Game of the Month, November 2012: Bladeslinger Ep. 1

Between the Presidential election, Thanksgiving, and hundreds of new iOS games, November has been a very eventful month. Angry Birds Star Wars may have been the talk of the turkey table at Thanksgiving, but it’s a stylish, Western-themed combat game that earns one of our site’s highest honors.

Our Game of the Month winner this November is Bladeslinger: Ep. 1, the first chapter in what we hope will continue to be an epic story. You play as a cowboy with a cybernetic arm and a gunblade, who arrives in his home town of Hammer’s Peak only to find that the townsfolk have been transformed into monsters. As you roam the streets trying to find your brother, you’ll have to slay monsters by slashing your sword, firing your gun, swinging an electrified haymaker, and powering up with magical abilities printed on playing cards.

Bladeslinger not only looks outstanding, with some of the Unity Engine graphics we’ve seen, but it also has a combat system that makes thoughtful use of your iOS device’s touchscreen. Your character levels up constantly over the course of five chapters, and you can replay the game on higher difficulties for further challenge. Some of the battles may start to feel repetitive after a while, but you can customize your character a great deal, so you can experiment with different combat styles.

Our runner-up for November’s Game of the Month is Knights of Pen & Paper, a creative RPG that recreates the feeling of gathering your friends together for a game of Dungeons & Dragons. Your character archetypes include nerds and jocks, and at any time you can pause the combat to grab some in-game chips and sodas, which act as stat boosts.

Knights of Pen & Paper is so meta, it hurts. The narration comes from a dungeon master, while other members of your party will make joking comments about the quality of his storytelling. Underneath the self-referential jokes, Knights of Pen & Paper is still an absorbing RPG on its own, with a simple combat system and a big, retro-styled world to explore.

Congratulations to Kerosene Games and Luma Arcade, the makers of Bladeslinger, and Behold Studios, the makers of Knights of Pen & Paper, for their outstanding games this month! Meanwhile, you should also check out these other Must Have iOS games that launched in November: Word Wonders: Tower of Babel, Heroes of Order & Chaos, March on Oz, ARC Squadron, Angry Birds Star Wars, Dream of Pixels, and iBomber Attack.