A sword for a friend

Who I am
Alejandra Rangel
Author and references

The rise of mobile platforms, increasingly real competitors of portable consoles, also passes through the arrival in the catalog of titles that have distinguished themselves on other platforms. This is the case with Transistor, action RPG developed by the guys from Supergiant Games, the same ones from Bastion, and landed on the AppStore and just over a year after its launch on PC and PlayStation 4. At the time Sony gave a demonstration of confidence even towards rather small teams that outside the canons and rules of big budget projects are more easily able to throw themselves on roads not yet traveled to give maximum vent to their creative impulse. Although the title showed some too many shadows especially on the gameplay front, the artistic sector had enough to raise the production globally both in the eyes of critics and the public, who welcomed Transistor with positive opinions. With the game practically done, the challenge of the developers to bring their gem on iOS was certainly to set up a control system that would adapt well to the touch screen and to the much smaller displays than those of a large comfortably positioned TV. in the living room.

Transistor arrives on iOS devices with a great conversion, giving its best on the iPad

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In summary, for those approaching the title for the first time, in Transistor we impersonate Red, a famous singer from the Goldwalk neighborhood who, following an ambush that took place in the evening after one of her shows, loses her voice, but manages to escape death thanks to sacrifice of a dear friend of his pierced by a sword.

This one, named Transistor, has the power to imprison the soul of a dead person allowing Red to take his friend with him, but becoming the target of the Orchestral group that tries anything to snatch it from the protagonist to use it for the their own shady purposes. That of Red is a story of revenge, seasoned with romanticism and political intrigues, decidedly fascinating but not fully successful, above all due to not sufficiently in-depth protagonists and a basic linearity that leaves no room for sensational twists. In a completely similar way to the main version, by advancing a level or meeting specific secondary characters, Transistor acquires new functions to be used during clashes: these can be used as primary skills to attack enemies or as passives to combine with the previous ones to increase their efficacy or trigger secondary effects. In terms of gameplay, the adaptation work for the mobile version is partially successful, only undermined by the width of the screens of the various Apple devices which in part influence their actual usability. Red's movements and interactions with the environment are managed through the touch on the screen of the place you want to reach or the point of interest to which specific contextual actions are linked, while for the combat the strategic inclination of the Supergiant Games title. The four primary skills are displayed on the right side of the screen conveniently at your touch, and can be used directly on enemies or chained during attack rounds. Combat is in fact one of the strengths of Transistor because it alternates isometric clashes in real time with turn-based planning phases where it is possible to focus better on the strategy and sequencing a series of moves with greater calm, making the most of the synergies between the shots. . In the first case, after activating the desired skill, just touch the target enemy on the screen to see Red head towards him and sink the shot as soon as he arrives in range, while in the second case, close to the skill icons there is the one for stop time and plan the attack turn. Everything works very well, the controls are fluid, precise even with many enemies on the screen and Red's reactivity is valuable, but as mentioned at the beginning, everything suffers terribly from the width of the screen on which Transistor is used.

Red is always beautiful

Since the iOS version is common to both iPhone and iPad, it goes without saying that playing it on the 4-inch Apple smartphone is inevitably more chaotic than enjoying it in the 9,7 "width of an iPad Air. More than anything else, it is a question linked to the available space, where in the first case the icons of the skills are all too close to each other and it is easy to make mistakes by selecting one attack instead of another, especially in the most phases. excited. Similarly, during the fights in the most advanced part of the title, where we will find ourselves facing many enemies on the screen, it happens all too often to make a mistake in selecting the target, forcing the player to almost always fall back on the turn-based battle. On PC and PlayStation 4, planning was used above all against the most difficult opponents, but in this case, abusing it ends up excessively slowing down the flow of the game action in a perpetual alternation between the planned attack and running away waiting for the bar. fully reloads in order to initiate the next attack. On the iPad the situation is diametrically opposite and the larger display inches allow a more accurate and intuitive management even during the most crowded and frenetic clashes, but presumably the improvement can be perceived already from the use of an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. beyond the limits of the control system, on Apple Transistor platforms it maintains all its beauty unaltered supported by the undoubted quality of Retina displays. The bright colors, the enchanting backgrounds and the effects benefit from the pixel density, returning a clean and detailed image. The artistic peaks are accompanied by an equally deserving soundtrack that gives its best with a good pair of headphones, definitely preferable for clarity and depth to the Apple speakers. The dubbing always remains in English, with subtitles and menus fully translated into Spanish. In terms of longevity, Transistor does not last very long, it took us a good four hours to complete it, but in this sense we appreciated the possibility of resuming the adventure exactly where we left off, passing from iPhone to iPad without any problems whatsoever in transfers. progress and bailouts.


Tested version iPad, iPhone Digital Delivery App Store Price 9,99 € Resources4Gaming.com


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A little more than a year after its debut on PC and PlayStation 4, Transistor also arrives on iOS devices with a conversion that has seen Supergiant Games focus first of all on the touch interface of Apple devices. The title is always the same, but the adaptation work is excellent net of the width of the screens that affect their usability. On the iPhone one is almost always forced to fall back on turn-based combat when the situation becomes more chaotic and complex, breaking the rhythm of the game, while on the iPad the experience is more balanced and in line with what is seen on other platforms. Despite this, Transistor remains the little gem we met last year, with a beautiful artistic sector and some unexpressed potential in terms of gameplay and narrative.


  • Great conversion for touch devices ...
  • Artistically beautiful
  • Fun and layered combat system
  • ... as long as you have a big enough screen
  • Half-done fiction and gameplay
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