Best iPad games: God of Blades

CVG hand-picks the greatest iOS games available to download right now

Apple has revolutionised how we consume and play portable games with iPhone and iPad. In this new regular series, CVG discovers and celebrates the most innovative new iPad games on the App Store. Click through the link to find our full list of the best iPad games.


Best iPad games: God Of Blades

God Of Blades is Spinal Tap does God Of War on mobile, an auto-runner with sword-swinging where the jumping should be. Its setting, a ludicrously overblown fantasy world, pokes fun at these hateful tropes just like Sword & Sworcery did.

Imagine a puffed-up Kratos during a druggy triple concept album phase. Between stages, we read text which genuinely includes lines like "Even in death his blasphemies fuel the Cult's wizardry". You retrieve relics called things like The Skull Of Tarsus, and the extravagant multicoloured 1970s typeface on the title screen sets the tone perfectly.

You are The Nameless King, a sickly green-blue chap hellbent on raging through mythical lands swinging a great big sword around. Swipe upwards and hapless Acolytes fly up into the air and into the next foe. A horizontal swipe triggers a pirouette and unleashes a double blow, which takes longer to execute but is doubly effective. Parrying with a backwards slice of the finger becomes important further into the game, when stopping for a second allows the enemy to take their swing, miss and leave them vulnerable for counter attack.

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God Of Blades feels most at home on iPad, for practical and aesthetic reasons. The subtleties of your enemies' movements are more explicit and easier to react to with that larger screen - on iPhone, it is much more difficult to see when and where to strike. Developer White Whale's artwork benefits greatly too, allowing the game's backgrounds - all slickly rendered armies and mythological beast battles - more screen time. Characters almost look pre-rendered, as if the days of overly shiny Killer Instinct and Donkey Kong Country sprites never went away.

Differently-weighted swords start to appear as you delve further into God Of Blades, refreshing the combat a little. They require you to modify the timing of your strikes, and precision becomes more important. Unusual Foursquare-powered 'Loreseeker' bonuses lurk inside God Of Blades too, where visiting a library in real life gifts the player exclusive location-based rewards. It's the kind of unnecessary extra which serves the theme of overindulgence well.

God Of Blades' fighty mythological interpretation of the auto-runner feels fresh as it occupies a relatively unsullied corner of the genre. White Whale's App Store debut brings an odd, overblown fantasy tastelessness to iPad - a guilty pleasure.

God Of Blades is £1.99 on the App Store. Download it here.