A little amount of games based on Indian films or otherwise are worth for your attention and time. This was the matter while games were to be created for consoles and computers, and this has been still the same even in a time while tie-in games are widely to be made for smartphones.
Thus, the most recent mobile game based on Sultan, the Salman Khan starrer was really a surprise for us, a smartphone game based on a Bollywood film which is a perfect fighting game.
Nevertheless, the game is not at all a perfect game. Some flaws and annoying choices around monetization are there, yet in spite of these problems, we found ourselves coming back for playing just one more round.
Sultan is quite simple fighting game and it needs to be simple for being playable on mobiles, yet there is sufficient left still for giving a joyful experience to anybody who wants spending some time with this game. Unluckily, some flaws are coming from the monetization methods which are followed by the developer.
The game is divided into 60 levels and there is a title match each 10 levels. You can earn 3 stars at the finishing of every match. As the first pair of levels is only tutorials, you basically enter the real fights by the time and you will have a clear concept about doing well with the game. Unfortunately, this is not the matter while the tutorials display you the moves, they do nothing more than that, and you are left for figuring out how basically utilize those moves you only learned by your own.
The controls are quite easy: hold the screen to block, swipe for a heavy attack and tap the screen to attack. Land attacks enough and you charge up a particular move which you can trigger by tapping the screen’s corner.
The issue is that you mostly can function your way via the levels by not doing anything more than only tapping away at the screen frantically. The tutorial basically does not teach you while it is better for using a light attack, and while you need using a heavy attack and after some hours with the game, it is quite tough making up your own minds regarding that. The particular attack is enough straightforward, thankfully, yet no cues are there for telling you that you must block either.
And you have to make a plan above a point, unless you are glad for getting one-star results every time. Building up specials, timing your attacks, blocking well and utilizing the specials for taking your rival down form a joyful gameplay loop, yet it was not until around level 20, with many errors and trials, that would be worked out the fundamentals of timing. That is a designing failure which must have been addressed right at the beginning of the game.
Yet there is a twist which also requires for being done to the gameplay’s core – the block always does not involve for one thing and you are left standing around while your rival turns your face into a smashed potato. On the other hand, swipes are registered as taps and vice versa. The most disturbing is while you keep go of the block button after the animation for an attack has ended clearly, just for taking a hit anyway, as the game thought clearly the attack was still occurring. These are small problems, yet label the difference between a game that is quite fun and a game which is basically excellent.
In terms of the stars you get at the finishing of every level is the another place where Sultan actually does not communicate enough. Well, why these starts? They are not tied to either of the 2 currencies of the game, thus they seem representing an easy rating. There is little value to this stars system with 2 currencies which are already drawing your attention. Worse but, the game does not say clearly what you receive the stars for – there are no fair target or goal and it is just after playing for some time that you will understand that stars are connected with how much damage you took.
Another area which can be enhanced upon in this game is the upgrade system. You need paying coins for raising your level, for boosting your health, attacking and defending stats in a settled progression and you cannot choose which stats you want upgrading either. At arbitrary points, you are gated by the big difference in stats between the next rival and yourself and when a skilled player can still get around any rival, it becomes disturbing, especially as the amount of coins you need paying for every level increases aggressively, when your earned coins from winning fights go up in a more linear style.
On the other hand, the energy currency is easy almost to a drawback. If the game distributes little amount of energy and more coins, it might be basically more joyful, yet that nevertheless, this is a fun game. However, the number of levels and the upgrade system begin feeling like unimportant bloat for padding out the game’s length.
Visually, it appears like a high-end 3D game on latest smartphones of 2016 – there is not very much on the screen and the target is clearly on the 2 fighters, yet their designs are described and the different moves are nicely animated. Sultan looks good and there is enough difference in the rivals you fight also. The background needs a little more care, yet that is not a big fault. The one complaint we have on this front is that Sultan has only a single winning animation. We are unaware about whether this is an outcome of some IP agreement, or only a way of sparing money, yet it is still bothering.
Talking about little bothering – the background sound is a track from the film, and by not we have got remembered the total thing. If the designers had fixed to only the instruments, or received some more tracks so that they could vary the background music, then we would not have turned the sound off after only about 10 levels. It is really unharmonious and repetitive.
However, the worst extras are surely in the monetization area. For one thing, there is an advertisement after each single fight. Having an advertisement after few fights makes sense, yet after each single one, it only gets harsh and interruptive. Aside from that, the title sessions have displayed an ad next to them on the level choose screen also, which not as harsh as the annoying ads, might still get some people out of the game.
This is combined by in-app purchases; the game is free for playing yet taking that it is a heavy element of advertisement, getting too many IAP options feels extra. You can earn a few coins and watch a video, yet you will need spending money for every reasonable amount. Spending money is possible up to Rs.200 for getting a 350 energy pack or a 35,000 coin pack. The former refills fast so it is actually required, yet the coins are necessary for taking what are almost compulsory upgrades, and the interest for coins starts feeling extra by the time you are half way via the game.
Between the padding out of ads and levels, and the extra happened by monetization, what could have been actually lean and good game, starts feeling bloated. Apart from packing a punch, Sultan packs a punch.
At its bottom, there is still some fun in this game for your enjoyment. If you are a fan of the movie or Salman Khan, then there is definitely no reason for skipping this game, as it is completely free on Android, and in fact if you are not especially interested due to the movie connection, you must still provide this a shot.
1. Core gameplay is easy and satisfying.
2. The game has nice looking visuals.
1. The tutorial does not tell you enough.
2. There are too many IAPs and ads.
3. The controls are a small imprecise for a fighting game.
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