The Warhammer franchise stretches into pretty much every aspect of nerddom -- tabletop games, literature, and, of course, video games. Warhammer Quest takes that same human vs. Ork goodness that fans have come to know and love and tries to cram it down into a portable iOS dungeon crawler. Should fans of dungeon crawls and Warhammer loot this game, or should they leave it where it dropped?

The format is pretty straightforward -- you take control of a party of four adventurers and try to keep your heroes alive as they slay all sorts of nasties and take their loot. Most of the player's time will be spent either killing stuff or searching for stuff to kill. Combat is turn-based, alternating between the player's characters and the enemies. The controls are wonderfully intuitive -- you tap a character to select it, tap to move, and double-tap a target to attack. It's so nice when games actually respond to the commands!

Your group of adventurers starts off surprisingly well-armed, with each one having some special ability or quality that sets them apart from the others; but in spite of that, combat can quickly grow tiresome. As you advance you’ll learn new skills and face more fearsome enemies, which keeps things interesting, but for experienced strategy game fans, Warhammer Quest may feel a bit too simplistic. Combat is click, kill, and repeat, with very little variation.

When you’re not questing and monster-slaying you’ll be in town, spending your hard-earned cash to get goods and training. You can also use gold to gain levels, which is especially important early on when your front-row fighters will be killing the most monsters (and thusly gaining the most experience), while your comparatively weak ranged characters will be lucky to net a handful of kills per dungeon. Don’t expect to rapidly upgrade your characters, though, as most loot is pretty expensive, and the maximum experience level is five.There are seven classes in all for you to compose your party with, but three of these character classes are locked as in-app purchases. And when you've already paid five dollars for the game, having to buy those characters is unacceptable.

The graphics are serviceable, but nothing to brag about, with animations being sluggish and cartoony. It’s nice that the developers added an option to fast-forward through the enemy turn, but even then things move so slowly that fast-forwarding just feels like what normal speed would be in other games. The sound design, on the other hand, is pretty spot-on. Blades zing, monsters squish, and the music soars and wanes when necessary.

“Serviceable” is the word when it comes to Warhammer Quest. Its job is to be a turn-based dungeon crawler, and that it is. What it doesn’t do, however, is find a way to light that fire in a player’s belly, the hunger for loot and the thirst for the blood of the unrighteous. Warhammer Quest is decent enough for players looking for a simpler strategy game, but experienced gamers are likely to find their attentions wandering after the twentieth identical battle in a row.


App Store Link: Warhammer Quest for iPhone & iPad | By Rodeo Games | Price: $4.99 | Version: 1.02 | 731 MB | Rating 9+

6.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating