Cthulhu Saves the World is a funny, retro-style RPG that everyone should play

by Andrew Koziara

Yes, this is really a game. Cthulhu Saves the World is an indie RPG done in the style of the 16-bit era, which brought us what many old school gamers consider to be the very best Final Fantasy games, including Final Fantasy VI. Cthulhu Saves the World was originally released on the Xbox LIVE Arcade indie branch as well as Steam, developed by Zeboyd Games, and ported to iOS by TinkerHouse. While the game itself is a creative jewel, this port is rather clumsy, with awkward controls and instability issues.

After a mysterious hero curses the great lord of insanity, Cthulhu, he loses all his old-god powers, reverting to a humanoid form. Ironically enough, the only way he can regain his dark powers and rule the world? To become a true hero, as explained to him by the narrator. And thus, our retro adventure begins. It's not the longest RPG, but this game is about quality over quantity, and offers tons of unlockable content for replay value, from new difficulties, special modes, and even a developer commentary.

The true hero of this game is the hilarious, tongue-in-cheek writing. From the breaking of the fourth wall and the referential humor, to the sheer absurdity of the characters and world. Whenever there is text on the screen, you can expect to find a smile on your face. The combat system is done in such a way that alleviates a lot of the frustration of the genre, while offering challenging battles that require a smart use of spells and skills.

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The 16-bit graphics are not the greatest, yet still awesome, and the chip tunes soundtrack manages to be very appropriate and tone-setting. The only real issues are the awkward touch controls, but luckily, the developers are already working on alternatives and improving stability. It's also iOS Universal, and playing on an iPad will definitely alleviate the frustration. For the low price, you really can't ask for much more than this lovingly-crafted game delivers.