Back in 2010 Duello Games, an independent development studio based in Istanbul, formed with the desire to create beautiful games with a nail-bitingly addictive edge. Their first title iSlash became a worldwide hit within a few short months, reaching 30 million downloads and still climbing today.
After using GameSparks, the Backend-as-a-Service, to produce other successful games including Snack Truck Fever, Duello have decided it’s now time for the world to hone their ninja abilities and sharpen their slashing skills once more, as the evolving action puzzler that has kept millions of ninja warriors awake is back and bigger than ever, with new death-defying gameplay elements, cruel bosses, stunning graphics and even more bewildering levels to be sliced through.
At first glance the premise of iSlash Heroes appears simplistic and, dare I say it, easy! However, in reality Duello have created a game that can only be mastered with quick reflexes and careful planning, offering players a rare combination of playful innocence, seamlessly entwined with a captivating challenge.
The aim is to whittle down the wooden playing field by using the intuitive touch mechanism to cut through it, whilst avoiding the multiple flying ninja stars that are bouncing across the board. However, as players progress, hacking away at the timber, the margin for error also becomes slimmer, making iSlash Heroes infuriatingly brilliant.
Although the underlying aim has remained the same, iSlash Heroes is certainly not a rehash of its predecessor. Duello have introduced several new elements to step things up a gear. Enemies now litter the land, each blocking the path through the dojo and armed with a unique ability such as bending time or attacking with smoke bombs. Other obstacles that stand in their way include ghost stars that are almost invisible, bamboo stars that are only destructible if cut straight through the centre and metal barricades that are impenetrable by everything except the smoky ninja stars that pass through with ease.
While each level is scattered with pitfalls and hazards aplenty, Duello have enlisted GameSparks to provide multiple reliefs that push all ninjas to keep on slashing. By using Virtual Goods, currencies such as Gold Coins and Ying Yangs can be exchanged for several different boosts that give players the strength to power through a difficult level. Thunderbolts can be used to strike metal edges, bombs can be thrown to blast away ninja stars, shields block their sharp attacks, and many more power-ups can be unlocked as ninja abilities are sharpened.
Duello Games found GameSparks while initially looking for a backend provider to take care of some basic connectivity features. After jumping into the platform, they quickly realised what the rich server-side offering of highly capable and flexible features meant for their developing game.
Senior Developer of iSlash Heroes, Baris Tumerkan explains, “We found GameSparks while looking for a back-end solution to cover some basic social connectivity features we needed. Along the way, the ease of GameSparks let us grow on that with many new features we hadn’t initially planned, such as the ability to rapidly update various aspects of game content. It’s been like having the flexibility of a custom server, without the worry and hassle of building and maintaining one.”
As previously mentioned, the first edition of the iSlash series grew into a global hit almost immediately after its launch back in 2010, and with the same seriously addictive gameplay following into iSlash Heroes, it’s safe to assume that this second edition will reach the same dizzying heights.
With so many thousands of players spanning across the globe, it could be difficult to ensure each and every player has an experience that is precisely tailored to them. However, with the help of GameSparks Segmentation, Duello are able to group their players by particular attributes such as geographical location or language to create specifically targeted engagement strategies. This equates to a completely personalised gaming session for each player.
As well as satisfying the hunger for challenging gameplay, GameSparks has also been used to let players entertain their inner social ninja. By connecting with Facebook, players can brag to friends and show off their slashing talents, whilst also begging for their help when one of the many bosses has them trapped on a particular level. If conquering multiple friend circles isn’t enough to silence someone’s competitive side, players can also take on the rest of the world by trying to top the global leaderboards.
Duello Games have enlisted GameSparks to help take care of all of their server-side needs, allowing them to dedicate more resources to painstakingly create over 200 intricate puzzles with endless gruelling enemies, exact swipe mechanisms and life-saving rewards – a winning formula that promises to keep both casual and diehard ninjas slashing well into the night.