantastic use of fog and rain to add to the atmosphere that’s already pretty intense just given the look of the city’s buildings. The bosses also look amazing and the colors used for everything from the buildings to the fog and creatures is just perfect. Fans of Lovecraft should definitely enjoy the look of everything throughout the game, even down to the split wood and trains.
Another highlight is the sound. The music, and especially the sound effects, add immensely to the immersion as well as enjoyment of the game. The screams from monsters and sounds of Catherine’s gun firing away are fantastic. Gamesmold has definitely done a great job with the whole look and feel of Blood Roofs. 

GameCenter integration and a shop where you can purchase upgrades, items, characters and modes completes the game perfectly, adding endless replay value to the game. GameCenter has 4 leaderboards, 2 for High Scores, one in Survival, the other for Story Mode, and two Distance boards, also one for each mode. It would be great if another board was added for the Clock Mode, which you can purchase in the shop, and lets you play the game while holding a clock, not able to attack any creatures, but the lack of it doesn’t take away from the replay value at all. There are also 22 achievements as well, also adding to the game’s replay value and drive to keep coming back. Along with GC, in the shop, you’re able to purchase 2 other characters, Jane, who carries a flamethrower, and Shaneela, who is a mermaid and can electrocute the creatures. As already mentioned, there’s also a clock you can unlock which is basically another gameplay mode. Along with the characters and clock, there’s also permanent upgrades, giving you extra lives/respawns, warps which carry you forward a pretty decent amount if you can manage to jump into them, and wings which give you double, tripple and quadruple jump abilities. You can also purchase items which you’ll normally come across in-game like boosts and grenades, and then, lastly, you can unlock Survival Mode in the shop as well. 

Priced at $2.99, and being Universal with a crazy amount of content and replay value, Blood Roofs is a great deal, even if you’re not a fan of Endless Runners. It has more of an adventure feeling to it, not only because of the 3D gameplay, but also because of the story. On top of that, the developer from Gamesmold is hard at work gathering feedback from players in order to make Blood Roofs even better. Even with the occasional camera issues, which sometimes make seeing monsters in front of you, and buildings beneath you hard to see, as well as the plastic looking characters and semi-floaty physics, all of which are being brought up to Gamesmold, taking in everything else, it’s easily one of my top 3 favorite runners, and is definitely worth checking out. 

**NOTE:: After posting this review, the developer contacted me and let me know that there actually is a boss in Survival Mode if you can get that far. I'm sorry. I had no clue, as I, obviously, haven't gotten that far. But there aren't multiple bosses in Survival Mode. =oP


Thought I was done with endless runners.....I was wrong!

It already dropped to a buck! Grab it while you can!

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