The Fodor's Travel Guide to Castle Wolfenstein contains many useful phrases in German, so you can better understand your Axis oppressors as you fill them with lead or strap dynamite to their bodies. While the original Wolfenstein 3D was a tour of Nazi castles full of swastikas and dour-looking Hitler portraits, Wolfenstein RPG is decidedly lighter in tone, with mutant chickens, romance novels, and a playful giant named Gunther.
In fact, the only thing recognizable about this version of Wolfenstein is the arsenal and the main character, BJ Blazkowicz. Everything else, from the tone to the gameplay, has been altered drastically.
Instead of freely running through levels, you'll advance step by step using a turn-based battle system. When there are no enemies around, you might mistake this game--at a glance--for any other first-person shooter. But once enemy soldiers appear (or zombies, female assassins, or mutant chickens), you'll have to take turns maneuvering around the room and lining up your opponents to exchange gunfire with them. A wide range of weapons, including flamethrowers, Gatling guns, and the occasional thrown toilet, make every combat situation a great deal of fun, especially the game's challenging boss fights.
Additional elements, like mixing syringes and reading books for attribute boosts, are surprisingly interesting. Others, like booting each and every breakable object in the game for an achievement, are less satisfying. And while the game is highly linear, you can replay it on tougher difficulty levels with fewer health packs and tougher enemies. There are even two minor minigames and an on-rails shooter sequence to mix things up from the main storyline.
There are a lot of enjoyable moments in the Wolfenstein RPG story, but to say much about them would be to risk spoiling some of its surprises for you. Suffice it to say, there are numerous references to other games from developer id Software here, as well as plenty of surprising twists and ambushes. Humorous background details, such as portraits of Hitler with a soul patch instead of his famous mustache (originally meant to get around European telecom censors for the mobile version of the game), help make the Wolfenstein RPG experience a memorable one.
On the downside, Wolfenstein RPG was originally designed for legacy mobile phones, and it shows. The graphics have been scaled up so that the sprites are presented in a higher resolution and the 3D animation runs more smoothly, but the quality is still a step below other games that have been designed from the ground up for the iPhone. Otherwise, the weird and silly Wolfenstein RPG is a welcome counterpart to the angry and serious Wolfenstein 3D.
This review was provided by GameSpot mobile content partner SlideToPlay.com.