The Nightmare Cooperative
This takes the idea of close partnership a tad too far
The ‘local council’s reckless spending’ has resulted in your team of two being dumped in a dungeon. Your aim is to pilfer bling from psychotic monsters, try to not get killed, and survive 16 screens of turn-based mayhem.
Each of the algorithmically created screens takes place on a small grid, peppered with walls, chests, gold, power-ups, traps and monsters. Open a chest and more hazards appear, determined by the number on said chest; a moves countdown adds to the tension, further foes arriving when it hits zero.
Problems are exacerbated by the ‘cooperative’ aspect of the game – swipe and your entire team moves as one. Additionally, you can recruit dozing allies en route, and so before long you’re faced with tricky decisions – a single swipe could mean riches for a mage and a speedy exit for a ninja, but your archer getting a beating and your miner taking a dip in an acid pool.
The game’s turn-based nature means you can take your time, and health pick-ups and potions are helpful for activating special powers that are unique to each team member and fun to discover.
Initially the game seems tough, but once you figure out its mechanics, you’ll have a ball bludgeoning your way through dungeons. Its finite structure means you’re not faced in every game with an endless trudge to better your strategy and high-score. In all, this is a fantastic, polished blend of puzzling and every-changing dungeon-crawling. Craig Grannell
The best iOS puzzler we’ve seen since Threes!, combining smart game mechanics and beautiful design work.