What happens when you put together a worm, a heavy metal frontman and a good old fashioned mace? The newest game from 10tons, apparently. Ironworm is a 2D platformer in which you must swing your mace to smash insects and complete levels.
From the graphics and storyline to the main character, Ironworm is certainly a strange and unique game. That being said, there is a lot to the game. Read on to learn more about the game, the method of play, the graphics and more.
How the Game Works
Your character is comprised of a heavy metal musician’s head, a vulnerable worm-like body and a spikey mace that can easily destroy insects. Your goal is to traverse from floating platform to floating platform, all while utilizing the mace to destroy insects and protect the body and head from damage and loss of lives. The level ends when you reach the elevator exit at the end.
The enemies are insects that can move, dive, explode and shoot. The enemies start out easy, as expected, but quickly become very difficult to destroy thanks to increased defenses and sheer quantity. The controls are fairly intuitive, using a simple click and drag method to move around the worm.
At this point, there are 30 levels in the game. Often when I open up a game like this and see that there are only 30 levels, I quickly get disappointed as I know how quickly I will likely beat the game. Ironworm is a nice break however. While the first few levels seem incredibly simple, the difficulty increases at a rapid rate beginning around level 4. This is done in part by the increased number of insects and in part by the app’s fantastically timed introduction of new elements. Whether it is a new object or a new enemy, the elements are introduced at just the right pace to keep the game exciting without overwhelming the player.
To compound the rapidly increasing difficulty, Ironworm brings a level of strategic gameplay that isn’t often found in 2D platformers. Rather than rapidly moving through the levels you must take your time to plot and plan the perfect position and timing. While both ends of the worm can be used to hold onto platforms, only the mace can be used to kill insects. Thanks to this factor and the very specific length of the worm this strategy is especially important to complete the level perfectly.
Ups and Downs
My opinions about Ironworm are mostly positive. The uniqueness of the game certainly makes it stand out. The art style is cohesive throughout the game, and while it seems an unexpected choice it works surprisingly well with the game. The qualities of heavy metal and gothic art are found throughout, from the font choices to the colors and character design. However, while the artistic and graphic style works extremely well, the soundtrack isn’t quite so great. It’s a generic heavy metal soundtrack that doesn’t seem to have much thought put into it. I ended up turning the sound off so it wouldn’t detract from the rest of my experience.
The game has a fantastic degree of challenge. The levels are difficult but not seemingly impossible. Elements are introduced at a fantastically planned rate, and the strategy required to complete a level perfectly is tough but still quite enjoyable. The controls are a bit lacking.
The game plays much better on a touchscreen, so using the trackpad on my laptop was a bit of a challenge. I did also try a mouse which was even worse. Once you get used to the controls you don’t notice the difficulty of movement as much, but it can still be a challenge to maneuver in exactly the way you choose. Finally, while the game is certainly enjoyable overall, like most dollar apps it can quickly become repetitive. Luckily the game boots quickly so if you just want to play a level or two at a time it’s great for that style of gameplay.
When compared to the current world of 2D platformers, Ironworm certainly brings something new and unique to the table. Ironworm has all of the elements needed to make a game successful. The artistic style is unique, gameplay is innovative without being too out there, the strategy required is the perfect level for this type of game and elements are added at a great rate. The few downsides – soundtrack, occasionally difficult controls and some repetitiveness – are minor and don’t really detract from the game as a whole.
Overall, I recommend this game. For being only a dollar in the App Store it’s certainly worth it. However, I certainly want to hear from you. Have you played it, or will you be checking it out? Please share your thoughts below!