Yes and no. Mainly yes. League of Stickmen might sound like a boring tower defence game, but it's actually an attempt to take slushy action in a slightly more midcore direction.Hmmmm, sounds potentially troubling
It does, but it actually isn't. There’s still a solid dollop of interactivity here, but if you're looking for a game that's all about chaining together intricately timed combinations of attacks you're going to have a bit of a frown.So what do you do?
You chain together non-intricately timed combinations of attacks. Rather than mashing buttons to swing your weapons, here you just hold down one big button to make your warrior wave its sword around.Okay…
You’ve also got four special moves, all of them on cool down timers, that you can use to help you clear the screen of the silhouetted foes you're trying to dice into lumps.Is that it?
Nope. As you progress through the game you'll unlock new heroes as well, and you can team up with them to tackle bigger challenges. In single player mode you control one character at a time, but you can swap between them at will.So there's a multiplayer mode as well?
Indeed there is. You and a friend can team up to take down the legions of enemies if you'd like. You can connect over Bluetooth or w-fi, whichever floats your boat. It's a neat addition, and playing with a friend really brings the game to life.So what’s the aim of the game then?
Slaughter. Wholesale slaughter. Every level sees you ploughing through a series of bad guys. There's usually a slightly tougher one to face at the end as well. Kill stuff, get loot, equip loot, kill more stuff.Slightly tougher ones? Like bosses?
Yes and no. There's a separate boss mode that sees you taking on one giant enemy. These sections are ridiculously tough, and not for the faint of heart. You need to build up your characters and your gear before you even attempt to mash a boss.It all sounds a little bit grindy
There's a definite focus on grind, yeah. In fact, grind is really all there is here. There's no story to weigh you down, just a steady plod through murderous regions in order to make your murdering more efficient. Sounds pretty grim when you put it like that.It does a bit
But then that's what action RPG-ish games like this are all about. And there's a pretty decent compulsion loop here. It's nice to get new things, especially when they make your job easier. It's just that your job here is butchering things.It is a video game after all
It is. It really is. And as video games go it's a pretty good one. It looks lovely, it's easy to control, and the IAPs aren't particularly overpowering. It's not perfect, but the compulsion loop is tight enough that it's easy to lose a few blissful, murdery hours in it.I'm going to guess that you’ll recommend it then?
Guardedly. It's not going to be to everyone's taste, and hack and slash purists will be upset by its, well by its lack of purity. But as mobile violence simulators go, there's a lot here to like.