Garou: Mark of the Wolves is a classic brawler, all gorgeous sprites and intricate combo-chains, a blistering reminder that Street Fighter was never the only 2D fighter on the block.
What it's not, however, is particularly suited to mobile. This is a game that demands precision, and that's not something a touchscreen joystick can provide.
What you're left with is a glimpse at something greater. Yes, it's fun, and it's probably one of the sharpest straight-up fighters on the App Store, but it's a shadow of what it would be with an arcade stick attached.Not quite king
The game is a one on one 2D fighter. You pick a pugilist from a selection of characters, then duke it out. First one to deplete their opponent's energy bar is the winner.
You've got a lot of buttons to deal with if you want to come out the victor. A joystick sits in the left of the screen, then between four and six buttons on the right. These deal out punches and kicks, and you can add buttons that act as combinations of taps.
It's by no means the perfect solution, and the complex joystick movements that a lot of the special moves require are impossible to pull off even 50 percent of the time.
That usually reduces the scraps to jump kick, low kick battles of attrition. And means that plenty of the intricacies of the excellent fighting system are out of reach.
And that's a real shame, because some of the ideas that Garou implements are still impressive today. From the T.O.P system that lets you select an area of your health bar to grant you a boost, to the Just Defend blocking system.
Not quite fatal
Garou: Mark of the Wolves is a wonderful, in-depth fighter full of bright ideas, all wrapped around an expertly balanced system.
Unfortunately this mobile version just can't keep up, unless you have an appropriate controller. There's still a lot here to enjoy, but it's all too obvious that this is a shadow of what the game would have to offer on a more suitable platform.