The dungeon awaits | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

The dungeon awaits

Rimelands: Hammer of Thor is a fantasy dungeon-crawler RPG with turn-based combat, grid-based movement, and charming art and sound.

Rimelands: Hammer of Thor is a fantasy dungeon-crawler RPG with turn-based combat, grid-based movement, and charming art and sound.

The first in a planned Rimelands series, Hammer of Thor puts you in the role of Rose Cristo, the heroine of a Norse-themed, fairy-filled, post-apocalyptic steampunk storyline. Using experience points and a system of branching skill trees, you can advance Rose's abilities down three different "paths": Barbarian, Assassin, and Shaman, corresponding to melee, ranged, and magical combat. Each path has its own "talents"--active skills and passive boosts that make you deadlier. The game gives you three save slots, so you can try different character types depending on your play style (and even different talent combinations within a given path), and you can mix and match between the paths. (Weirdly, you can also change your first name but not your last.)

What's most unique about Rimelands: Hammer of Thor is its dice-based combat system: you and your opponent take turns rolling six-sided dice with skulls and shields on them, trying to score and block hits. Your magic gear and skills help determine how many dice you roll for attack and defense, and you can spend a point of mana (out of a possible five in your reserves, which you also spend on talents) to reroll your dice. The good mix of talents and equipment can make for some interesting choices, both in and out of combat, and the fights are rarely dull--and often deadly. The primary interface is a virtual d-pad for moving and attacking on the game's grid-based map, and touch buttons let you use talents, switch between targets, rest, make ranged attacks, drink healing and mana potions, and access your character sheet and skill trees.

The graphics, dice, and frequent tongue-in-cheek humor (including silly accents and quite a few nerdy jokes) combine to give the game an endearing old-school vibe. The smart level design and just-right difficulty curve keep the game fun, despite a very linear story. If you're a fan of RPGs, Rimelands: Hammer of Thor is one of the best for iOS.

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