The Apple iPad and iPhone have really proven themselves to be competitors in the portable gaming market. One of more popular types of games on platforms like the Nintendo DS, iPad and iPhone is basically a digital version of “Where’s Waldo” know as a “hidden item” game.
Hidden item games are typically pretty straight forward and can get old quick but what if there were added RPG elements? “Romance of Rome HD” is a hidden item game on the iPad that challenges users to find certain items around high def environments from ancient Rome.
Users navigate a world map to go to different settings in an attempt to find the items that are listed on the bottom of the screen. Some items are used as key items that unlock secret ares in other areas to complete the map and increase your status.
Between levels, you receive comic-style cutscenes that progress the story and you are able to dress your character. The further you get in the game, the higher status your character becomes and that is made visually evident by the clothes you wear and the items you obtain.
Before you go in thinking that you can use your status points to head over to an item shop and pick what items to purchase, the game is pretty linear and you can only upgrade with the items that are premeditated. Also, the story is a bit weak and doesn’t create enough interest in the character to call this a legitimate RPG.
That being said, these elements may not make the game, but they certainly add to it. I found myself criticizing the game when I first started playing and before I knew it I was over an hour into it. It can be very addicting for adults yet simple enough to keep kids quiet on a long road trip. The high def imagery looks nice on the iPad and doesn’t cause much lag on the hardware.
There may be a ton of games on the iPad but it’s tough to find a diamond in the rough sometimes. “Romance of Rome” may not be a 10 but it certainly is worth the $6.99 price point. You can try a free demo, downloadable from the iTunes app store, if you’re skeptical and decide for yourself if it’s worth dropping 7 bucks on.
G5’s “Romance of Rome” is available now.