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Daily iPhone App: Battleloot Adventure tweaks turn-based RPG combat

When I first heard about Battleloot Adventure, it was being compared to the great Battleheart game on iOS. That's a fair comparison given the way the game looks, but I think I have a much better one: old-school Final Fantasy, with a focus on combat. As you might have expected, Battleloot Adventure pares down the old turn-based RPG genre to its core -- there's not a lot of story here, and your adventurers just sort of stumble across each other within the first few missions, as you're taught the mechanics of fighting with a party.

But once everything has filled out, Battleloot Adventure does well using the iPhone and iPad's touchscreen to bring the old Final Fantasy-style combat system to life. You have four party members, and each one is assigned a color, each of which is strong or weak against certain enemy colors. You can simply attack with one group member per round, or you can expend energy by pulling in other members in the same around. And there are also special attacks that each character can use (that will go off automatically). Just like in Battleheart, the game takes place across a series of combat challenges, and it's your goal to beat the bad guys, earning XP and loot.

The biggest drawback here is that because the combat system takes center stage, it's also very complicated. This wouldn't be an issue if the UI was a little clearer, but unfortunately, it's not -- sometimes it's very hard to determine exactly what color an enemy actually is, or why a certain character just sits there breathing annoyingly loudly rather than fighting when you tap on them. All the game does in the way of explanation is in the tutorial, so if you don't pay attention and learn strategy fast, the game's depth won't really make itself apparent.

That's too bad, however, because there is a really fun and interesting combat system here. If you can work past the game's sometimes unworkable UI, you'll find a lot of fun. Battleloot Adventure is available now, for 99 cents on either the iPhone or the iPad HD version (they are not Universal).

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