Iesabel (out now, $1.99) is an action RPG that stands out from other iOS dungeon crawlers due to its online co-op mode, which allows up to eight party members. This Diablo-styled game bears much similarity to Dungeon Hunter, but happily without any IAPs.
As with many similar RPGs, the world is out of order and the heroes have to put things right. In Iesabel, a shaman from the northern lands calls together a group of eight heroes to battle the evil – simply called the darkness – that approaches from the south. Iesabel is the name of the vicious princess responsible for all the murderous terror.
Iesabel offers only two character classes: a male barbarian and a female witch. You don’t immediately have any way of changing their appearance until you collect armor and weapons during the game to dress them up. The witch obviously wields magic, while the barbarian hacks and slashes in more dangerous melee combat. Your selection will affect the weapons you can use. Overall, the witch tends to be easier to play with.
At the start of the game you’ll find yourself in a dim forest amid a bunch of corpses. By tapping the bodies, you can pick up items from them, including money, armor, and weapons. You can also find treasures hidden in various places, so it will benefit you to wander around. There are herbs to be gathered, which you can use to craft potions. For those who enjoy collecting more and more powerful objects, Iesabel shouldn’t disappoint.
The locations are diverse and the graphics look good, although it can sometimes be hard to discern certain objects against the background. Other aspects of the game are less than flawless, and sometimes buggy. Loading is slow; black screens make you wonder if the game has crashed. Also, your character can often get hidden behind trees and other objects, which isn’t great if you happen to encounter an enemy there. The mini map is, however, very helpful in seeing where you are and where your enemies are coming from.
While you can play in single-player mode, you can probably reap the most fun by teaming up with others in multiplayer mode. Unfortunately, not everyone will have enough friends who also happen to play the same game. One good aspect about Iesabel is the developer’s promise to add more episodes.
iFanzine Verdict: Action-RPG fans will probably have lots of fun with Iesabel. The monsters are challenging, especially when you’re overwhelmed by their numbers; those who are lucky enough to have friends to play with will have an easier time. The game has its rough edges, however, including slow loading times. All things considered, Iesabel is a bargain at its current price of $1.99 and the promise of more content.