Like many RPGs on the App Store, Yipe 5 hearkens back to a simpler time, when games had modest graphics and narrower scope. Only five quests are included in the game, but they’ll last you eight to ten hours. You’ll find no parties or ability trees here. There’s minimal dialogue, but every time text appears on the screen, it’s hilarious. The big warning we want to put in neon lights at the outset is that you’ll spend most of the game grinding.
The quests are fluffy affairs. In one, the king wants you to exterminate all the spiders in the world because he dislikes the creatures, and in another he’d like you to find out why all the bunnies in the world seem to be zombies nowadays. The dialogue is quirky and witty, and you’ll never want to skip past it.
Fighting is as simple as you’d expect in an old-school RPG. You can use a special ability that takes a while to recharge, or fight with regular attacks. When you press attack, a dialogue box shows how much damage you and the enemy inflict on each other. This sequence happens instantly, so if you keep pressing attack, the fight will end very quickly. Unfortunately, no animations occur during fights, so you’ll just be staring at your health most of the time, making sure it stays above zero.
Oh, D-pad’¦ why aren’t you on the other side?
The fighting and leveling up seem fun at first, but after spending upwards of an hour just to strengthen your character enough to fight one boss, you’ll start to feel cheated out of content. We don’t mind a little grinding here and there, but Yipe 5 makes the grinding required in Zenonia seem like child’s play.
For a certain type of gamer, this will be very appealing, but most players will be put off by it. Our experience generally went like this: we’d discover we weren’t strong enough to complete the quest we were on, so we’d hack through hordes of baddies to save up enough gold for the weapons and armor necessary. Then we’d end up spending most of the gold we earned on the overly-expensive food necessary to heal our wounds from the fights. It usually felt like we were taking three steps forward and two steps back.
This is no roguelike: the dungeons are all pre-made, which we appreciate. Though the game world isn’t very big, you’re blocked from wandering too far by enemies who are too tough to defeat until you’ve leveled up your character enough.
Another thing that may put off younger gamers is that you can’t actually enter buildings. You just walk up to the armor shop, and the shopping interface pops up. Same with the castle: approach the outside of it, and the king’s word bubble appears. Enemies show up in the game world, but when you touch them you’re put into the fight screen.
When enormous caterpillars are in the way, bring out the enormous bottle of Raid.
And for some reason, the D-pad is on the right side of the screen. This doesn’t take long to get used to, but we wish there was an option to switch it. We don’t know about you, but our right thumb is used to pushing buttons, not directing character movement.
We realize that we’ve made the game sound like a drag, but it does have redeeming qualities. The graphics, though basic, have more personality than most new games. We would have liked to see some more animation, but it’s still a colorful and fun game to look at. The MIDI-based music as well as the funny sound effects that are sprinkled throughout the fights make for a pleasant auditory experience. And all of the text in the game is hilarious.
We would love to recommend this game, because it obviously means well. If the developers took the focus off grinding and added some quests to make up for the missing length, they’d really have something here. But for now, if you’re not into lots of repetitive fighting and overly expensive items, you’ll probably want to hold off.