Feel the Nostalgia with a very Nintendo-esque game with retro 8-Bit sound
If you have a modern era iPhone (6s/6s plus, 7/7plus) you should be able to find a variety of games that suit your liking. Whether you enjoy puzzlers, action, platformers, JRPG, RPG, shooters or any combination of the above, there should be a game to your liking. I love that there is a steady influx of games into the Apple App Store. Being on the go regularly, I like to look at the new games on the App store and within the featured apps. Recently I saw a game called Treasure Buster, released 10/6/16, and I wanted to give it a try.
Whenever I see a new game, I like to look at the included screenshots to glimpse the style of the game. This game, on the first impression, seemed to be similar to the bubble stack/elimination games but utilizes hero/monsters instead. There are six available characters, which will provide a degree of customization. They have different starting stats (attack, defense, life, speed, aura, item). There appears to also be a store to buy upgrades. The description of the game is quite straightforward combining a pinball style game with a dungeon crawler. There are 2 game modes Arcade and Endless. The game requires iOS 7.0 or later (currently on iOS 10) and you can play on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. If you take the link to the developer website, it appears to be in German. Unfortunately, I was not able to read the language.
Once the app is downloaded, you will be taken to the main page “Treasure Buster.” In the background, you will hear some retro gaming music similar to the 8-bit music of the NES era. You can select Arcade mode, Endless mode and a select wheel that looks like a ship wheel. If you select the settings wheel, you can adjust the volume, you can also test the sound type/song. You will notice sounds and a really neat mix of music (Slam Dancer, Tomb of Sentient Ooze, Conquer the Caverns, No Turning Back, Hall of Death, Otherworldly Adversary, Behemoth Groove, Opposition Assault, Beneath the Ossuary, Treasure Buster, and a variety of Ending songs and Treasure Room). My favorite song is Beneath the Ossuary, as it reminds me of a mix of Castlevania and Rygar. This is followed closely by Treasure Buster, as this really reminded me of many hours playing the NES. You can download all of the songs for $5.
Selecting the Arcade mode you can select from 1 in 6 characters. This reminds me a little of the original Gauntlet game. You have Lone, Azzam, Pacha, GunShow, Bonny, RG-74. Lone is a barbarian style that has 3/5 attack, 3/4 defense, 2/5 Life, 1/5 Speed, 2/6 Aura and 1/3 Item. You will notice that there are different starting stats and different max stats. Azzam, the second character, is more balanced with 2/4 attack, 2/5 defense, 2/5 life, 2/5 speed, 2/4 aura, 2/5 item. Pacha has 1/3 attack, 1/3 defense, 1/5 life, 3/5 speed, 3/6 aura, 3/4 item. If you notice she only has 26 max points instead of the total of 28 for the first two. GunShow starts with 3/6 attack, 2/4 defense, 2/4 life, 1/4 speed, 3/5 aura, 1/3 item (also 26 total). Bonny (female pirate) starts with 2/ attack, 2/5 defense, 3/4 life, 2/4 speed, 1/5 aura and 2/4 item. Lastly, RG-74 (the robot) starts with 2/4 attack, 3/6 defense, 2/4 life, 2/4 speed, 1/4 aura, 2/6 item (giving him 30 points max). Each time you clear a room, you will be awarded 2 stat points to spend on upgrading your champion.
Select your champion of choice by tapping the already selected champion. You will then see a room full of monsters and a finger telling you to swipe. Here is the pinball-like gameplay. Each monster will have an attack countdown timer. When they reach the end of their timer they will attack. Clear the room and you will either receive “Perfect clear” or it will take you to the Zelda-esque map. You can select which way you wish to go, returning to rooms if you like. There are rooms marked with a golden “?” which details treasure rooms. The other icons include a face detailing a store (can only access this once per floor) and a monster head for the monster. On the main battle page, you have a scroll to the bottom left (map), a health bar, an aura meter and your single backpack slot to the far right, where you can store items. Angle your attack to get the maximum amount of treasure, do the maximum amount of damage and then to position yourself in a safe zone.
There is a witch with a sickle (think original Kid Icarus witch) located to the left of your health. There is a countdown timer associated with this, which will reach 0 after the given number of turns has passed. You will then take damage and lose aura with each move over the set par for the room. Once you hit enough monsters and have not received any personal hits, you will maximize your aura and you will get an assistive creature. Each character has a different creature, which provides a perk and does extra damage. If you find a treasure room, you will be given one of 3 different possibilities: 1. Pot of gold room (5 hits to collect as much as possible), 2. Parry Room where you have to hit the leprechaun and then parry his attacks and then a perfect shot room. Although not mentioned, you can ricochet attacks by tapping your hero when he is about to receive a hit. This will then send the attack back. There is definitely an added layer of strategy with the parry functionality. Again, this was accidentally discovered and not mentioned.
From time to time, a dungeon duck will appear with a little 1 underneath of it. If you do not hit the duck in that turn, it will go away. It is really worth the effort, dropping a large amount of gems/treasure. You will also find some rooms locked with a key and you will have only the listed number of attempts to get the key. If you do not succeed, you will not be able to enter the room. Returning to the locked room will not allow you to attempt to get the key again. Treasure rooms, once used, will be grayed out on the map. To assist with obtaining keys and unlocking treasure rooms, utilize your weapons to the maximum potential. To use an item, tap it in the bottom right of your screen. You have a shuriken, a jousting pole (shot through enemies), a morning star (tethered to a fixed point), a fire potion, ice potion (freezes), gauntlet (heavy hit x 1), fairy shield (grants life when you hit other creatures) and a damage shield. Each gives you a single round item boost.
If you do not collect all the treasure, it goes away. Aim your shot appropriately to collect the loot, the items, and the randomly dropped food. Occasionally a goblin chef will spawn, which will drop additional food items when hit. You will need this food along the way as monsters seem to do more damage as you advance in the dungeons. The main goal is to build up the aura. If you take a hit, you will lose your aura boost. The plot is very straightforward and easy to understand, collect loot and lots of it. The items are a perk, the aura boost creature is a perk. To facilitate this further, there is a single shop per floor of the dungeon. Here you can trade treasure for items.
There are a variety of options to choose from. The prism will show the location of hidden treasure (in rooms treasure will spawn), the 4 leaf clover will increase your collect range, the Death coin will give you an extra life, Meat will restore health, reliquary will do 2x damage to the undead and heart crease will heal you a small amount each turn when your aura is max. You can buy as many meats as you want but can have only one item at a time. The death coin is more than worth the price. I did not notice much benefit to the prism. The 4 leaf clover is helpful. Each has a benefit and you can change your item when you get to the next store.
When you reach the end of a floor, you will have a boss battle. They are huge, they feel like an obvious boss and they have a lot of hit points. When you defeat a boss, you will have 1 attempt to get all of the loot. At the end of the room, you will get a treasure bonus and will then be taken to the skill point assign page. Here you can add 2 points to your skills. Alas, if you take enough damage that your health reaches 0, you can choose to lose 1/2 your treasure and continue or to start from the beginning. I caution you, however, as you can only do this once. This is the reason the death coin is so powerful. This adds another death chance beyond the one granted by the game. You will still lose half of your treasure, but you will not have to start over. IF you are playing arcade, your final score will determine your ending. So far I have beat dungeon 4 with ~25,000 treasure and I have received the bad ending with the robotic character and Bonny. The endings appear to be very similar to the nonideal ending. You are left deserted with a box of treasure and instructed to try again.
The endless game may be a little more fun but you lose a little of the RPG side of the game. This is like a standard arena in many modern games. You will have to select a champion and then progress through the trial, which changes with time. Each time you beat a room, you can select a left coin or a right coin. Each will have some luck associated with it. As you get higher in the level, you may start to have benefits and deleterious effects that you have to select between. A few of these may be double damage, food is poison, slower hero, faster hero, etc. I was able to get to room 12 before I was killed. You will get a total treasure tally and then you can try again.
In true mobile fashion, this game is really meant to play in the 5 minutes you have between meetings, classes or while waiting for your coffee. You can get in a few rounds or two and then put the game down/away. Pick up right where you left off and play again. There needs to be more than 4 dungeons on the arcade side as you will be able to get through it relatively quickly. Try to beat your personal score, try to beat global ranking scores as well. The game feels very polished and it definitely will remind you of GameBoy and NES style graphics. I would rate the game at 5/5 stars. It is unique, it is refreshing and you will note that it is quite different than other games.
DOWNLOAD – Treasure Buster – $0.99 – iOS