Fastar!, or “Fight Angry Squares: The Action RPG”, reduces a lot of RPG features down to their most basic form. Upgrading at shops is just a matter of holding down the buy button like you’re topping off your gas at the gas station, and every enemy in the game is a single-colored square.
We like to think of the preponderance of enemy squares in Fastar! as a form of censorship. The real enemies, we think, are so obscene that they have to be covered up with giant blocks. It’s nice not to have to fight the same few rats, bats, spiders, and goblins that are in every RPG, but in general squares are not known for their interesting personalities.
Just like the printer-bashing scene in Office Space.
Not that Fastar! doesn’t try, though. Squares have certain behaviors, like a floating “angelic” white square that hovers just out of reach, and a “black belt” square that will charge at you mercilessly. Squares also grow to enormous sizes as you advance, but the novelty still wears off after a few rounds.
The game also tries to make up for the bland enemies in other ways. As you run from left to right Zombieville-style, you’ll get clever status updates, such as “You encounter scenery.” Slain squares explode with coins like burst piÃ±atas, and even the spells in the game have funny names, like “Bzap” for an electricity spell.
Bring me more fresh hearts!
Fastar! has been stripped of its storyline as well, so your goal in each round is simply to make it to the end of the level as quickly as possible. Online leaderboards are included, but we prefer our Action-RPGs to have more emotional resonance than a 50 meter dash. We had a bit more fun with the challenge modes, which require you to earn the most money or survive an onslaught of giant squares.
Fastar! has a good amount of variety and charm, but it doesn’t entirely make up for the lack of a storyline or proper enemies. Action-RPGs on the App Store like Zenonia 2 don’t hold back at all when it comes to providing an epic backdrop for your sword-swinging and spell-casting, so it’s a little hard to recommend Fastar! if you want something that plays like The Legend of Zelda. It’s not what we’re used to, but Fastar! is still worth a try.