Battle enemy robots with your own in Ironkill

Ironkill screenshot

Ironkill is a fighting game between warrior robots that you get to build and fight. There isn't much of a storyline but there doesn't have to be, it's all about the action. Travel across the world to fight while building up your skills, upgrading your robot or building new robots to defeat your computerized opponent. Your use of just three simple controls dictates whether you win or lose. Ironkill is a free game with in-app purchases for iPhone and iPad and requires iOS 7.0 or later.

You start out with some coins and some gems. More on these later, but they are Ironkill's in-app currencies. You're going to spend 20,000 coins building your first robot: Sumoist. It looks like a robotic sumo wrestler which I'm guessing inspires the name.

Ironkill screenshot

The game's initial tutorial is informative without being overbearing. You soon learn that only three buttons on screen control your fate. The blue control sends quick, low-power punches, the red control sends heavier attacks on the opponent and the large gray control (it looks like a keyboard space bar) is a defense mechanism to block strikes.

I find that the latter doesn't do much of anything. The defense doesn't block against heavy attacks (red button) so your opponent ends up doing damage on you anyway. A few levels in, my wisdom is to remain on offense as much as possible. I have yet to lose a battle.

Honestly, not much about Ironkill is particularly unique. It's just another battle game. It has robots, it has upgrades for your robots to increase your power, it has energy levels that drain with each hit until the game declares a winner. Quite frankly Ironkill is everything you'd expect out of a battle game and very little more.

Ironkill screenshot

Is that a problem? Normally, I would err on the side of yes, but something about Ironkill has the special potion making me decide it's not an issue in this case. I'm not entirely sure what it is. The graphics are superb, the controls are dead simple but not juvenile and what's actually refreshing in a game of this genre is that Ironkill doesn't try to be more than it is. Even the title of the game, "Ironkill" basically lets you know in one word that murder and iron are two main components.

One drawback is the in-app purchases. Coins are necessary for many of the upgrades and of course to build new robots. You do gain some as rewards for winning battles, but they seem to run out quickly. Then gems kick in to speed up the building process and perform some other tasks. Once your out of those, you're also out of luck. Prepare to fork over some real dollars to purchase gems. Ironkill is set up in such a way that it's a bit too easy to have to buy currency.

Ironkill screenshot

If you're able to get past that, Ironkill is a pretty decent battle game. It's appealing to both novices and experienced players. It lacks a "Wow!" factor, but plenty of pleasurable intricacies add up. Get Ironkill for free with in-app purchases in the App Store.