Prominent iOS and mobile game developer Glu Mobile has released Blood & Glory, a free-to-play title featuring arena combat and gameplay reminiscent of Chair Entertainment’s colossally successful Infinity Blade. In this game, released November 17, players take on the role of a beginner gladiator who must rise of the ranks of combatants in order to improve their skills, obtain better equipment, and, ultimately survive.
The game is structured into a series of more than 10 tournaments. Each of these is comprised of several opponents. Fights are one-on-one, with the player’s character always appearing in the foreground, and their opponent in the background. The action unfolds in real-time, with players and their foes exchanging blows back and forth with a variety of weapons.
Like Infinity Blade, the gameplay is based around striking, dodging, and blocking. Using one finger, players can swipe on the screen to control where and from which direction their player will strike using their weapon. Holding a shield icon lets them block, but has a limited amount of uses per fight. Icons on the left- and right-hand sides of the screen let players dodge attacks in those directions. Blocking and dodging leave opponents open for counter-attack, and players can perform successive swipes in specific directions to perform combo attacks. Players can also swipe in the opposite direction of incoming attacks in order to parry them and hit opponents off guard.
Opponents are defeated once their life bar is completely drained. Players will lose if theirs empties, as well, although they can use potions to restore it during combat. Potions are also available that can boost attack and defense strength. These can be purchased using gems that players receive from leveling up (experience points are rewarded at the end of every fight, with bonus points for defeating opponents on the first try). Other items, such as improved armor, shield, helmets, and weapons can be purchased using either gems or coins, which also serve as fight winnings. These items permanently enhance the player’s attack and defense abilities when equipped.
As a free-to-play game, Blood & Glory is monetized through in-app purchases of gems and coins for real money. Players can also choose to spend real money on skill points, normally awarded for leveling up, which can be used to permanently increase their character’s overall health, attack power, and defense ability.
Although it does not incorporate Game Center functionality, Blood & Glory does use OpenFeint to allow players access to leaderboards to compare their performance against friends’. There are also a number of achievements that can be unlocked through OpenFeint.
Glu Mobile, the game’s developer, is a publicly-traded company from San Francisco that has moved heavily into free-to-play games on iOS and Android. While it has several casual games out, the action-adventure genre has historically been Glu’s strength with hits like Gun Bros.
Blood & Glory, a universal app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, is currently No. 36 on the App Store’s list of most downloaded free games. It is No. 7 on the list of most downloaded iPad games, and the No. 10 top-grossing iPad game.
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