Coldfire Keep is a dungeon crawler which features several adventurers searching for riches within a portal that holds a plethora of creatures and evildoers. The app costs $4.99 to download, and although it suffers a few hiccups along the way, the game still manages to stick a solid landing.
The opening moments of Coldfire Keep are actually encouraging, as players navigate the dungeon through the eyes of a party of various heroes. A warrior, shaman, spell caster, and rogue make up your motley crew, and before the mission begins you can affix points to their various characteristics (Brawn, Agility, Intellect, Vitality).
Experience points are granted when your fighters slay the creatures that lurk within the portal or when they successfully perform select tasks. Whether it's finding a key to open a locked door, or shutting down a trap by using the right combination of levers, you'll have enough activities and showdowns to keep you busy.
Although there's really nothing fresh or innovative behind Coldfire Keep's gameplay, covering familiar territory isn't such a bad thing if the execution is relatively on point. If you're a Dungeons & Dragons or a turn-based fighting fan, this title travels in the right direction. RPG item hoarders will also be satisfied with the amount of weaponry, gold coins, and keys that are available within the universe. The graphics, an element which is usually a weakness in mobile dungeon crawlers, are crisp and eye catching. Goblins have never been so menacing and nattily dressed at the same time.
Another element which won me over is the ability to regenerate your health even after death. Each section contains a stone altar that, when tapped, heals everyone in the party. This feature is highly welcome in the early rounds as your adventurers' hit points and combat skills may not be enough to kill a giant rat. As long as your enemy is vanquished before your four heroes bite the dust, then the game isn't over as long as you know where to find the altar.
During the first several hours of gameplay, I wasn’t able to retrieve items after initially double tapping on the screen. For example, if I found a longsword at the bottom of a chest, I had to feverishly tap on my device over a dozen times just to collect my new weapon. Thankfully an update was recently released giving players a “one-tap pickup” option as part of the game’s control mechanic.
I returned to the game and tried the one-tap pickup command and it seamlessly worked with the traditional controls I use during the adventure. Players also have the option of using a swipe based mechanic which takes off all those directional arrows from the screen. Although this version is more pleasing to the eye, the swipe controls made it entirely difficult for me to navigate throughout the dungeon. This feature still needs a lot of work, but solving the double tap item flaw absolutely made my second go-round of Coldfire Keep much more pleasurable.
My Coldfire Keep experience had its share of highs and lows due to the game’s horrific double tap flaws. Now that the issue has been resolved, my dungeon crawling days will continue in this kingdom. Hopefully the only further bugs will die by my sword and not from a future App store update.
This review was completed using a purchased copy of Coldfire Keep for iOS.