Gunspell is an RPG where players must match three or more tiles to battle enemies in turn based combat. Players try to match tiles during 30 second turns and if they miss a chance to attack, enemies usually take full advantage of this. There are numerous weapons, spells, and items to use in the battles which allows for a variety of play styles. Gunspell is compatible with iPhone 3GS and up, iPod touch 3rd generation and up, and iPads running iOS 4.0 or later.
Gunspell features a variety a quests for players to complete that follow the game's storyline. There is also an adventure aspect to the game where players can explore caves that may contain items and enemies. The quests range from locating signals to defeating powerful enemies. Along the way, your character runs into other enemies which he can choose to fight to get items and XP, which will help level up your character. Players can also get items in the store or from traveling merchants, but items here cost silver, gold, or other resources.
Having enough silver to purchase items was not a big problem most of the time as you can sell items in exchange for silver. Other items which require gold or other resources are harder to find. Storing all of these items was also a big problem as you only get one slot in each storage area: your backpack, storage locker, and spell book. Players can use either resources or gold to add slots to these storage places, but because these resources are used for buying some items, it becomes frustrating to decide what to spend resources on.
Players fight enemies by matching up three or more tiles that are shaped like stones or skulls. Some stones can be used to heal your character and are important if you are fighting a powerful opponent. The skulls are what players use to immediately damage an enemy. You can match up different mana tiles which can power up your weapon depending on the color of the stone. Once the weapon is powered up, you can use it during your turn to attack the enemy and still get a chance to cause more damage by matching up skulls. Five stones in a row rewards and extra turn. This can make the difference between loosing a battle and achieving an underdog victory.
Another way players can attack enemies is by using magic. Players tap on the spell at the bottom of the screen, but there is a limited number of times the spell can be used before having to purchase more. This can be costly and annoying if you want to focus on magic as your main attack mode. Additionally, spells are not dropped as often as other items.
Another slight annoyance is that a lot of the combat feels luck based rather than skill based, even though you have to think about matching up three icons. In some battles, players find themselves struggling to get a good match to deal enough damage to the enemies; every move seems to make a better line up of tiles for your opponent. If you are fighting a really powerful enemy who is a few levels above you, they can use strong charge attacks or even heal themselves which makes the battle more challenging.
Players can use resources or gold to upgrade magic skills, which makes spells more powerful and unlock new ones in the store. This is helpful if you plan on focusing on magic as your main method of attack but again, resources become a problem.
There are different achievements to unlock like winning a battle by killing an enemy with a spell. When players complete an achievement, they are rewarded with silver or upgraded stats like additional damage. Players feel like they are progressing fairly well with these achievements. Social media support lets players share their achievements with others and see what achievements their friends have gotten with Game Center.
The inclusion of Game Center and the turn based gameplay lends itself to being multiplayer friendly, which is a nice feature to have in this type of game. However, the multiplayer mode was not in the game at the time of this review. It is hard to say if the combat mechanics in the single player mode come through well in multiplayer.
Gunspell is free on the App Store and is an entertaining challenge and recommended for players who enjoy match three games.