Published on October 15th, 2015 | by Patrick Garde1
The Executive Review
The Executive is what occurs when you mix a well-dressed man, werewolves, and simple, one touch gameplay all into one iOS game. Developers over at Riverman Media decided to piece this idea together and release the action game to the public on the 2nd of July, 2015. We got this game through IGN’s Free Game of the Month but it is normally priced at $4.99.
You’ll start out in The Executive as a man in suit, making his way towards the snack machine, but something is a little off. There’s a strange, overweight individual beating the machine within an inch of its life, before it’s completely destroyed. Few seconds later, and that man is no longer a man, but instead a werewolf; a werewolf who’s kind enough to give you the opportunity to learn the game for yourself.
Gameplay will consist of you going on the offensive, but keeping your defense up when necessary. You’ll need to beat down your opponent, while blocking any incoming attacks they might have in mind. To do this, you’re given 4 sections on your screen that you can touch, tap, and drag. On the screen that your character is situated on, whether it is right or left, you’ll have the option of holding on the top or bottom half of your character. If you proceed to hold the top half, then he will block any attacks that are coming towards him, providing they’re aimed high. Hold the bottom half however; he’ll block low, managing to block any incoming hits that may be going below the waist.
On the other side of the spectrum though is offense. If you tap the top half of your opponent, you’ll hit them high; keep tapping, and you’ll get away with a 3 hit combo. The same can be said if you tap the lower half of your opponent, where you’ll be hitting them low. While you’re playing, you’re going to need to keep in mind on when you should be on the defense, or offense, as you can’t be doing both, something you will soon find out when a werewolf has beaten you to the ground. After some time, you’d have finished off the werewolf with your display of fisticuffs and will be then moving on to the next section of gameplay: traversing the stage.
To stick to the one touch, simple gameplay that the iPhone game has toting, the platforming elements have been made even easier on the player. The way it’s been done is as you finish a fight, your character will get moving, to make his way towards the end of the stage. Along the way, obstacles are going to interfere, and to traverse them you’re going to need to swipe in whatever direction the game asks. If you manage to get those swipes perfectly, then your bonus at the end of the stage will be even bigger. Manage to fail the swipes, however, and then it’s going to take its toll on your health bar.
Speaking of bonuses, whenever you finish a stage you’ll be treated to your grading, which will give you some bonus cash depending on how little hits you take, how many hits you block, how many perfect swipes you do while platforming, as well as a couple of others. You will also be given a grade to demonstrate how well you may or may not have done on that last stage. Thankfully, though, if you weren’t happy with your performance, then you’re welcome to redo the level whenever you please.
As you make your way through the game, you’ll find yourself amassing a fair amount of cash. You can spend this cash on upgrades, like attack power, defense, or even special abilities that you can use against your opponents. If you don’t feel like improving your character, you can instead spend your money on the mining company you work for/own. (The iPad game doesn’t make it too clear on why you’re allowed to make these changes to the company, but it’s unimportant.) These upgrades on the mining company will increase just how much of a bonus you get at the end of each stage. This company of (possibly) yours will produce you money, even when you’re not playing like a Cookie Clicker clone! With each new upgrade you buy for the company, it will increase just how much passive gold you get when you’re not playing.
From first glance, it can be a little difficult to earn cash, especially if you haven’t gotten to grips with the gameplay of it all too well just yet, so the option to make some extra cash, without forcing yourself to grind out the lower levels so you can purchase new upgrades is a nice little work around. You won’t be making yourself a millionaire overnight from the start, but the extra cash definitely helps.
Oh, but if you’re not looking to spend that cash on general upgrades, you can instead go for special attacks. The first one that comes to mind is the flame kick, which has you do a small motion of dragging a diagonal line from you, to your opponent. These types of moves can only be done when your SP bar is full, but when it hits, it will do a considerable amount of damage, providing that particular werewolf has a weakness to that attack. Some opponents quite like fire, so a flame kick won’t do the job you might hope it does. Others absolutely hate it, and will even catch fire if you manage to land it against them.
Since you’re going to need to keep an eye on what different werewolves like and don’t like, you’re going to have to make use of the Bestiary. Inside, it will show you all you need to know about the different werewolves; about what they like, what they don’t like, and even little tricks they do that you may not have noticed the first time you fought them. Checking back on the Bestiary regularly is certainly recommended.
Other than the simple, yet difficult combat and gameplay of the entire ensemble, The Executive features a rather unique graphical style that is hard to look past. But considering how well it all works together, then it doesn’t even come close to a complaint.
Earlier in development, the developers said they were out to make an iPhone game that didn’t have any in-app purchases, to avoid forcing a freemium model onto the player, despite already paying for the game. I’m very happy to say that the developer has stuck to their word, and kept any in-app purchases completely away from this game. Once you’ve bought it, it’s all yours; no missing content for what you’ve rightfully paid for.
Overall, The Executive is very fun, and an experience you can simply pick up and play whenever you feel like it, get through a level and then put it back down. The nature of being able to play the game whenever you like is a feature I’m happy to see included in the package. Keeping any in-app purchases away from the game was definitely a good idea, and would have left a sour taste for me when it came to this game if they were included. Only problem I can see with the iPad game is the fact that it can get a bit grindy from time-to-time. You may be able to just sit and wait for the company to give you some cash, but it’s not very fast, and it won’t be the optimal way to purchase upgrades.
Summary: If you can look past the grindy elements of the game, then you’ve got one very solid iOS game in The Executive, that combines a nice looking graphical style, with easy to learn, but difficult to master controls that mix combat and action all into one package.