Nimble Quest is a break from the simple, addictive simulators that NimbleBit has been peddling in recent times. Gone are the cute bitizens, replaced with sprites that wouldn't look out of place in a SNES-era RPG.
There's more actual gameplay here, too, with a core mechanic that harks back to the early days of mobile phone gaming. Nimble Quest won't lure you in in the same way as earlier titles, but if you don't mind something a little quicker and a little more immediate, you won't be disappointed.
A train across the floor
The game is a mix of Snake, a top-down arcade shooter, and a simple RPG. You pick one or more characters and lead them through a set of levels, smiting bad guys, recruiting new heroes, and collecting loot as you go.
Hit the edge of one of these arenas or crash into a foe before you kill it with your weapons and it's Game Over. You'll also die if you manage to curl your conga of heroes back in on itself. You can add knights, rangers, bomb making scientists, and undead skeletons to your ranks as you play.
You control your heroes by swiping in the direction you want them to turn. They'll walk forwards no matter what's in their way, so it's up to you to make sure they're not heading in the wrong direction.
Vanquished foes sometimes drop buffs that offer a variety of boosts. One makes you attack harder and faster, another shields the character at the front of your troupe, and a third magnetises you, dragging in gems dropped around the level.
Those gems can be spent in a shop to increase the potency of the power-ups you find. There are 15 different heroes to unlock, each offering its own mix of skills. Some are tough melee experts who work better at the front of your line, while others are more flimsy but deal better damage at range.
Nimble Quest is an entertaining little game, and while it doesn't have the occasionally forced longevity of its forebears it offers gamers an arcade thrill that's been lacking in NimbleBit's output thus far.
There's the same aura of sweet simplicity here, too, but there are points to chase, scores to set in an Arena mode, and a little more tangible fun.
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