Note: The app store says that this game is free temporarily, but it has been free for such a long time that I don’t think it’s changing anytime soon. If it does, please send me an email and let me know.
After picking up an iPod Touch, I looked for as many free games as possible. A lot of them were total crap, but there were several that stood out. Solomon’s Keep is one that stands high above many others.
Solomon’s keep is a two-stick RPG (I have the images of the virtual joysticks removed for all screenshots) in which you play as a wizard, dressed in blue with a stereotypical pointed hat. A wizard who went to the same college as you several years ago went bad, and your instructors have charged you with kicking the crap out of Solomon, who happens to live at the top of a 13 story keep filled with skeletons, ghosts, zombies and the like. The story is told in text at the beginning of the game and is really very hollow. You won’t care one bit about it when you’re blasting through wave after wave of relentless skeletons and zombies.
Before leaving on your adventure you will choose your base attack spell, fireball, lightning, ice or ether, and get a magic key that allows you to return to town anytime to heal and stock up. You will gather gold while smashing undead things to pieces, which you can use to buy potions or ability enhancing rings and staffs. When you’re ready, just walk back through the door to go right back to where you were.
After defeating enough enemies, you will level up, allowing you to increase one of three randomly chosen skills, or possibly learn a new skill. If you decide to learn a new combat spell, you can weld two spells together and create a more powerful version that retains all of the attributes of the base spells. Keep in mind though that you can’t level up a welded spell, so make sure the base spells are pretty strong to begin with. However, if you level up the base spells after that, and weld them again, the welded spell will be upgraded.
Leveling up base attack spells to higher levels can give you the opportunity to choose very powerful secondary effects, such as hurricanes or ether blasts that reduce the total health of all enemies on screen. These are very helpful when you are playing on higher difficulty levels (obtained by beating the game) and are facing swarms of powerful enemies.
Each level of the keep is randomly generated until you get to the final boss, Solomon. You will have to face intermittent bosses before reaching the end, which usually drop a powerful item and a big pile of gold. A couple of the bosses can be series pains in the butt on higher difficulties, and will probably kill you instantly if you’re not careful. If you want to prevent going back to the beginning of the room if you die, simply close the game and open it again (in a safe spot, of course). It will automatically save your last location, and if you die after reloading, you’ll go back to that point.
The graphics are nice and smooth, instead of having all those jagged edges that some other iOS games have. They’re simple, but pleasant to look at. The sound won’t disappoint. Each type of enemy you kill makes a different sound on death, with the explodey squishy sound that zombies make being particularly satisfying.
All in all, the game is an incredibly fun RPG that will even appeal to players that don’t normally like RPG games, because the leveling system is very simple and doesn’t require a lot of thought. The ability to quit at any time and have your progress automatically saved make it a very good pick up and play title. I’ve already beaten it several times, and when I find myself bored, I can always pick it up and plow through a few rooms of skeletons to pass the time.
Have you played Solomon’s Keep? What did you think? Have any tips? Let us know in the comments below.