Interestingly, if you run out of health, you'll lose access to one of your loaded attacks (it will eventually return as you progress). So when you die, instead of restarting at a checkpoint, Transistor's hobbles your attacks, making it harder to progress. Several intense fights made me feel like the Black Knight from Monty Python by the end.
No grind, but plenty of challenge: Unlike many RPGs, there really isn't a focus on level-grinding here. If you find the challenge is too easy, you can always add "limiters" which, like the powers you acquire, can be loaded into your sword. Essentially, these make your enemies more powerful and up the challenge while increasing the level-finishing bonus score. Your enemies are designed to keep you on your toes, too: They're a diverse group of robotic creations called "the Process" that can quickly overwhelm you with their powerful abilities. There are also some absolutely epic boss fights, including one giant leviathan whose tail whips out and attacks you from various places throughout the level. The levels get harder and harder to complete, and more importantly, nothing feels redundant.
Supergiant Games is most known for Bastion, a similarly ambitious and beautiful title available for consoles and Macs. While the two games are very different, both share a real attention to detail: The developers put a lot of thought into oft-forgotten elements like storytelling, background design, and a uniform aesthetic. Transistor is an unsettling, fun, and subtly cool action RPG that should be your next download on iOS.
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