Rimelands: Hammer of Thor

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Rimelands: Hammer of Thor is a game from , originally released 31st December, 1969

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Rimelands: Hammer of Thor Review

Have you ever had to run chores for your grandmother? Pick up prescriptions at the drug store, clean under the dresser where it’s hard to reach, find the Hammer of Thor and use it to prevent war between the fairies and surface-folk. You know, typical old-lady stuff.

That last task is actually a job for Rose Cristo, a fiery-headed adventurer whose grandmother sends her on quests to recover lost artifacts from ancient fallout shelters. In the world of Rimelands, these shelters were used by humanity when they had polluted the Earth too much during the Industrial Revolution, and when they finally came out of them, Earth was inhabited by magical “Fair Folk” as well.

We’ve got a hench.

This unique setting gives Rimelands an excuse to combine steampunk technology, like Mecha-monocles that improve your musket aim, with enchanted gear like spell-casting scepters. Your character, Rose, can specialize in either melee, ranged, or magical combat, and it’s all handled with interesting dice-rolling combat.

Movement in the game basically occurs in real-time, until you encounter an enemy, at which point it switches to turn-based combat. You’ll roll special dice for attack and defense, and depending on how many skulls or shields you turn up, you’ll cause or receive more damage. Your enemies also roll automatically.

You can push these dice-rolling encounters in your favor with gear and abilities that give you more dice, extra re-rolls, and other fun perks. One of our assassin specialties let us aim our ranged weapons, which turned all shields (useless during attacks) into double-skulls. Later, we were able to upgrade aim again to cause bonus damage. Special moves like aiming cost mana, which can be recharged with potions or other passive abilities.

Wait, how come we didn’t get the level 6 weapon that causes 500 damage?

Whatever type of combat you specialize in, Rimelands will be varied and fun. The storyline is extremely linear, so you can’t go exploring the world on your own, but each dungeon has a few multiple routes containing extra treasure. Just be careful not to miss the exits: The dungeons don’t contain maps, and it can be hard to spot the elevator exits that blend into the scenery.

The combat and upgrade system in Rimelands surpasses the excellent story, which gives us great hope for a sequel that lasts even longer and takes us further. Developers Dice Works and Crescent Moon Games have built a very fun game engine that has a great deal of potential, and we’re hoping this is just the first installment of a series that could help define turn-based RPGs on the iPhone.

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    iPhone Game of the Month, September 2010: Rimelands: Hammer of Thor

    This has been an absolutely amazing month for iPhone games. We’ll give you our full list of September’s Must Have games, but our Game of the Month is an RPG that wowed us with a brand-new dice-based combat system.

    Rimelands: Hammer of Thor, from Crescent Moon Games and Dice Works, is a fantasy RPG set in a steampunk future that’s a cross between Fallout and Lord of the Rings. Your character, Rose, can master either melee, ranged, or magic combat, and your strength with each will determine how many dice you have to play with in the game’s constant battles.

    Rolling dice is to Rimelands what pressing the “attack” button is in most other games. If you come up with skulls on the offense, your attacks will strike and possibly pierce your opponent. If you roll shields during defense, your enemy’s blows will glance off you without causing damage.

    Even with this random element, there’s lots of room for strategy. Your mana supply will let you cast powerful spells and activate abilities, and you can re-roll disappointing dice. This engaging combat system, along with beautiful graphics and an interesting story, make Rimelands the top game for this month.

    Our runner-up is Spider-Man: Total Mayhem, which just squeaked into September at the last minute. Spider-Man: Total Mayhem is a beautiful, action-packed platformer with some of the best fight animation we’ve seen on the iPhone. It’s some of Gameloft’s finest work to date.

    Congratulations to Crescent Moon Games, Dice Works, and Gameloft for making this month’s top two iPhone games. But don’t miss out on this month’s other great games, whether you’re into puzzles (Beyond Ynth, Zentomino, Heroes of Kalevala, iAssociate 2), sim games (Sims 3 Ambitions, Virtual City), trivia (MovieCat!), hidden object (Time Geeks: Find All!), or action (Gangstar: Miami Vindication, Time Crisis 2nd Strike, Mirror’s Edge). Whew, that’s a lot of Must Have games!

    New App A Day: Rimelands: Hammer of Thor

    Crescent Moon, whose last big RPG release on the iPhone was the Oblivion-style Ravensword, has teamed up with Dicework Games to release Rimelands: Hammer of Thor, and it’s our latest featured app.

    Rimelands, as you may know from our hands-on preview and developer interview, is a turn-based RPG with a 3/4 isometric perspective and dice-rolling combat. Each dice can result in hits, blocks, and blanks, and the more you level up, the more dice you get for certain specialties. For example, you’ll have a different amount of dice for magic, ranged, and melee attacks and defense.

    In our first few hours with Rimelands, we plumbed the depths of cavernous vaults in the first few areas of the game, unearthing valuable loot like a Holy Hammer and Wheelgun. We also took a couple main quests from Grandma, plus some side quests that involved finding a lost diary and exacting revenge on a fellow treasure hunter who betrayed us.

    We’re still early in the game, but we’ll be bringing you a full review of Rimelands after the long weekend. For now, we can say that if you love RPGs and especially turn-based Western RPGs, this is definitely a game to buy.

    Rimelands: Hammer of Thor Hands-On Preview

    Rimelands: Hammer of Thor is an upcoming RPG from the combined talents of the folks at Dicework Games and Crescent Moon Games. We got our grubby mitts on a preview build of this good-looking app and took it for a spin. So what’s it like, you ask?

    It’s impressive, to say the least. As the tale goes, back in the 1800s our factories spewed so much filth into the air that soot filled up the sky and an unimaginable chill descended. To survive, humans created Fallout-like vaults and lived underground for a thousand years. When they determined that the planet was livable again, humans resurfaced to find that some people called the fair folk, or fae, had claimed the land. After much bloodshed, a tenuous peace deal was signed, and the groups live more or less happily.

    Here’s where you come in. You are Rose Cristo, a tough young woman living under the rule of her stern, demanding grandmother. Grandma, too old to do much of anything herself, sends you down into the abandoned vaults to find treasure. As you play, you’ll also pick up quests from random folks you talk to around town. We didn’t get too far in the storyline, but what we played definitely held our interest.

    The fighting in Rimelands feels more like a table-top RPG like Dungeons and Dragons than like a videogame. Combat is based on die rolls, so each time you attack an enemy, dice tumble onto the screen to determine your attack strength. The enemy you’re targeting then rolls in defense. Each die has sides with one skull, two skulls, a shield, or an X. The number of skulls you roll determine how much damage you cause, while the shields are responsible for blocking. The X’s are misses, so they don’t help you out at all. All of the number crunching is handled by the computer, of course, so there’s no math involved for the player. It’s a speedy process, and we got used to it quickly.

    You also have mana points, which you can spend to re-roll any dice that don’t land in your favor. So whatever intensity might be lost in the turn-based nature of the battles is made up for by the strategizing you’ll have to do in order to succeed.

    In addition to regular attacks, as you level up you can unlock new abilities on three separate skill trees. There’s one for melee combat, one for ranged combat, and one for magic. It’s refreshing that you don’t have to pick a single path and stick with it through the entire game– you can unlock ranged abilities for a while and switch to magic abilities later if you want. This gives the game a very open, customizable feel. Using special abilities during combat also costs mana, so you have to use them sparingly.

    As you walk around after a fight, you automatically re-gain whatever hit points and mana you lost, assuming no other enemies are in the vicinity. It might seem like this would make the game a cakewalk, but it doesn’t. The part of the game we played felt very balanced, but we definitely had to use health and mana potions in the middle of battle from time to time.

    Speaking of potions, there are tons of items in the game, from weapons and armor to accessories and mechanical parts. You’ll find items in treasure chests, in stores, and on the corpses of fallen enemies. The inventory system is easy to use, and has a decent stat-comparing system to help you determine what to equip. Any unused items can be sold in the stores for extra pocket change.

    We could go on and on about the features of this game, but here are some that stood out: The game automatically saves when you close the app. You can move the D-pad to the left side of the screen (for some reason it defaults to the right). There are three save slots, so multiple people can have quests on a single device. There’s a quest log, so you’ll never forget what you’re supposed to be doing. And there are guns in the game, which is rare in fantasy RPGs. More firepower is always a good thing.

    So far, Rimelands: Hammer of Thor looks to be shaping up nicely. It’s deep but not overwhelming, full of options for customization, and has just about every convenience you’d want in a game like this. The graphics are great, too. If we had to nitpick, we’d say the script could use a little work, as we found a few typos and weren’t crazy about some of the dialogue. But overall it’s looking very promising. Rimelands should be submitted to the App Store in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for this one.