Combo Quest is one of those games that are incredibly simple, yet additive and challenging. It is more than challenging, it is downright hard, but it remains fun to play and it is free.

The game caught my eye because it is currently Free App of the Week in the iOS App Store. It is not new, but judging by the number of reviews, it is one that wasn’t that well known before this promotion.

In the game you are a medieval knight and your quest is to capture a crown and become the new Combo King. As you travel across the sideways scrolling countryside, you come across a variety of adversaries whom you must battle.

Beat the foe and you continue on your quest, but if you fail in battle you must start again. It is the sort of game where you just see how far you can get before you die, and there are no missions, campaigns or steady progress.

This is a tapping game and in each battle there is a horizontal bar across the screen. On this bar is a yellow block. A blue vertical line bounces left and right across the screen and if you tap the screen just as the bar passes over the yellow block, you attack your opponent and they lose health points. If you tap the screen when the blue bar is not over the yellow block then you are attacked by your opponent and you lose the health points. You must time your taps just right.

Combo Quest for iPad

The yellow block disappears after being used and is replaced by another. Some are narrow, others are wide, and they appear at different places. The first few battles are easy, but it quickly becomes harder. Sometimes a green block appears and if you tap when the blue bar passes over it you deal extra damage in your attack.

Combo Quest for iPhone

Your opponent also attacks and this is by way of a red block that slides from the right to the left. Tap as the blue bar passes over it and you block the attack, miss it and when the red block reaches the left side of the screen you are attacked and lose health points.

The horizontal blue bar at the bottom of the screen is for combo attacks and these enable you to perform a deadly attack on your opponent that does a lot more damage.

Different types of blocks appear and sometimes there are shields that come from your attacker and they require several taps to dismiss, sometimes there is a bomb block, which bows up the others. Sometimes the blue vertical bar speeds up, making it harder to time your taps.

Combo Quest for iOS

After every battle, assuming you win, there is a choice of three rewards from a pool of around five. You can gain health, deal extra damage, and so on.

Combo Quest

There are in-app purchases and you can ride a horse into battle or purchase a magic potion. They aren’t necessary and you can play without them though.

The game is fun to play, but instead of focusing on the graphics and characters in the top part of the screen, your attention is completely focused on the blocks and the blue bar that slides left and right. You don’t really get to see the action and it becomes a block tapping game that is interrupted by a bit of animation in the top part of the screen.

The method of battle is an interesting concept, but it turns the game into tap-the-blocks instead of a knight’s quest and the battles he gets into. This gives it an odd feel.

For a free game it is entertaining and maddeningly difficult. How long can you last? Try it and see.

Combo Quest

Title: Combo Quest 
Price: Free
Developer: Tapinator
Size: 42 MB
Version: 1.2.1
iOS: 5.1.1 or later
Verdict: Good fun and good graphics, but difficult.