What Hail to the King: Deathbat thinks it is is not what Hail to the King: Deathbat actually is. It wants to be Diablo, dripping with wit and dark and stormy violence.
In fact it's a sluggish bumble of a game. A button masher where sometimes the buttons forget that you're mashing them, and where pesky imps can eat half of your health bar and boss battles are reduced to laughable Benny Hill-style chases.
It is, in short, not very good. It's unoriginal, clunky to the extreme, and looks a bit like it should have come out some time just before the heyday of the PSOne.
After what feels like far-too-much story you're dumped into a dungeon and told by an old witch to go and hit some stuff. You wander off, hit some stuff, and then get unleashed on the game's world.
There's a sort of Soul Reaver vibe to proceedings, if Soul Reaver was a charmless thud of flappy violence and forgettable characters.
You have two buttons. One twirls your sword around, the other fires out bloops of blue magical energy. Hold down the magic button and you charge up an attack that bursts blue fire all around you.
You only have a small amount of mana to spend on spells though, and once it's gone you need to top up by finding orbs or handily placed magical fonts. It's all by the book, albeit a book with a few important pages missing.
The combat is dull and sloppy. Bang on the screen for a bit, run away until you're surrounded again, then bang it some more. It's dull and uninspiring and certainly doesn't make you feel like some avenging angel.
The boss fights are the worst. You stumble into a fenced off arena, smash as much magic into the boss's face as you can, then spend the next five minutes waddling away from it, turning back to slash it a few times every now and then.
The design feels tired, the whole concept has been done better on the App Store before, and there's a frustrating sludge to everything that means you're unlikely to come back for more.
Throw in some clunky movement controls and a raft of re-used enemies, and you're left with a game that can barely stand on its own imp-gnawed legs.
Too disgusted to make a joke
There are brief moments of entertainment here, but they're endlessly tempered by gouts of boiling frustration. Lesser creatures kill you too easily, and you've got almost no recourse to stop them.
Hail to the King: Deathbat comes off like an idea that never got fully fleshed out. It's a pudgy mess of hack-'n'-slash ideas that don't bond together to create anything resembling a working whole.
And when you get ganked by a handful of goblin things for the fourth time you'll plop your iPad down and go and do something else, wondering why you ever expected anything more from a game that's built around a band.