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First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

Mobile Game Review of "Imprisoned!" by MinorAxis

MinorAxis has done the impossible... Squash a FULL adventure/RPG down into a cellphone, including a pretty innovative real-time combat system. It is isometric, but so what? It really IS a huge game for you to explore, and a LOT of items to craft and use.

You play a mute, who was framed for a murder he did not commit, and sentenced to die. Except, you did not. You are instead enlisted in this game... where prisoners hunt prisoners... and there can be only one survivor. However... you're surprised to find that the game was organized by the one person who framed you... Are you able to discover mysteries of this island, take your revenge, and escape?

The game basically has two modes: the exploration mode, and the fight mode. The island has a LOT of squares, and every square (about 10 meters to a side) is mapped out, which squares leads where, and so on. As you explore your map will be filled in. And there's even the nearby ocean to explore... if you do manage to find and refuel the boat.

The game features "synthesis", basically crafting, but with a twist. Some synthesis requires certain rating of some of the 5 parts of your body (head, torso, arms, legs, feet). The only way you raise those ratings is by getting enough XP from combat to "gain level", and each level gives you a couple points to distribute. So yes, this is DEFINITELY a RPG.

Synthesis requires you to gather the proper ingredients. The catch is, some of the ingredients may require synthesis themselves. And obviously there's a lot of uses for some items, and the supply of items on the island is NOT unlimited.

As you explore the island, you will come across various items, rusty knife, piece of hardwood, and so on. As you discover synthesis manuals, you'll learn how to combine them into various other items, from the useful (fruit shear, great for cutting fruit from tall trees) to the deadly (guns, knives, and other weapons). Even various food items can be combined for greater effectiveness (baguette plus fruit = fruit sandwich, heals 100 health, instead of just 15 if you eat them separately)

Combat is an interesting real-time / phased combat that doesn't bother with keeping action points and that sort of stuff, but still incorporates a lot of tactical decisions, what weapons to use, and so on. Different weapons have different "range" or "arc" and it is possible to dodge hits by stepping back. There are at least eight types of weapons: bows/arrows, guns, spears, knives, and many more. Combat itself can get pretty involved, esp. when you need arrows or bullets.

Rest / fatigue plays a major part in this game. You can ward off fatigue by drinking water, soda, or even tea, or by resting. If you reach max fatigue, you won't be able to search through a square any more for items. However, the longer you rest, the more likely a roaming enemy will run into you, and that you may not want.

Unlike most mobile games, this can easily take you several dozen hours to finish all the way (escape from the island). And you CAN replay by specializing in some other weapons or such if you choose to.

All in all, Imprisoned! is an Korean import action RPG that has some of the longest gameplay I've ever seen in a game. If this was a PC game, it's be selling for $20, but you can get it for your phone for about $5. That, to me, is a bargain indeed.

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