With their game Helsing’s Fire, developer Ratloop has managed to take a brilliantly simple, game mechanic and crafted it into a puzzle game that is unique, thoroughly engaging and often times quite challenging. Helsing’s Fire follows the adventures of fearless adventurer Professor Helsing and his assistant Raffton as they travel to The Shadow Blight. They must battle their way through hordes of Dracula’s evil minions before they can face the Prince of Darkness himself. Armed with only a limited supply of multi-colored potions (tonics) and their trusty torches, this brave twosome must use cunning and logic to eliminate room after room of monstrous baddies.
To solve each of the game’s 120 levels (since the recent addition of a 4th world), players must use the touch screen to position their torch amongst the various walls and rubble, illuminating some/all of the monsters contained within, being careful only to light up monsters of the same color. To destroy these demon spawn, you then use a tonic which matches the outermost color of all of the illuminated beasts. It requires a good deal of strategy and planning ahead as some of the monsters have multiple layers of color which you must peel away using your potions in the correct order. Helsing’s Fire requires a mindset not unlike that of a chess player, thinking many moves ahead and occasionally the steady hand and aim of a sniper to position the torch just right.
Helsing’s Fire is a puzzle game brimming with character, from the dry British wit of the game’s protagonists to Helsing and Raffton’s many different crazy celebratory fist bumps and handshakes when you successfully complete a level. Its stylized vector graphics are very well done and give the game it’s own unique Gothic style. The way the light from torches creeps it’s way through and around objects feels natural and appropriate.
In addition to the campaign mode, Helsing’s Fire also comes with a Survival Mode, where you must stand your ground against wave after wave of baddies for as long as you can. In this mode you are fighting against the clock, with successful waves earning you additional time. There is also full Crystal integration for leaderboards and achievements. Hopefully we’ll see Game Center support added in the future.
Indivual puzzles will only take you a minute or two to complete, so they are perfect for a quick game while on the go, or a really long session on the couch, because let’s face it, this game is freakin addictive! There are different difficulty settings to choose from to accommodate all skill levels. Once you pick up Helsing’s Fire it is very difficult to put it down. Before you know time will have flown by and you’ll already have completed an entire world’s worth of puzzles. Helsing’s Fire is a truly unique, charming and captivating puzzle game worthy of your App Store dollar!