Third Blade iPhone Review

If you enjoy hacking and whacking monsters, Com2uS' Third Blade needs to be part of your life. This attractive and tough action game reminds us of something pulled from the Sega Saturn library, with gorgeous hand-drawn graphics and wicked music. That said, it's more than just a mindless side-scrolling romp. There's a thin layer of strategy centered on a frantic money grab, where acquiring tons of loot from fallen enemies lets you purchase items and upgrade the hero's equipment.

Third Blade tasks you with visiting different areas around a map and destroying whatever monsters get in your way using one of three weapons: twin blades, a katana and one gigantic sword, reminiscent of Cloud's in Final Fantasy 7. What's more, you can swap them out on the fly during battle, and later, level them up.

That's essentially the gist of how things work. You'll visit a location, mash the virtual attack button and hope to make it out alive. In addition, you'll be able to use health potions, as well as special attack skills that recharge over time, similar to massively-multiplayer online games.

Upon death, you'll have the option to revive using a rune (providing you have one), and this is where the developers get a little sneaky. You can play the game and find these valuable items naturally, or Com2uS gives you the option of purchasing ten for $0.99.

At first, this seemed a bit slimy, seeing as how Third Blade costs $2.99. Thankfully, the company will give you five runes for reviewing the game on the App Store, and it doesn't take long to earn the right to buy them using virtual currency in the shop. It's essentially a non issue.

That means you can spend the majority of your time slaughtering enemies. It may look shallow, but Third Blade's a lot of fun. At first, you plow through gangs of slug like creatures, but later, the developers throw zombies, bulbous critters and even ogres your way, which makes improving those weapons essential for survival.

With this in mind, we have just two gripes. First, there's no HD version, but this complaint is somewhat petty because the game still looks good magnified on the iPad. Second, we need more skills. The decision to borrow RPG like attacks was smart, but Com2uS needs to expand on this feature with additional content; the publisher already announced future updates.

On that note, Third Blade comes highly recommended for being one of the best hack and slash games to hit the App Store, full of cool artwork, a rocking soundtrack and sweet monster killing gameplay. Dive into this fantasy world and bag some slugs.

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later.

Download Third Blade

What's Hot: Quality hack and slash combat, a variety of locations and monsters, catchy music, attractive graphics.

What's Not: Buying runes with real money, not enough skills, no HD version.