App Army Assemble: Fury Unleashed - "Does this side-scrolling roguelite shooter translate well to mobile?"

We ask the App Army

App Army Assemble: Fury Unleashed - "Does this side-scrolling roguelite shooter translate well to mobile?"

After releasing on Steam, Awesome Games Studios has launched its side-scrolling roguelite shooter, Fury Unleashed, for iOS. It promises plenty of action, with players blasting their way through numerous enemies and bosses. Along the way, they can use the combo system to make the combat more enthralling. But, how well does the fast-paced gameplay translate to mobile? We handed the game over to our resident experts - the App Army - to find out.

Here's what they said:

Brian Wigington

I can't help but start this review by asking if you like Castlevania games? Metroid? Contra? Roguelites? Well, what if you blended those genres into a stew that is heavy on the Contra? This is how I feel playing Fury Unleashed, and it's pretty great. I love that we get a console-quality game packed with features and replay value. The game essentially consists of a comic book style story told in panels with an interesting flair. Your heavily armed character runs and guns through levels that scroll in all 4 directions while you take out monsters via a dual-stick shooter scheme. There are tons of weapons and power-ups and there is a procedurally generated system of levels. The game is tough but fair in my opinion in that the purpose is to challenge the player to improve their character in order to survive longer and go further.

I lasted through several weapons upgrades and quite a few rooms before getting totally destroyed at a moment's notice. I was not discouraged and jumped right back in to continue the fight. The game has quite detailed backgrounds with a good amount of variety and the sounds are appropriately punchy for all the weapons. Fury Unleashed simply has that "one more try" feeling that will make it a mainstay on my phone. I mainly played with my Razer controller and the controller support was excellent. I highly recommend this game if you love action games or shooters but rogue-lites or roguelikes have bored you in the past. The system of upgrades and fast action is really great and satisfying.

D.T Stroschein

I can see why this game currently has a 4.8 out of 5-star rating in the App Store. This is a very well put together a gem of a game. You're dropped into a living comic book where pages are levels that change as you progress through panels. Levels are laid out Metrovania style but a bit more bite-sized. Rooms to explore, enemies to kill for their ink which acts as currency, challenges to find, and secrets. As a shooter, I can't help but feel some nostalgia for Contra with the different weapons and movement, but Fury Unleashed is in a league of its own. This is a very challenging roguelike. There are some really nice RPG elements to juice up your character. You can equip and hold different range and melee weapons as well as gear. There are a lot of upgrades, gear that changes your appearance and weapons to be had to make your character unique to your liking. I love that there is a pretty rich Hero Stats menu that breaks down just about everything too.

The graphics are rich and colourful; very detailed overall. You can tell a lot of time and love was spent just watching backgrounds to levels come alive in even the smallest things. The music and sound effects blend perfect making the game really come to life. The enemies and huge boss battles are very fun and different keeping the gameplay fresh. Touch controls are as responsive as you can ask, and there's controller support. There is also co-op support to add to the mayhem adding to an already highly replayable game.
Fury Unleashed is a 5-star premium game and nothing less. This game is a complete package with high replayability and I don't see it falling into backlog any time soon.

Oksana Ryan

This game has an interesting twist in as much as you are playing within a graphic novel. I like the look of the game, the controls are easy to use (but sometimes a little hit and miss) and there is plenty to explore. Weapons are unlocked and again, these are plentiful, from swords to grenades and lots of upgrades, and there are creatures large and small to combat through the various levels. The pace is as fast as you want it to be with various difficulty levels and characters that can be swapped. Unfortunately when you die you start again from the beginning, but you don’t necessarily start where you did previously, so it isn’t as repetitive as it sounds. All in all, I enjoy playing this game and I would definitely recommend it.

Adam Rowe

The first impression from Fury Unleashed is fantastic. The game has great music, graphics, and a comic book art style that pops. It feels like a premium experience. The text is a little small when reading on a phone screen, even with a screen as large as the Xs Max. You can adjust the UI scale in the settings, but it still felt small even to my 20/20 eyes. Other than that one minor gripe I had no complaints. The gameplay is also top-notch. I started playing via touch controls, and I felt a little slower than what the game seemed to expect of me, but it was playable.

I kept missing my intended buttons or jumping into things that I hadn’t intended, but that is true of any touch control scheme where you can’t feel the buttons under your fingers. After a few runs, I tried the game with a Backbone controller and there it absolutely shined! Suddenly I was flying around the levels deftly avoiding projectiles, jumping on enemies’ heads and smashing them like Mario, and racking up a huge combo meter. After each run, I was excited to upgrade my character and try it again. Fury Unleashed has a great feedback loop, fluid gameplay, and beautiful graphics. If you like action platformers, and/or rogue-lites, you should give this game a try. Especially if you have a controller to play with!

Torbjörn Kämblad

Unleash the fury from when a truly angry metal dude named Yngwie Malmsten expressed his irritation, to much amusement. Fury Unleashed takes some of that intense anger and mashes it into a combined Metroidvania and Metal Slug hellish shooter. 2D-action is something we have seen quite a lot on iOS, but Fury Unleashed takes it a bit further. Refining the bite-sized action with a bit of story, and weapon development. It controls well using touch controls, albeit it might be far easier using an MFI-controller but I could not find that option.

Shoot, stab, jump, repeat. There is also an option to play co-op online, but I only dabbled in the single-player game. I found a premium experience and had quite a blast traversing the missions. Within the missions, you also get to play out various challenges such as “kill x enemies without getting hit in x amount of time”. Fury Unleashed is easy to recommend with seemingly quite a lot of content since it is randomly generated. I for one unleashed the fury.

Subscribe to Pocket Gamer on

Chad Jones

I really had a lot of fun with Fury Unleashed. Part action platformer, part rogue-like with 4 difficulty settings (Easy and Hard is unlocked right away the other 2 are not unlocked) as well as 2 other special ways to play, the Superhot way (you only have 1 hp) and Crypt of the Necromancer (where you play by the rhythm of the music). They were pretty fun and made a nice extra touch to an already solid game. I liked that there is a bloodless mode so I could play it around my younger kids that were curious and wanted to play for themselves.

The touch controls weren't too bad to play with but I also connected my PS4 controller and it worked like a charm, which is also a nice touch, I loved the style of this game and the challenge and I really had a great time and look forward to completing the hard level and going from there. It took me a couple of hours to beat the easy mode and will take a bunch more time to beat the hard mode. Each run you level up your character and get skill points to make your next run through a bit easier. Lots to unlock and many weapons to "play" with along the way. My only regret is that I didn't find this game sooner.

Jc Ga

I really appreciate the rogue-like part: the feeling that each play gives points so you can optimize the character is addictive, and the different weapons and the generation of the levels, are well-programmed, avoiding any monotony. The music is very appropriate and stimulating; the graphics are neat, but I find them somewhat lacking in originality, fortunately, the references to a comic book are successful. For gameplay, the touch controls are precise, but their positions are not actually customizable, and even on a phone, the button for jumping is quite far from the joystick for shooting, so the second big level requires more speed and precision becomes difficult. Overall it offers a fast-paced experience with a lot of fun that I recommend to all shooting platformer lovers.

Matt ARen

The story is that your creator has lost faith in you. Restore his faith and confidence by battling your way through the pages of his comic once more, regaining your lost power along the way. Fury Unleashed's graphics are quite good, packing a surprising amount of detail into a small space. I appreciate the visual differences between weapons and various effects. No slowdown or lagging noticed while in graphically heavy doss battles. The music adjusts to the level of action on screen, and your current combo, drawing you into the game as things get exciting. All of the weapons I’ve used so far have distinct sounds to tell them apart.

The gameplay is similar to an action platformer, scenes are reduced to comic book cells in a nod to the story. It’s a nice touch. Controls are intuitive and easy to use. Building combos through consecutive kills can lead to greater rewards, and resource collection helps you upgrade between missions. There’s also a surprising amount of depth to the effect of your weapon/armour choices have on gameplay. Conveniently, there is a save and quit feature, so you won’t lose anything to a short session. Fury Unleashed is fast, fun, engaging, and gory. The kind of shooter where you might find yourself laughing at the mayhem on screen. In my opinion, this is a Must Buy! game.

Eduard Pandele

Good-looking and mostly fun arcade shooter/platformer with RPG elements that offer a lot of playtime.

The good:

  • Fun concept (play inside a comic book - each level fills two pages of a comic book, each room of a level is a case of the comic book; there are incentives to fully explore these)
  • Nice art
  • Lots and lots of different weapons
  • killing baddies feels very satisfying, the FX are really nice
  • The RPG elements are well balanced and improve your hero properly, giving you a fighting chance on later levels
  • There's co-op

The bad:

  • I'm still struggling with the on-screen controls after three days (the placement of the buttons on the iPad is quite far apart, I imagine it's better on a phone). This is a port from a fast and furious PC game, so the best way to play it is using a controller. The devs obviously tried to alleviate this issue by making enemies dumb and slow, which means the first difficulty level gets boring fast and the second difficulty level becomes almost impossible ???? The good thing is that you can fully edit the difficulty settings, so you can make the game just as easy or as hard as you want. Obviously, you can't edit the random quests or the evil traps placed straight in front of passages, so frustration still occurs.
  • Playing co-op erases your single-player progress

Makara Nou

First, let me address the elephant in the room. The control scheme is translated very well into touch control. The right ‘stick’ is really good and can be used for shooting in any direction. If we talk about touch control in general, it’s a great step-up. The game also supports physical controllers, which is another plus. It’s a rogue-like shooting platformer game. But instead of going from left to right, you also go up and down in box-like dungeons.

It’s a very fast-paced action game. You can enjoy using a melee attack, bombs, and a variety of guns. Yes, guns, lots of guns! And the story presents in a comic book style. The music also maximizes my experience by making shooting feel super satisfying. I was surprised to learn that I could also customize characters. My only complaint is my current progress will be removed if I join an online co-op. But as it’s fast-paced and players will restart a lot, that’s probably not too big a deal.

Mark Abukoff

I’ve been thinking about trying this game but kind of on the fence because of the price tag. So I was excited to see it show up in an App Army Assemble. And now I can say that I would have been very happy with my purchase. First off, the art style is fun. You’re fighting inside and throughout a comic book. Lots of weapon variety. Power-ups. Melee weapons. Grenades. Dark Matter guns. The onscreen controls are sufficient, but it’s a lot better with a controller. I started with onscreen controls and occasionally struggled, but once I was using the Backbone and oriented myself it really took off. This is a rogue-lite game, which means that you’re going to die at some point… and while you retain your unlocks and character progression, you start over on levels. Which are procedurally generated, so it’s never the same twice. The weapons are wide and varied and fun, and the power-ups help (triple jump!).

Cons to the game? In my opinion, minor. The story element is really bare-bones compared to the fun. Interesting in that it involves the world outside… but within the comic itself. With occasional glimpses into the unhappy psyche of the artist. And there isn’t a lot of depth to the main character. But I see this as a first-rate 80s-vibe (Die Hard/Rambo/Terminator) shooter… and that’s honestly more than enough. I’m not playing for a life-like character and deep compelling storyline. I want a fun nostalgic arcade shoot-em up with cool art (even the comic book covers look great) and wild bosses. And that’s what this game is all about. If you’re looking for a deep story, you might want to look elsewhere. But if you’re looking for an awesome arcade shooter, a la “Huntdown”, you’re going to be very happy with this. This one is a standout for the genre and I can enthusiastically recommend it.

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.

To join, simply head over to either our Discord Channel or Facebook Group and request access by answering the three questions. We'll then get you in right away.

Stephen Gregson-Wood
Stephen Gregson-Wood
Stephen brings both a love of games and a very formal-sounding journalism qualification to the Pocket Gamer team.