Ironkill is a mobile, robot fighting game from Play Motion available for Android and iOS. The latest update for the game was back in June and nearly doubled the game’s content including 12 new robots. Ironkill is free-to-play and one of the highest rated fighting games on the mobile market.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world where robot fighting is a popular sport, Ironkill doesn’t push the story aspect too hard. With good graphics and appropriate sound effects, the robots of Ironkill all have great personalities that come across without any dialogue. Ironkill is truly a button-mashing fighting game with all the typical mobile game garnishes sprinkled in.
The controls are straightforward with one button for heavy attack, one for light attacks and another for blocking. Special abilities and special attacks are activated with smaller buttons atop the main touch controls. Ironkill can easily be played with one finger yet activating the smaller buttons can be a bit more difficult perhaps because of their size.
Timing is an important skill for Ironkill players and is used for executing special attacks and landing basic attack combos on an opponent. Another important aspect of gameplay is intelligently upgrading your robots. Players can choose to research new technology and upgrade their robot parts with in-game currency to become more powerful and perform better in the campaign championships.
Of course, Ironkill is a free-to-play mobile game meaning there are a lot of ads and in-game purchases. Ads show up between matches for a freemium experience. In-game gold is accrued through player's progress in the game, while gems are purchased with real money to expedite player’s experiences and possibly creates a pay-to-win situation.
Energy is the paywall mechanic used to make players wait in order to continue playing when their little energy bar is depleted. Paying gems will immediately refill it otherwise players can wait a matter of minutes to accrue more energy.
Special in-game events give players an opportunity to gain a lot of rewards. However, these events sap a lot of energy, which incentivizes serious players to invest in more energy. The paywall mechanics plus freemium ads used in Ironkill seem like a bit much, but it isn’t any more atrocious than most other free-to-download mobile games.
While reviewing, Ironkill often froze up or blacked out. The app doesn’t seem to multitask well. If users switch between other applications or have other things open on their device in the background, the game is likely to stop working.
Negatives aside, there is a reason Ironkill is rated so highly. With the fighting genre predominated by button combos, it’s a hard genre to translate into a mobile game. Ironkill makes the combos simple and adds just the right amount of special moves to make each robot feel unique.
Ironkill’s upgrades system is just as entrenched in the gameplay as it is in encouraging in-game purchases. Players can feel the difference in their robots after installing upgrades making earning all that in-game currency worth while. As players progress through a championship campaign they will be faced with timed, K.O. and best of three challenges to give a nice bit of variety to gameplay.
As a mobile fighting game Ironkill excels. Fans of the fighting genre will want to give Ironkill a try. Play Motion also has been adding great content with their updates giving the game some longevity. The freemium and paywall mechanics can get annoying though, and on top of that, the application’s performance can add frustration with it’s frequent freezes.
Ironkill was downloaded by the reviewer and reviewed on a Samsung Glaxy S4.