May 15, 2013

[Games] Nimble Quest (iOS / Android)


A lot of us who lived through the early Nokia mobile phone era should be familiar with the classic game, Snake. Yes, the game predates mobile phones, but a lot more of us were exposed to the game since it was one of the default games installed on several generations of phones.

Nimble Quest is directly derived from Snake, but with some interesting twists. And thus the game becomes quite the innovative spin on a classic game concept. At first I didn't expect to enjoy this game so much, but now I've lost a fair amount of my life trying to navigate my little party past various enemies. All the while collecting gems, coins and other heroes.

But I'm getting ahead of myself in this review.


Nimble Quest is essentially a sort of adventure game released by the company NimbleBit. I've played both the iOS and Android versions of the game and they're pretty much the same.

Following the principle of Snake, your main goal is to navigate your party parts enemies without bumping into them, into the walls of the area or into your own party (like the tail in Snake). As you kill the enemies around the map, their deaths spawn gems, gold coins or other heroes. And when you cross over these heroes, they get added to your party train.


So you can only choose your party leader at the start of the game. Beyond that point, your party only gets bigger (or longer in this case) when you gather heroes within each stage after killing opponents. Every time you finish a new stage for the first time, you unlock another character to aid in your future missions. Thus your maximum party size is always equal to the total number of possible characters that you have unlocked.

Each hero has a different attack style, armor rating and other abilities. The knight is a melee character who can slash at enemies ahead of you. The archer can shoot arrows off in a straight line. And later characters hurl fireballs, throw bombs and many other abilities. And adding them all to your party can certainly increase your chances of surviving the stage. And all of them are rendered in rather adorable sprites that are highly reminiscent of the early Final Fantasy games.


As you go through each stage you can unlock various power-ups like magnets that attract gems to you or a shield to protect your party leader from a direct collision. You can extend the duration of these power-ups by spending your gems to upgrade them. Or you can spend your gems on upgrading your heroes. And best of all, the more kills that you manage with a particular party leader will reduce the the upgrade cost for that hero. So you have a lot of different ways to improve your party.

At its most basic, the game seems simple enough. Largely it's still Snake with additional weapons and stuff. And yet that element makes a world of difference as you dodge spiders, skeletons, knights and demons as you go from stage to stage. And the action can get pretty intense as the enemies start whittling away at your party or you end up hitting a darn wall.

Nimble Quest is a fun and addictive casual game, one that is easy to pick up on the fly and leave just as quickly - provided you cleared a particular stage first. And I'm happy to rate the game a full 5 ominous tones when a hero dies out of a possible 5.
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