Many hardcore gamers have looked at Tiny Tower and Pocket Planes, realizing that there is quite a lot of talent over at Nimblebit, even if those kinds of social management games aren't their cup of tea. Many of us have been waiting for the day Nimblebit releases a more traditional kind of game, and that day is now here. Nimble Quest is still pretty casual, but it's also very creative and interesting. Essentially, it's the classic arcade game of Snake mixed with an RPG. Interested yet?
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The game is simple as can be. You lead a snaking conga line of heroic heroes around an arena as enemies spawn. You start with one leader hero, and pick up more as you play. Different heroes have different abilities, from the sword swinging knight, ranged archer, mage, and pirate, and bomb throwing Gizmo. Different conga line formations make for different play styles and strategies, like hitting enemies head on with melee front liners, or zig-zagging towards them with ranged front liners. The leader of your party gains experience and eventually levels up, getting a cooler costume and better stats.
As you play, various power-ups and gems will be dropped by enemies. Power-ups include healing potions, attack rate boosts, enemy clearing bombs, shields, and ice that freezes all enemies in place. Gems are used to sometimes heal your leader, and also to buy all the various upgrades. You can make those power-ups more effective, or skip the grind and upgrade your heroes right away through gems. There are also tokens, which are much more rare to see dropped, but they still pop up enough. These are used to buff your heroes before a level, add extra heroes right off the bat, or replay a level if you die, thus avoiding having to restart the level progression.
You'll spend a lot of time replaying the same levels again and again, as the whole point is to get as far through the levels as you can. Each new level you beat unlocks a new hero and increases your party size. This can feel like a brutal grind, but it's not so bad. The amount of pride you feel when you unlock a new hero or upgrade an existing one pretty much makes up for it. There is also a kind of competitive multiplayer. Essentially, you can play with a pre-set hero if you've unlocked them, and compete with other players for top scores. The winners get some pretty nifty in-game stuff.
The pixel art and music are all top notch, and full of that beloved Nimblebit charm, and while extended play sessions will probably bore you, this is a great game to pull out a few times a day when you've got a moment to spare. It's simple, fun, and a great distraction. Not quite hardcore, so to speak, but worth playing nevertheless. And it's totally free too, so check it out.
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