It's interesting that the swipey slashy genre that Infinity Blade ostensibly started hasn't gained as much traction as others that have been invented during the life span of the App Store.
It might be because it's pretty tough to get right, and a match-stuff puzzler doesn't take as much work as a fully realised 3D adventure.
Still, you can add Dawnbringer to the short-ish list of games that have tried to emulate Chair's opus. It's not as good, but for the most part it's still an entertaining diversion that at least shows more innovation than most.
Slice of life
The game casts you as a fallen angel. You find yourself stranded on a strange world after a big ol' scrap with your brother, who then proceeds to go a bit mad and steal the power of a bunch of dead guys.
From there you have to set the world back to normal, and get back to the astral plane you tumbled from. You do this by hacking everything in sight to small pieces. And opening chests.
You can move freely around the world by tapping. Tap and you start running, and you control your direction and look around by swiping a finger around the screen. Tap on glowing objects and you can interact with them.
When you walk into the circle surrounding an enemy, the game switches to fight mode. Here your feet are stuck to the ground, and swiping unleashes attacks with your big sharp sword.
Swiping is your method of defence as well as attack. Time a swipe right and you'll parry an incoming attack. There's no shield or dodging here, you're just swiping, swiping, swiping, and then swiping some more.
The action is probably a little faster than other games of this sort, and when you're parrying attacks and then slicing at your opponent it's a lot of fun. Learning to read the tells of each enemy is key to not dying.
Rather than finding or buying new swords and bits of armour, you upgrade the pieces you have with a variety of ores and spores that you find on your travels. You use some of the same items to make health potions as well.
It's a system that doesn't work brilliantly, and you'll often find yourself underpowered for the foes you come up against.
Boss battles are particularly problematic – the bigger enemies have massive health bars and can kill you in a few hits if you're not fast enough with your parries.
Need a slash?
There's a level of grind here as well, and while you're facing off against different foes, you'll find yourself getting slightly bored by the repetitive combat. And then you'll find yourself getting slaughtered by a boss.
But there's fun to be had to. The world built around you is reasonably nice looking, and tromping around it murdering the smaller enemies is a lot of fun.
It's just a shame the game doesn't manage to capture what made Infinity Blade so compulsive. Yes, it's a bigger world, and you're free to move around it, but the more restrictive combat means it loses its lustre a little too quickly.