A Shadowhunter is a warrior who's part human and part angel, and they protect humans from all the evil forces that infest the earth. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is an iOS companion piece to the upcoming movie which is an adaptation of the book of the same name. Some of these games are completely forgettable experiences, merely serving as a promotional tool for the movie, so is City of Bones worth digging up?

You start of the game getting your choice of Shadowhunter, with each fighter specializing in melee, archery, or sword wielding combat. A select number of points are given when your Shadowhunter levels up, and those points are distributed to up your power, defense, speed, and health categories. Since each battle stage comes in waves, having an ample amount of health is highly recommended. Of course, it's all based on strategy, and if you're the duck, run, and eventually hit kind of demon slayer, just increase your speed numbers. Since I have a horrible Napoleonic complex, I'm all jacked up on power.

Demons, witches, as well as monsters called fledglings and enforcers, are all available for your hack and slash enjoyment, so if you need a bit of variety when slaying darkness, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones won't disappoint. Unfortunately, the actual combat mechanic, which has players tap to an opponent's location for combat, wasn't to my liking. For a game that hinges on numerous kills, I was bored within the first several minutes.

Although you can purchase different fighting styles the further you progress, the actual showdowns didn't light me on fire. Using a healing rune to replenish your energy while your slashing away adds a slight bit of dimension to the proceedings, but why praise the garnish if the meal isn't that good?

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones does get a few brownie points for enabling gamers to enjoy the actual experience without shelling out cash from the get go. I was able to unlock the first few power ups by using the in-game currency I earned from completing the first several stages. There are premium items to be had by throwing a few bucks into the mix, but there's a ton of free goodies available which you can earn by actually playing the game. This added plus definitely makes Mortal Instrument's fighting flaws a bit more palatable. With my complaints now in my back pocket, I attend my meet and greet with a few ember demons.

Just a quick aside. Isn't it obvious that the most hellish creatures, even if unseen by the human eye, reside in New York? As much as I love the Big Apple, cleaning the city from all walks of vermin gives me a minor kick. Sure, it may not be a detailed map of Skyrim, but unlocking new adventures in my favorite borough also put me in a better mood.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones has a few nice touches that I dig, but will I resume my Shadow Hunter duties anytime soon? Probably not, since there's just way too many great apps out there waiting to be played on my iPad. Fans of The Mortal Instruments franchise may hold a deeper appreciation for this iOS journey. I'd rather slay my demons in a city with a bit more meat on its bones.


App Store Link: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones for iPhoneiPad | By PlayFirst, Inc. | Price: Free | Version: 1.1.3 | 39.1 MB | Rating: 9+

5.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating