Wayward Souls for iOS review: Easy to learn, enormously difficult to master

Once you choose your class, you'll enter the first dungeon. The class you choose deeply effects how you'll play the game. Not only will it change how you attack, Wayward Souls is about staying alive, so durability is a big part of your choice. In this way, you can almost think of the classes as difficulty levels. The Warrior will probably last the longest of the three characters because he's the most durable. Playing the other classes requires you learn how to play around their specific vulnerabilities. In other words, I recommend you start as a Warrior, learn the ropes, then move on to the other classes.

Tons of replay value

Even when you play the Warrior class, it will take several games to finish even the first dungeon. Health potions are few and far in between, so hacking and slashing blindly won't help you.

In Wayward Souls, dodging attacks from monsters is almost as important as getting the kill because when you reach the end of the fifth floor of the dungeon, you will fight your first boss. Any health you've managed to save will be all you have against the strongest monster in the game yet. Don't forget: if you die, you start over from the beginning.

Therein lies how the game sucks you in. With every bit of health a valuable commodity, you'll need to learn how to avoid each monster's attack. You'll play several times just to master your movements, and even more when you play the other "weaker" classes. Mastering each class is what brings you back to the game for another round, and makes the payoff that much greater when you can finally finish a dungeon.

Fortunately, the game gives you a little help in the form of upgrades and skill bonuses. At the beginning of a run, you'll have the option to use earned coins to buy upgrades for various skills. Some will help you regenerate health faster, while others might make your attack stronger. Your upgrades carry over game to game, so you can come back the next time even stronger than the last.

Weapon and equipment upgrades happen within the dungeon whenever you find one of the shrine-like structures. The game will give you two upgrade options for a single item making it stronger than before. These upgrades do not carry over between games, but could be just the thing to make you survive in your current game.


Wayward Souls, on the surface, is your garden variety hack-and-slash RPG, but after a few plays it becomes much more involved. The game forces you to play defensively even as you mow down hordes of monsters and every item you find suddenly becomes valuable as a possible aid to your survival.

While I like the touch controls for the most part, I don't like that I have to stop the game to look at my four-slot inventory. It seems like it wouldn't be too jarring to have a couple of buttons for inventory items, so hopefully it's something Rocketcat will consider adding.

Still, even with these minor control issues, Wayward Souls is a deceptively deep game, with tons of replay value as you try to conquer difficult dungeons.

What you'll pay

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