Solomon's Boneyard


Solomon's Boneyard has gone *free* to promote our new game "Robot Wants Kitty!" So slay some skeletons, then head into the far future and help a little robot discover the warmth of life!



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New App A Day: Solomon’s Boneyard

Today’s featured new game is from the creator of Solomon’s Keep. In this prequel, you control a wizard in a hopeless survival situation, blasting hundreds of skeletons and zombies until they overtake you.

Solomon’s Boneyard starts off by letting you pick from four different wizards, each with their own attack specialty. More wizards are available to unlock later in the game as well. In addition to the same set of spells from Solomon’s Keep (lightning, fireballs, and magic missiles) there is a new attack, a blast of icy magic that looks like it belongs in a breath mint commercial.

The best part of Solomon’s Keep was leveling up and choosing from your random upgrades, and Solomon’s Boneyard delivers the exact same mechanic, but this time in a high-score game. Every few minutes you’ll level up and customize your character, adding more power to your attacks or boosting your magic and health bars. When you die, these upgrades will all reset.

Between games, you can use the coins you pick up to unlock permanent perks, like magic rings. This is also where you can unlock new wizards, but from what we’ve played it takes an awful lot of gold to unlock anything good.

OpenFeint leaderboards put in an appearance, and the new graveyard environment is impressive, especially the way your staff’s light casts shadows on the ground from the tombstones. If you love Solomon’s Keep as much as we do, we don’t think you should hesitate to buy this 99-cent gem. Check back soon for our full review.

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Solomon’s Boneyard Review

Solomon’s Boneyard is a prequel to the very entertaining dungeon crawler Solomon’s Keep. In it, Solomon Dark, the titular villain, is just beginning to dabble in the dark arts, and you must venture into a graveyard and battle waves of enemies to flush him out. Unlike the original, this is a high-score survival game, so the goal is to last as long as possible. This new direction works for the most part, but at the cost of some of the original’s elegance and charm.

First of all, the twin-stick controls, streamlined leveling system, and over-the-top voice acting from Solomon’s Keep are all intact. But instead of starting with an empty template for your wizard, you will select one of seven characters that come pre-loaded with basic starting spells geared toward the elements of fire, lightning, ice, or magic missile. To further customize your character, you can spend gold you’ve accumulated during past play sessions to add new starting abilities. Or, if you’re in a hurry, you can buy gold as an in-app purchase.

Shine on you crazy wand.

Instead of the somewhat cookie cutter castle environment from the first game, you will do battle in a lush and varied graveyard. The graphics look great, and there’s even some slick new tech that allows for dynamic shadows and foreground objects that partially obscure your view. It’s an environment that’s fraught with danger, as overhanging trees can hide enemies and open graves can hinder your movement.

The game would probably be a little too light on content if it did not also include OpenFeint integration. This adds a lot for fans who want to compare their scores or try to tackle some of the achievements. As a whole, the game feels more challenging than its predecessor, but you will probably be relatively unhindered for the first 5-10 minutes of each play session before finding yourself in trouble.

I ain’t saying she’s a grave digger.

One thing that really set Solomon’s Keep above the pack was how it was able to streamline deep dungeon crawling gameplay into a fast-paced mobile experience. Even though these mechanics still work in Solomon’s Boneyard, it is a little harder to become attached to your character because everything happens so fast. And with no treasure chests or boss fights, the game feels less epic and addictive than its predecessor.

Despite our gripes, Solomon’s Boneyard is a fun game that is built on a solid foundation. If you liked Solomon’s Keep, then do yourself a favor and go get this game. If you are new to the series, you should probably start with Solomon’s Keep, as it’s a great introduction to the more frantic gameplay found in this prequel.

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