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Dungeon Highway is a brilliant, bloody mix of new and old

dungeon highway screenshot

Dungeon Highway is a ridiculous mashup of old school and new, pitting a single noble hero against a literally endless stream of enemies and environmental hazards. It also happens to be one of the few truly free high-quality games to be released for iOS so far this year.

You play as a mage and start out with a very modest flame-slinging ability. Your character is always walking forward and can't be stopped, and tilting your device lets you move him back and forth on the pathway.

As you proceed down the randomly generated highway, you'll see three things: static structures that jut out of the ground, enemies that block your path and items that can be picked up to change your attacks or appearance. Typically, touching an enemy or structure means instant death, but there are items that can allow you to take a hit and keep on walking.

dungeon highway screenshot

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Dungeon Highway is how brutal the game can be, mixing pixelated blood and gore with the otherwise charming and retro aesthetic. Dispatching an enemy results in a massive shower of blood and body bits, and the screen can quickly become inundated with red bits and blobs. It's nothing that will faze your average gamer, but probably isn't a good fit for the younger crowd.

The game runs fantastically, and it's actually quite surprising to see so many moving parts smoothly cruising around the screen without a hiccup -- especially when the showers of blood begin. It's definitely a lesson in how retro sprites can be used in a modern game and still be visually stunning.

As I mentioned above, the game is totally free, and there are no in-game purchases or any other nonsense to worry about. If you're down with some bloody, old-school endless questing, it's a fantastic fit.