Archers tend to be associated with epic medieval battles, protecting castles from an enemy onslaught. In Champion Archer, you play as an unnamed Elvish hero who must help stop evil orcs and trolls from crashing down the walls of your castle. The game is a thrill at first, but due to a lack of content and variety in the gameplay, we were done with it in under an hour.
The goal of Champion Archer is to support the defending warriors who are trying to stop oncoming orcs, giant orcs, and quick but weak trolls. You do this by shooting arrows with a control scheme similar to that of turn-based artillery games: hold down a finger on the screen until the meter fills up, and release. The meter fills up fast, so shots can be made quickly.
Your arrow will fly wherever you hold down your finger. Tapping close to the ground will send it in a straight line, while touching the sky sends the arrow upwards in a curve.
We’ve slain Mork from Orc!
Headshots almost always mean instant death for your enemies (larger orcs take two headshots to kill), while the chest is much less vulnerable. Trolls are killed in a single shot regardless of where they are hit, but their speed makes them a tough target. Your warriors will also plow through some enemies before getting killed, but without your help they will not make it to the other side.
After each level you’re prompted to spend any funds you’ve won on upgrades. These include stronger bows and arrows, multiple shots at once, automatic full power, and stronger warriors. Once you collect all of these, the rest of the game stays strictly the same, except for increasingly difficult enemies. Since the game never truly shifts from its normal format, you will likely grow bored with the concept fairly quickly.
Stay off our path, vile beasts!
Champion Archer feels like it was meant to have a story, but falls short. You are shown some introductory text upon entering a new game, but it would have been nice to see a progressive plot with more enemies, bosses, and the like (a campaign of sorts). This alone would allow us to recommend the game.
Pocket Monkey’s art style from Sparta has returned, sporting some excellent hand-drawn backgrounds and sprites. This unique eye candy really makes the title stand out. OpenFeint is integrated into the game, too, with all the wonderful features that brings.
Still, none of this covers up the fact that there is simply not enough to do in Champion Archer. It’s hard to recommend this game in its current state.