Gameloft’s Dungeon Hunter 2 has big shoes to fill—its predecessor set the bar for fantasy role-playing games on iOS pretty high—but it does not disappoint. The premise of the game is simple enough: you play a prince whose brother Edward has taken over your father’s kingdom and, well, hasn’t done a very good job; as a result, all sorts of Bad Guys, from monsters to evil wizards, roam the land. Your mission, should you wish to accept it, is to clean things up and restore the glory of the Immortal King, all the while dispatching good old Ed and once again taking control of the land.
Despite a backstory that doesn’t exactly overflow with originality, Dungeon Hunter 2 is no run-of-the-mill game. Its Retina-enhanced graphics are beautifully drawn and feature a great deal of detail, but the star attraction of this title is its gameplay: Gameloft’s developers have managed to keep things simple and intuitive without compromising the depth of the character’s personality and abilities.
In other words, if you are a casual player who just likes hacking and slashing at enemies, once past the initial choice of one of three classes, you will be able to enjoy the game without giving your abilities a second thought, except for the occasional power-up. RPG aficionados, meanwhile, can still access to all of their character’s abilities and ratings with a reasonable level of detail.
The game’s multiplayer capabilities are also well developed and give you the ability to play cooperatively with up to three friends in real-time over the Internet or through a local Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection, although this feature is only available with newer iOS devices starting with the iPhone 3GS.
To be sure, Dungeon Hunter 2 is not perfect. The game’s AI is, at times, not quite as intelligent as one would expect from a modern game; for example, you will often be able to hit monsters with a ranged weapon without eliciting any reaction. In addition, the sound system seems to be affected by a number of issues that prevent it from working properly for several people—in my case, the music experienced the occasional hiccup and sound effects seemed a little unsynchronized, but nothing that really prevented me from enjoying the game.
Despite these minor gripes, Dungeon Hunter is well worth its price both for fans of RPGs and casual players looking for a well-balanced title that combines stunning graphics with great gameplay.
[Marco Tabini is a frequent contributor to Macworld.]