There aren't many successful games ported over from PC into mobile. However, when they hit the deal, the game will become a really satisfying game in our hands. The same goes from Freehold Games latest ported game called Sproggiwood.
Sproggiwood once, was only available on Steam. Despite the limitation, Sproggiwood still received a very warm welcome from PC community. When it's finally arrived on our mobile devices, the first valid question you should ask is, will it be as good as the PC version?
Sproggiwood itself is a combination of cuteness and brutal level design. Despite the colorful, bright character design, once you've played with the game, you can't just make some random decision. You won't be going anywhere if you don't think before your action.
Talking about the genre, Sproggiwood also uses another combination again. This time, its a combination between top-down RPG, rogue-like, dungeon crawler, and the last, monsters collection.
Where it all starts?
It's all start with a guardian spirit named Sproggi. Sproggi found out that the world has been screwed up because of some unknown creatures. Since Sproggi couldn't fight that creature alone, Sproggi asked the god of time, Raako (apparently taken from Finnish mythology), to help restoring Sproggi's civilization.
After some 'sweet-word' with Raako, Sproggi finally had the wishes granted. That's where you come in as the main character. You, as the farmer, will help Sproggi to restore the civilization by defeating all the creatures and collect all the monsters that once enemies into allies.
How to play?
Sproggiwood uses turn-based dungeon crawler as its core. You will be exploring each floor, from one floor to another floor, to find the boss of each dungeon. In each floor, you will be encountering enemies with unique ability.
This unique ability will become even more variative during your journey playing this game, from calling monsters of other dimension to sorcery skills. Not to mention basic skills like burn, freeze, charge, and poison.
You as the hero, will also have classes, abilities as well as the equipments. However, these last two things are implemented with a bit different approach from other games that I've played so far.
Let's talk about the abilities first. Your hero EXP points will always be reset after you finish the dungeon. So all the abilities your hero have learned in the dungeon will be gone, poof. You have to start from the scratch and from level 1.
This is where the developer shines. Because, despite being reset, you won't feel any different. The enemies won't get any stronger, it still have the same health points. The only thing that distinguish one level with other is that you will meet with a new variation of enemies. With that, you can actually apply different strategy by choosing a different skill tree.
The equipment also works differently. During the exploration, your hero will find some chest. Open this chest and you can choose to use the new equipment from the chest or choosing to use the old one. All the equipments have their own unique ability, of course the equipment will deal extra damage. However once you finish the quest, you need to purchase the equipment using the gold that you've gathered during your exploration.
So, when you use it inside the dungeon, it's more like a free trial for the equipment. Once you've felt the awesomeness of the item, now it's time for you to purchase the real thing. Don't worry though, once you've purchased the item, it will forever be yours. License have been bought people!
My Admiration to the Developer
I'm admiring with how the developer have built this game from the ground up. You can't expect the detail of this game when you first get a hands with it. However, once you've spent enough time playing with Sproggiwood, you will start to realize how well thought the game is.
I'm talking about the core, the dungeon crawler engine. I think Freehold have done a really smart move by adding abilities into the monsters. So, despite facing, let's say jellies, you need to implement different strategy when meeting a fire jelly with an undead jelly. Although both of them relatively have the same health and damage, with different abilities, you should act differently too.
The class availability also puts me in admiration. With these different classes, you can play the same level with a different feeling. Moreover, Freehold randomly generate the level so although the enemies are in the same kind, you won't find the same locations in it.
Tips and Tricks
I also have some tips and tricks for those who have played Sproggiwood but unfortunately stucked somewhere. Or perhaps, I can hand you over some handy notes to get over the beginner jetlag in this game.
Like I've said, although you face with the same ol' jellies, different jellies require you to act differently. The only thing that similar from all the jellies is that there are always two types of jelly. The big jelly have a higher damage and more health point; and once you kill this big jelly, it will split itself into some small jellies.
This small jellies will have a different side effect when you kill it. This side effects are the one that making this Sproggiwood so much interesting at its core.
Yellow Jellies are the most basic from all the other jellies. The only thing that you should know is that its corpse will make you slip over upon contact. You will be passing through the square and if there's an enemy on that side, they will surely damage you.
Red Jellies are a bit more advanced than the yellow. When you kill a red jelly, it will heat up, sort of like boiling. You need to move out from the red jelly's horizontal and vertical line, because on the next turn, the jelly will explode and damaging everything in its line.
So, before you kill red jelly, make sure you have enough square to move away from red jelly's line. This way, you can avoid the damage from the jelly.
Black Jellies are the undead jellies. Unlike red jelly's corpse that need to be avoided, the corpse of the black jellies have to be passed through. Otherwise, the corpse will revive a big black jelly and you will have to face more and more enemies.
Make sure you outsmart the black jelly with separating it from its group. This way you can kill it and go pass through it with ease.
Purple Jellies work most similar with Yellow Jellies. However, purple jellies are more like a land mine. So don't you dare to pass through purple jelly's corpse. If you do, there will be a lightning hits everything in the screen, including you.
Blue Jellies work just like Red Jellies. The only thing that distinguishes both is that Blue Jellies will freeze you upon exploding. Beside that Blue Jellies are just like Red Jellies.
Yetis are different from Jellies. Yetis' ability is to charge into you. The trick is to be in the different line with the Yeti. Once you in the same line, Yeti will use their turn to start charging the attack. If you're not move out, you will be hit by the painful charge attack.
Some tips for you. If you have other enemy in the same line between you and the Yeti, don't bother to move, because Yeti's attack will hit the enemy in front of you. Then, the Yeti will stop whereever your enemy position were.
The abilities of mushroom are different compared to the Jellies. Mushroom can be considered harmless until you've met with the orange mushroom. Things will start to heat up when you meet the guy.
Yellow Mushrooms can be find in the early level when you pass through the leaves. It doesn't have special abilities other than hiding behind the leaves. Usually they will come out in pairs at least, three mushrooms at the same time the most.
To counter these mushrooms, go to a tight space where you can fight one on one with the mushroom. Mushroom is relatively weak and only need one hit to beat.
Purple Mushrooms are also can be found inside the leaves. However, if you encounter these mushrooms, don't worry about being outnumbered. Purple Mushrooms tend to disappear after one of their friend being hit. So just hit any purple mushroom and the other will be disappeared. Then you can just walk until they reappear again.
Red Mushrooms will show themselves later in the game. These mushrooms are bigger from its predecessor and can heal themselves if not killed with one hit.
Orange Mushrooms are the hardest mushroom if not the hardest enemies in the game. Orange Mushrooms are coward but the strongest from the other mushrooms. The worst thing is that, Orange Mushroom can open a sort of portal door that can summon other weird monsters from other dimension.
This portal is proven to be source of problems since it can summon so many monsters. To defeat this orange mushrooms you need to get close to the portal, close it by hitting it with your hero (must a melee hit). Then after the portal closes, go to the orange mushroom and kill it (or vice versa).
Of course, you need to have a global skills to clean up the monsters. All the heroes have global abilities, or if you have enough coins, you can buy weapon with dancing flames on it.
I still don't know the differences between frogs. There are green frog and purple frog, but I still don't know the ability between them.
However, I know that frogs can pull you into their melee range. That's their basic ability.
Fishes are also another annoying enemies beside Orange Mushrooms. You can just kill one of them, you have to kill both of them in one shot, otherwise you won't get any EXP from them and they will have another couple as a replacement.
This nest will continue to hatch spiders until you destroy it. It's not that difficult to destroy this nest, however make sure that you quickly destroy this nest before it creates too many spiders.
There are still some other monsters that I haven't included in this article. However, once you're able to counter all these monsters, have my word, the game isn't impossible for you anymore. So don't worry about other enemies.
Oh, I also don't put any boss tricks on purpose. The bosses don't have a exclusive skill. All of their skill are already exposed in the small enemies. So if you read this, you're already able to beat the finall boss.
Sproggiwood is an epic product for iOS. It certainly can be considered one of the best this year. Although memory have been some issues for some mobile gamers, the quality of the game itself have spoken louder than any minor issues. If you're a fan of great games, Sproggiwood definitely need to be there in your devices. Casual gamers can also consider Sproggiwood just for the sake of adding great game into your collections.
Now if you ask me, will it be as good as the PC version? If you'll excuse me, I still have plenty mushrooms I need to cut.
About Freehold Games
Freehold Games is an independent studio dedicated to building imaginative games. It was founded by Brian Bucklew and Jason Grinblat, who grew up playing games together. In 2012, we began to collaborate with artist Jaana Heiska. Our mission is to build games we want to play, which usually involve offbeat settings, interesting tactical situations, and a whole lot of emergence in the tradition of the roguelike genre.
Freehold Games is a team consists of three people. Brian Bucklew as the programmer, Jason Grinblat as the designer/writer, and Jaana Heiska as the artist.
After collaborating on Mad Ball, Brian Bucklew, Jason Grinblat, and Jaana Heiska teamed up again in Summer 2012 for a bigger project. Sproggiwood was originally conceived as a roguelike / city-builder hybrid, but over the next two years, it was honed into a story-driven roguelike adventure set in a world inspired by Finnish mythology.