It's the future, and humanity is a wasteland of desperate, bloodthirsty souls. Death matches are their favored sport, and gamers who enter Rage Warriors must kill for their survival. Combo driven, arena battles are not a rare commodity, so does this game, to quote Dylan Thomas have enough fight to rage "against the dying of the light?"

One of the many selling points for Rage Warriors is its easy to grasp combat system. Your shield and blocking moves are on the lower left hand side of your device, while your slash, kick, and power up attacks are located on the right side. There is a special section where you can build your own combo moves which cater to your preferred fighting style, but the key is that every opponent has their own weakness. Some fighters are susceptible to your blocking skills, and others may just wilt under a flurry of combinations. Although Doc Axe gave me a migraine with a powerful strike, I returned the favor with a hard fought victory.

The yellow lines below the health bar are your energy levels, and once they reach the max you can employ a power move that does heavy damage on the enemy. If your opponent is ready to perform his own special attack, try backing up several paces to either make him miss or expend all that energy. When the pumping heart icon appears on the screen, you also have an option of using this mini-power up against your opponent. Even if it drains me of a bit of energy, tapping on the hearts gets my fighter as red as can be, much to the dismay of my hapless opponent Rags.

A game's overall excellence can also hinge on the peripheral aspects of the title, and on this level Rage Warriors exceeds expectations. Customizing your warrior is not purely a cosmetic endeavor, as each piece of armor and weapon will has a varying set of pros and cons. If you're the strategic type, matching your weaponry to the skill set of your enemy moves the game beyond just a simple mano-a-mano beat 'em up.

Game Center enthusiasts are also treated to 84 achievements to be unlocked, and the most difficult challenge is the Blazing Path to Victory achievement, which is earned after winning 27 straight matches. With my recent sword and armor purchase, I hope to accomplish that herculean task.

Priced at $2.99, Rage Warriors is a definite bargain, especially since you can navigate the game without any extra in-app purchases. After each win, you receive a certain number of shells, which you then use to buy more items. All of these shells can be earned organically, and if you can't beat a certain boss or warrior, just go back and make your money picking on one of your earlier opponents. Shells can be purchased with cash if you want to grab all those Rage Warriors goodies asap, but it's not necessary. I prefer organically making my shells by hurling my opponents mid-air with a mighty sword slash.

Although the soup of the day is violence, the game doesn't use excessive bloodletting or gore as its trademark. Instead, we are treated with a bit of strategy amidst all that furious pounding and destruction. I've found my own combat niche as a shield donning shin kicker, and although I rarely decimate the enemy with a glorious finishing move, all I want is the win. Rage Warriors gives us plenty of options to fight within this bleak, unforgiving universe, and hopefully we don't end up on the wrong side of the sword.


App Store Link: Rage Warriors for iPhone & iPad | By Reliance Big | Price: $2.99 | Version: 1.1.0 | 547 MB | Rating: 9+

8.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating