Shadow Quest RPG sets itself apart from other mobile RPG’s by making character positioning relevant. It also has a new take on dungeon crawling that I have not seen employed on mobile devices.
Price: Free to download (In-App Purchases)
- Attacks based on unit position
- Turn based gameplay
- On par graphics
- high power consumption
Setup is simple; install the game from Google Play and launch the app ( which does not support Google Play Games). The first time you launch the app you are greeted with a few short sentences of storytelling; tap the screen to get through these screens. You are then thrust immediately into battle and given a tutorial of the battle system.
Considering the first 30 seconds of gameplay consists of battle mechanics we should start there. Shadow Quest takes your classic mobile RPG’s turn-based button smashing and refines it by making character placement relevant. In the introduction, it shows you how to drag characters to the front, back, left, and right of the battlefield. This mechanic quickly becomes relevant as you realize that the players on the sides can only attack enemies on their side, the character in the front is the most vulnerable, and characters perform a special attack when stationed in the back.
The dungeon-crawling mechanic is also something that I find unique. Your character begins with 50 stamina and each level has a set amount of squares that must be searched. Tapping on a square removes it from play, exposing what is underneath, and costs one stamina. Stamina can be regained by waiting for the timer to give you more or you can refill an empty stamina counter by spending 50 gems.
Gems are your in-game currency; they can be used for things like crafting items, reviving your party, purchasing blessings, and purchasing more powerful characters. They also make up the entirety of the game’s in-app purchases.
The graphics are on par with many of the top quality mobile RPG’s demonstrating clean lines, fabulous artwork, attack animations, and blocky but appropriate enemy movements. Couple that with a soundtrack that sets a perfect mood for dungeon crawling and you have a recipe for hours of unrelenting gameplay.
The single major drawback is the power drain I experienced. My Galaxy S6 was losing 1% of battery ever two minutes, which is not the worst battery drain I have experienced playing a mobile game but is not conducive to playing for extended periods. This is a common theme with most mobile RPG’s, and with flagship phones like the Nexus 6P and Galaxy S7 Edge having much larger batteries this may not be as much of an issue for some of you.
- Raising the bar on turn-based combat
- Unique dungeon-crawling mechanic
- Moderate battery drain
I have to admit, I have never found a mobile RPG that was able to keep my attention for more than an hour. When I installed Shadow Quest, I played it all day. If you are a mobile RPG fan I highly recommend giving this a download; if you are not yet a fan, give this one a download and see if it is able to change your mind.