Universal Game Center Rating: 12+

Bastion is a game from Warner Bros., originally released 30th August, 2012


Bastion Review

Bastion does something that more games should do: it drops you in a beautifully realized world and encourages you to have fun. As you explore your surroundings and dispatch monsters, the story weaves together and your character’s abilities accumulate, and before long you realize that you’ve been neglecting your responsibilities in order to keep playing just a little longer. Bastion is that good.

Bastion takes place in a world that’s been decimated by an event called the Calamity, which wiped out most of the human race and left behind a whole lot of monsters. Whereas most post-apocalyptic games stick to drab color palettes, Bastion is about as colorful as you can get. The environments are dynamic, eye-popping, and oozing with beauty. If any game world is worth saving, it’s this one.

The game is an action RPG, so the focus is split between combat and character customization. You have two control methods to choose from, both of which work just fine. The default one has you tap where you want to go on the screen, and your character walks there, automatically attacking the nearest monster in reach. The other option is called ‘classic controls,’ and it uses an onscreen D-pad to move, and buttons to attack, block, dodge, and switch weapons. We preferred the classic controls, simply because we felt more, well, in control.

If you get even the smallest amount of pleasure from hacking through bad guys and customizing your weapons and abilities, do yourself a favor and download Bastion right now. It’s an incredible game on just about every level, and the developers have done a remarkable job of making it feel right at home on the iPad. It looks great, plays like a dream, and has enough depth to keep you coming back long after you’ve beaten it. It’s the kind of game you can get lost in– just make sure you remember to eat your meals and go to work.


Your home base in the apocalyptic world is a floating island called a ‘Bastion.’ This acts as a hub world, with separate levels available for you to conquer one at a time. Like in any good game, the environments and goals of the levels are nicely varied. Some send loads of baddies after you, some have floors that crumble as you walk, some are set up as challenges made for specific weapons, and some we’ll leave for you to find out for yourself. Suffice it to say that the game always has something new and exciting up its sleeve for you to experience.

As you play, you unlock new ways to customize your character, from discovering new passive abilities and special attacks, to finding new weapons (each of which can be upgraded numerous times). One thing that sets Bastion apart from action RPGs like Diablo is that the game isn’t an all-out loot-fest. You only obtain a reasonable number of weapons and abilities, so you never feel overwhelmed by indecision.

And best of all, you can swap out your customizations at any time in the hub world. For instance, if your dual-wield pistols’ critical hit bonus isn’t working out for you, you can change it so they reload faster. You can equip any two weapons at a time, but usually you’ll want one for melee, like the hammer or machete, and a ranged weapon like the shotgun or bow and arrow. Each weapon has distinct pros and cons, so finding the right combination is important. It’s also fun.

Another fun thing to do is to listen to the narrator, a character with a smooth, warm voice, who explains what’s happening as you play. He discusses your character’s motivations, comments on the smart (or dumb) things you do, and even provides helpful hints if you have difficulty progressing. The music is incredible as well. This game is an audio-visual feast.


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Game of the Month, August 2012: Bastion

As far as months on the App Store go, August was a doozy. It seemed like big-name games were coming out every week, and we had to struggle to make time to play them all. But only one can take the crown, and this month it’s Bastion.

Bastion is an action RPG from developer Supergiant Games. They first released it last year on Xbox Live Arcade and PC. Now they’ve brought it to iPad, and it’s a show-stopper. They ported over the entire game, with all the beautiful art, music, character customization and narration. They even came up with two excellent control schemes to get you in the shoes of “The Kid” and start hacking away at enemies as quickly as possible.

The graphics are lush and gorgeous– especially on the new iPad– and the gameplay is as fun as it is deep. You explore an oddly colorful post-apocalyptic world, trying to bring peace back to the land. All the while, one of the characters you meet narrates your adventures as you play, and he always has something interesting to say. It’s one of those games that the more you play, the more you want to play. And when you finally beat the game, there’s a whole “new game+” mode to get you back in the action. If you only buy one game this month, make it Bastion.

Our runner-up for Game of the Month is Horn, a very different sort of action RPG that takes place in a very different beautiful, decimated world. Here you play as a boy who wakes up to find every person and animal in his village transformed into giant monsters. So you run around, solving environmental puzzles and engaging in tense one-on-one fights with the beasts, trying to turn them back into whatever they were before the catastrophic event. It’s a long, beautiful adventure that’s well worth taking.

Congratulations to Supergiant Games and Phosphor Games for making this month’s top titles! Be sure to also check out the rest of the month’s Must Haves: Alien Breed, Trigger Fist, Kid Vector, Puzzle Craft, Organ Trail: Director’s Cut, Jack Lumber, The World Ends With You, and Mikey Shorts.