Azkend is one of the early iPhone puzzle games I didn’t get to try; I’ve heard of it but never brought myself to buying it. With so many other puzzle games appearing in the App Store, I couldn’t help but pass on to purchase others such as Bejeweled 2. But I finally got the chance to get some hands-on time on Apple’s new shiny device (iPad if you’ve been living under a rock).
And boy, I was amazed. The artwork was extremely well done, and I was more than taken aback with the slow, animated temple that was set as the background. But above all, the artwork was what had me stand (or sit in this case) in awe. Gameplay was a bit repetitive though, marring the otherwise beautiful game.
Artwork: Like I mentioned above, Azkend HD looks absolutely beautiful. The HD graphics were actually done right in its transformation from iPhone to iPad, and it looked like the developers took some time in bringing high-quality to Apple’s device instead of just adjusting the graphics. It almost looked as if they made the game again from the ground up, and the artwork, again, was absolutely astonishing. I commend the artist(s) mucho.
Length: The content of the game seems to be pretty long, around 8 hours, and you shouldn’t be worried about wasting money in this department. I can assure you that you won’t be beating this within 1-2 hours.
Audio: For some reason, the audio didn’t seem to exactly fit with each other. One moment you’re listening to a peaceful tune, and the next you’re listening to a completely different gallop once time is running out. The peaceful tune didn’t exactly fit the gameplay either, as the explosions hinted towards a frantic and far-from-peaceful game.
Repetitive: You’re basically doing the same thing over and over for however many minutes/hours. Match the tiles, get the piece of the talisman, and move on. You collect talismans along the way, each with its own unique power, and the story goes on. It’s good for a playthrough at one sitting, but more than one, you start to become a bit bored with it.
I think iPad gamers will be on their iPads longer than iPhone gamers will be on their iPhones, so it would be somewhat nice to mix up the gameplay a bit. Right now, variety is sorely lacking.
Azkend HD looks beautiful from an artist’s standpoint, but beneath the outside beauty is a not-so-beautiful inside. I found the gameplay to be a bit repetitive, and I would have liked the audio to be a bit more in sync and not all over the place. But even with these flaws, I still think that is a solid puzzler that lasts a decent amount of time. Don’t expect it to stay this way though, as I’m sure others will follow suit and beat out Azkend sooner or later.
Azkend HD was developed by 10tons Ltd, and I played through version 1.04 on my iPad. The price is $4.99, and I suggest you try out the lite version for the iPhone (this will be playable on your iPad).