Earlier this year our App Army tackled the turn-based roguelike Seven Scrolls and had a really good time with it. So, when we discovered Revolt from Badbones Productions drew inspiration from similar places, we decided to see how well it fares against other games in the genre.
Here's what they said:
This game is very similar to ENYO. The shape and map layout, as well as the gameplay, all bear a strong resemblance. The graphics and visuals leave a little bit to be desired. The controls are also not as responsive as they could be, and I found the lack of options relative to ENYO slightly disappointing. Overall, it is a game with promise but needs polish.
Revolt! Is about a man (Mr Smith) who is immune from government mind control and gets thrown in prison. You must help him escape for the future of humanity. What this boils down to is a turn-based Pacman, on a square playing board, you swipe to move and then the enemies move. Littered across the board are two types of card that give your hero offensive or enhanced capabilities.
You play these cards to help you kill all the enemies on the board, once done you can move to the exit and go onto the next level. Graphics are simple and sound is sparse. The gameplay is simple. I found it quite addictive in a methodical way and I will keep going back to this game.
In Revolt, the player impersonates Mr. Smith and his fight against the government, more specifically the Russian government. Smith has to slide across the screen to pick up weapons and items to kill Soviet guards and move through the levels. I think there are three main levels of the game.
1) Environment and graphics: They are inspired by George Orwell’s 1984, and I frankly find them beautiful. Each guarda has a specific character and attack mode, you get random weapons and items and it’s up to the player to make the best use for them. The music is however very flat and not engaging... 7/10
2) Unfortunately, the controls are VERY bad. I played for a total of about 8 hours during the past few days, and I could not get used to the responsiveness of the controls. I don’t think the game is unplayable, but the controls hinder an enjoyable playing experience. I died multiple times because Mr. Smith didn’t go where he was supposed to. I hope the developers release a patch. 3/10
3) Once the controls are fixed, the game offers medium re-playability. It is a little monotone, given the genre, but I think it can be enjoyable. 6/10.
Overall, my grade is 5/10.
Boy do I love grid-based roguelikes, there is so much versatility in the genre, even the most spartan graphics can carry complex and thrilling game dynamics (868-Hack, Hoplite, Twinfold). You can have an ascii interface if the moving parts are complex enough, and if the decisions you make with every move are laden with strategic weight, it doesn’t matter.
Given that the genre has grown delightfully complex with intimidating titans of innovation like Imbroglio setting a high standard. Unlike Seven Scrolls, Revolt doesn’t even pitch a concept, it plays like a student game, coming to grips with the thing that games in the genre are working hard to transcend in creative ways. It is rough and lacklustre, I hope the devs keep pushing because there are still many ways in which the genre can be expanded.
The idea of the game is interesting but for me, it doesn’t quite deliver. You play the role of a man that hasn’t succumb to the mind-altering activities of the government. The gameplay is simple: gather weapons and kill the enemy. It is very samey each level you play.
Enemies alter slightly each level and so do the weapons but not really enough to create a gripping genre. It feels too easy to advance to the next level through the first playthrough, I made it a fair way without dying. Guess I’m used to roguelikes being more of a challenge. An OK game but nothing special.
Revolt is basically a game where you move around a confined area picking up items which you must use to defeat all the enemies, then move to the exit and progress to the next level. The problem with the game, of which there is many, is there is no incentive, other than to beat your previous score, to replay the game. I really hate being harsh on games, especially when they are not the usual cash grab type, but the game is too bland an experience to recommend.
When you play the first level, you have played everything there is really to offer, Move around, eliminate the enemy then move on to the next level. No character progression, no abilities to unlock, no real changes to the gameplay mechanics, basically nothing new to see. If there was, past the levels that I played, I had no interest in finding out.
The games graphics, animations and sound are pretty basic, like an early flash game, they don’t really have any charm to them and he individual character animations are very limited to the point of hardly any. This is a genre of a game that has been around, literally since the early days of green and black monitors, I played a game like this when I first encountered computers decades ago, move around avoid the enemy and use either an ability or the map to wipe them out.
Because it’s the type of game has been around so long, you have to use something to make it stand out, make it unique, to make the player want to keep playing it, draping a Russian theme over the top of the graphics doesn’t do this, because other games of this type, out now, and some that have log since passed into history, have done this a lot better.
Revolt on iPad Pro. To be honest this game seems to have no more than 4 to 5 levels to it. Even if you are moving through the levels successfully, you suddenly end up dead and have to start again. The mechanics of the game are easy in theory but not so easy in practice and I found myself going directly into the line of fire on many occasions because the move hadn’t stopped where I had intended.
The idea behind the game was simple and would have been fun to play but it lacked any real progression. Every level seemed exactly the same as the one before but with more enemies thrown into the mix. This alone was not enough to keep me interested. A variety in backdrops would have been welcome. So, if you literally have five minutes to kill, then this could fit the bill, but as a game to keep you entertained long term, it’s a definite non-starter.
Revolt is a roguelike with a simple to learn yet difficult to master battle system. Movement and combat is done in turns and you have to collect power-ups from special tiles of the board that give you weapons and abilities. Using these you have to dispose of all the enemies in each stage in order to unlock the door that leads to the next one.
While doing that you must also make sure you don't get killed or captured by the bad guys and don't run out of energy. If any of those happens it's all over and you have to start all over from stage 1 again. While the first couple of stages seem to be relatively easy, things get pretty tough really soon and despite my best efforts I only made it as far as stage 7 (shame on me). Still, I really loved the game. (Played on Redmi Note 9 Pro)
I liked the Soviet art style, on the loading screen - I think that's the best thing I can say about this game. I found the controls very fiddly and error-prone, which is a big problem for a one-false-move-and-you're-dead game: often I couldn't see which square I was moving to because my finger was in the way, other times I had to drag 3 or 4 times before it registered.
Generally, it didn't feel like anything I hadn't seen many times before, and I was particularly disappointed in the lack of progression: usually with a "rogue-lite" game you carry something into the next attempt, leading to an actual "career". But this has nothing like that - it's purely a high-score chaser, and I never had any time for high-score chasing, even in the arcades when I was a kid. If anyone wants to see how this sort of thing is done much better, I'd highly recommend Sproggiwood.
I think a game like this will have absolutes as far as people’s impression of it, either you love it or hate it.
For my part I’ll say I got what the developers were going for, it’s a very basic looking game nothing really flashy here. Controls are simple but did sometimes cause me to make mistakes but all around it’s not a bad game and it does offer enough of a challenge to hold your attention for a while.
I’ve played a few games like this one but in this case, the inclusion of different weapons added to the strategy and I did like seeing the blimps flying by. But in the end, it’s not a game that really gave me any kind of excitement or enjoyment so it’s not one I could recommend
Dystopian Roguelike is a turn-based roguelike that mixes in elements of card and strategy games. I loved the overall aesthetic heavily inspired by George Orwell’s classic 1984 through its art and soundtrack. When I think about it, a roguelike game emphasizes your every move and that style seems to be the perfect fit for a story like this. Subtle touches like moving airships above the playing field, and distinct weaponry sounds, lend to this dystopian vibe of a man fighting for his freedom from a government who is in a state of totalitarian control.
While swipe commands can sometimes be a bit unresponsive, the controls never really got in the way of my enjoyment. I liked the AI which can create quite a challenge leading to some tense moments, and the variety of card style items produce different abilities that demanded some meaningful strategy throughout my sessions. Another run to rank up the leaderboards will have me coming back.
I’ve tried to find something to recommend about this game. And if pushed, I could say that I don’t mind the art style. It’s been done a million times and in a million places, but I kind of like it on an aesthetic level. And it’s because I like the art style that I find the game so tremendously disappointing. The animation is bare bones. The controls, simple as they are, manage to disappoint. It’s very repetitive with little variation (that I stuck around long enough to notice) in weapons or options.
The sound was about as interesting as one might expect to hear from behind the walls of a soviet prison. The gameplay is mind-numbingly simple. As has been stated already, bare-bones graphics and sound and controls don’t have to mean a bad experience if the Devs have brought enough imagination into it. But I don’t think they did here. It almost reminds me of a minigame that you can play while waiting for an update to be downloaded, or while you’re waiting for an ad to run. But no, it’s a full game.
Well, I think the only thing that could make me enjoy this is a good dose of soviet government mind-altering therapy. From the moment the game starts till the point your character meets his inevitable demise, the whole experience is bland and poorly made. Games like Seven Scrolls show how basic mechanics and graphics can still create an engaging and rewarding game, however, in this instance it just exaggerates the woeful and shallow gameplay.
The game looks dreadful, controls poorly (which is quite an achievement for such basic movement needs) and sounds terrible. Probably up there with the worst games I have played this year. Avoid like a lengthy sentence in a Russian Gulag.
Upon starting the app, Revolt stuns you with a fantastic title screen and a catchy tune. Once you hit Play, though, it looks and feels decidedly less stunning. The game puts you on a randomly generated grid with enemies to take out and weapons and power-ups to collect. You and the enemies take turns to move and it’s here where some of the problems start.
The game often has problems to accurately detect your touch input and so it might move your character, depicted by a simple icon, in the wrong direction or the wrong number of squares. Weapons have varying striking distances so positioning becomes key. There are some tense moments to be had throughout the game, like when you’re starting to get surrounded by enemies and you only survive because you step on a weapons field, get a grenade and can take out three guys at once.
Unfortunately, the aforementioned touch input problems, as well as other bugs like incorrect weapon distances, can make this more tedious than fun. I’m also not sure if it was the best idea to make this a randomized roguelike. I‘d prefer a more handcrafted experience.
What is the App Army?
The App Army is Pocket Gamer's lovely community of mobile game experts. As often as possible, we ask them for their thoughts on the latest games and share them with you.