Indie Quickie: Nimble Quest

It takes a lot longer to fully review a game than it does to get a good sense of what a game is. Even with a full-time staff of writers it would be impossible to fully review the thousands of games that are released every year. Indie Quickie is our way to offer snap impressions of the countless indie titles small teams and one-man game studios are releasing literally every single day, and to help guide players to worthwhile games they may not have heard about before.

NimbleQuest_1

What is it? A Snake-like arcade game with a cartoon medieval sheen.

Who made it and where can you get it? Nimble Quest is the latest offering from NimbleBit, the kids who kept us building floors and running elevators in the impossibly addictive Tiny Tower. It’s a freemium game on iOS, Mac, Android, and is currently awaiting approval on Steam Greenlight.

How much did we play? Beat Castle Level 1, slashed through multiple Arena sessions, and sprung for a couple of in-app hero purchases.

Any technical concerns or hardware requirements you should know about? One paused game resulted in a system lock, but otherwise, everything’s smooth as snakeskin.

NimbleQuest_2

Why should you play it?

    • This Snake’s got fangs—and bombs, and fireballs, and arrows: Snake was always a blast to play, but it was ultimately a passive game in which your main goal was dodging other snakes and obstacles as your snake got bigger and bigger. You’re dodging here, too, but your growing line of adorable heroes also gets to go on the offensive, slashing and bombing the enemy lines of knights, mages, bats and spiders that seek to end your run. (Plus you get to pick up the gems and cool power-ups their corpses leave behind.) Enemies return fire, so the direction from which you’re attacking matters a ton, adding a new strategic wrinkle to the proceedings.

    • Swiper, keep swiping: You’d think a game in which you control the movement of your hero parade with finger swipes would be unresponsive and maddening. You’d be wrong. It actually works surprisingly well.

    • New hero unlocked!: Every completed level adds a new type of hero to potentially add to your line in the next level and in future games. The hero you pick as your line leader gains experience that eventually leads to RPG-like stat buffs for that unit. Switching your leaders frequently and playing enough to level them all up is the path to becoming formidable–and standing a snowball’s chance in the insanely difficult levels that unlock the coolest heroes. Or you could just pony up two bucks to unlock the ninja and the elemental monk as an IAP.

    • Strength in numbers: When you finally reach the point where your hero conga line tops eight, you’re in position to put a serious beatdown on just about anything the game throws at you. Well, at least until the screen gets so crowded you smash your line into a wall or a spider that zigged when you thought it would zag. Back to the first level. Great.

Parting Thoughts: If you don’t mind the grind and an in-app purchase system that prods you into spending cash on tokens so you can retry the brutal level you just lost (hint: save them to spend on stat buffs instead), Nimble Quest is a charming and addictive adventure that’ll swipe plenty of your gaming hours.

About the Author

Aaron R. Conklin has been writing about games and games culture for more than 15 years. A former contributor to Computer Games Magazine and Massive Magazine, his writing has appeared on IGN.com and in newspapers and alt-weeklies across the country. Conklin's an unapologetic Minnesota sports fan living in Madison, Wisconsin, home of the Midwest's most underrated gaming vibe.