I can't put it down.
I really can't stop playing Wolfenstein RPG.
It's about as old school as you can get, but, for the life of me, this game works on so many levels that I play it every spare moment I get.
See, Wolfenstein RPG is an iPhone and iPod touch game that's a first person shooter more in common with the venerable Dungeon Master from Faster Than Light Games than with IDG's Doom.
Back in the late 80s I wasted untold hours rooting around in the caves and byways of Dungeon Master's virtual world fighting all manner of beasties. The thing that set good old DM apart from other games at the time was its system of character control and the level of detail it offered.
Dungeon Master was a turn-based, quasi-real time role playing game, which is, I assume, what the RPG in Wolfenstein RPG stands for. Like DM Wolfenstein RPG is turn-based and quasi-real time, meaning that every movement in the game is done at alternate time intervals; as in chess, you move your character, the computer moves other characters in the environment, and it goes back and forth.
In a world of fast paced, high intensity, truly real time first person shooters, a turn based system may sound boring, but give it a try. What you'll find is an engaging world where planning your next move is almost as important as blasting whatever's in front of you.
And make no mistake, you do get to blast stuff. Wolfenstein RPG offers all sorts of weaponry, from brass knuckles to a Tesla gun capable of shooting a ga-jillion volts at your enemies.
Instead of controlling four characters as you did in Dungeon Master, Wolfenstein RPG puts you in control of Sgt. Blazkowicz, who should be familiar to fans of other Wolfenstein games. As in Castle Wolfenstein 3D, you'll find power-ups and add-ons scattered throughout the game and to get them you simply run over them or grab them by touching the screen. There are hidden treasures as well and some you'll need explosives to get to.
Back to the planning element: Wolfenstein RPG has a system of power-ups based on concoctions you inject with syringes. At certain points to can create you own mixture by combining red, blue, and green goo at mixing station scattered throughout the game. The enhancement the syringes grant you last only so long, then you have the shoot your character up again, and there are many places in the game that you can't get pass without enhancements. That's where the planning comes in. Management of your syringes and health power-ups takes a little forethought. You'll also find that certain weapons have little affect on certain bad guys. Here again you need to plan your attack carefully.
As with other games bearing the Wolfenstein name there's Nazis, weird scientists, and elements of the occult all blending into a game that's been keeping me occupied for hours. The control are very similar to Castle Wolfenstein 3D, you're status is displayed for easy reference, and there are alternate screens that show your inventory of syringes, treasure, weapons, and so on. In fact, I like this interface. Press and hold the weapons status area and a list of all the weapons you have available appears and you can easily select from it. The same is true for the other lists.
Scattered throughout Wolfenstein RPG are key characters that you talk to to progress the story. Also, you'll find that you can go back through areas you were in before, even way back to the beginning if you want to, and find any treasure or hidden clues you've might have missed. I like that.
The graphic are cartoonish and the sounds effects are suitably moody, so this game should be OK for older children, I'd say 12 or older, but you should play it first if you intend to let younger kids at it.
One thing I love about this game is the sense of humor the programmer had when putting it together. All throughout the game there are little touches that keep the mood light even though you are shooting people. I know it sounds odd, but so many shooters games are so grim. This game is more like watching Saturday morning cartoons, and that's not a bad thing.
The bottom line is that Wolfenstein RPG is an absolute blast to play. It's slower pace lends itself well to random periods of play as you might find with hand held devices. It behaves well when you are interrupted by phone calls and saves your current position automagically.
There's lot to explore, lots to find, and a fairly interesting story to uncover. Expect hours of playtime, but if you're looking for a high speed first person shooter then look elsewhere. But if you're looking for hours of gameplay and don't mind a bit of bloodless shooting then Wolfenstein RPG is right up your alley.
I'm giving Wolfenstein RPG my highest rating and you should GET IT NOW.
* Note: My rating system goes like this;
- Get it Now! - Highest rating and an absolute must-have
- Highly recommend - Minor flaws, but a great product
- Recommend - Flawed, but still a solid product
- So-so - Problem product that may find a niche market
- Avoid - Why did they bother making it? A money waster.