The game has been out for a while, but “On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode
3″ recently hit the App Store for iOS devices. Zeboyd Games also announced last week that the free DLC for Steam and Xbox is released, so if you already have the game on those platforms, you should login and get your download. I’d been holding out for this release because I don’t have an Xbox and my five-year-old MacBook Pro can barely handle web browsing let alone playing games, and they don’t even have a Steam version of the game for Mac yet anyway. Plus, I tend to not get around to playing anything unless it’s on my phone, which is with me all day, every day, unlike my PS3. Known for titles like “Cthulhu Saves the World” and “Breath of Death VII,” Zeboyd Games is no stranger to creating fun, 16-bit RPGs, and I think they succeeded for the most part with RSPD3. Unfortunately, I don’t think that this type of menu-driven RPG is well-suited to the iPhone. It’s difficult to control the movement of your characters via touch, so I found myself spending a lot of time trying to line them up just right so that I could enter buildings and walk around walls. Also, the art is just so great, it’s a real shame that I can’t see it as well on such a tiny screen. Speaking of tiny, the text is way too small on iPhone (click to embiggen the images at right). I understand is probably an incredibly minor thing for most people, but what I love the most about RSPD is Tycho’s writing. So if it’s difficult for me to read the descriptions and dialog, that takes away from my experience of the game. Fortunately, the iOS app is universal, and I felt that the game play was much better on the iPad. The D-pad is easier to manipulate on the iPad, of course, since there’s much more space; and the dialog and in-game descriptions are much clearer. Aside from that, though, I feel like I don’t have much to say about it. After the first ten minutes or so of playing, I felt like I’d pretty much experienced the entirety of the game. While I love the inside jokes for Penny Arcade fans, as well as the snappy dialog between characters, there just doesn’t feel like there’s much to this RPG. Walk through the world, encounter enemies, battle them, level up, rinse and repeat—that’s it. Yes, there are plenty of games exactly like this that are huge classics (Final Fantasy anyone?), but there’s an ineffable something that I feel is missing. Perhaps the menu-based battles weren’t quite right for this game?
I certainly didn’t expect this installment to be as large in scope as the previous two episodes in the game, especially since I knew it was being ported to mobile devices, but there’s not much about On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 that keeps me coming back for more. A game can be simple in mechanics and purpose, and yet still have that hook that keeps you playing for hours on end. I just don’t feel that when I play RSPD3. Should you buy this game? If you’re big fan of Penny Arcade, I say go for it. Don’t want to pay $2.99/$4.99 for it? Wait for the price to drop; no doubt that’ll happen soon given that the holiday season is upon us. This review originally published on GeekLegacy.com