Requirements: iOS 4.0 or later
Compatibility: iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
File Size: 226MB
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Age Rating: 9+
Ark of Sinners Advance is an action platformer set in the world of the fantasy RPG Anima: Beyond Fantasy. I’ll leave the research to you, if you need it. Here, all you need to know is there’s this woman who confuses a bandanna for a shirt and then runs around an apparently underground city killing all manner of deadly, ghostly beasts in an effort to find Nemo.
It’s all very pretty, quite entertaining, and brutally difficult.
The story is a bit more involved than how I laid it out above, to be fair. You play as Celia, a woman adopted as a child by a secret society of assassins who taught her combat skills but skipped the lesson on modesty. Celia has refused to kill a renegade assassin, and finds herself on the run with Nemo, her only remaining friend. Only not really, because when the game begins, Celia has fallen to the depths of the ancient city of Ark, and Nemo is nowhere to be found. Rather, she occasionally bumps into this weird harlequin person:
That thing kind of tells her what’s going on in a cryptic manner you’d expect from someone who looks like it fell drunkenly from a Mardi Gras parade float. Still, there’s plenty to learn and discover, and it’s all more intriguing than I expected.
But what Ark of Sinners Advance really boils down to is platforming and combat. Ark is big. There are multiple paths you can take through it, all of them teaming with various types of monsters to fight and traps to avoid. Successfully working through the game requires quick decisions and quicker reflexes, to a degree that’s well nigh impossible on a touch screen device.
You get two action buttons and a jump button on the right of the screen. Your left/right movement and left/right dodge are on the left. The buttons are fixed, so you’ll need to keep your thumbs in the right spot at all times, which you of course won’t be able to do. The enemies are fast, and your attack recovery time is slow, so combat can be quite a chore at times. I’d love a chance to play this game on a console or handheld system with by-God buttons, as I’m sure that would alleviate plenty of the frustration of working through the game.
But Ark of Sinners Advance is also one of those games where the frustration seemed worth it. This is partially because of the game’s design, as the Retina graphics are exceptionally cool and creepy, and the animation is very smooth. The orchestral score is outstanding, as well, doing a much better job of pulling you into the game’s world than would a cheesy rock soundtrack.
Ark of Sinners Advance also works because of its combat system, as frustrating as it can be at times. As you progress, you’re able to unlock combo moves and enhanced skills that’ll help you on your way. When you pull these off successfully, the combat is quite rewarding, and almost compensates for the anger you’ll feel when you again didn’t execute the perfect timing required to kill some weird ghost man while avoiding these laser beams that shoot at you from nowhere without falling to your death from some ridiculously thin platform.
Ark of Sinners Advance is hard. I don’t know if I’m made that clear enough. But it’s also fun, so I need to make that clear, as well. Even better, there are no in-app purchases. Pay your $2.99, and all 21 stages, 7 boss battles and 10 hours of gameplay are yours. You don’t need to be an Anima fan or even know what it is to enjoy Ark of Sinners Advance, you just need to be extremely patient…or a glutton for punishment.