New Slasher Game Only One Lets You Relive Kill Bill Vol 1’s Bloody Finale [Review]


Borrowing its premise from the Jet Li-starring cult martial arts actioner The One, Only One is a retro-styled arena slasher that pits a sword-wielding hero against waves of enemies on what looks to be a giant floating platform in the sky.

Only One by Ernest Szoka
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Price: Free

Killing enemies gives you extra lives and power-ups — the latter of which then grants improved stats and a range of abilities including push, freeze, bubble, whirlwind and dart.

Judging from its trailer, Only One was a little bit different to how I imagined it would be. Sure, I was fully expecting pixel-pumping 1980s-style graphics, some excellent chiptune backing tracks, an emphasis on action over story, and a good dose of humor to go along with it — but I was also anticipating a game that was a bit more frantic and uncontrolled than what I got.

It's your job to fight through 70 waves of enemies and 7 bosses en route to become the mythical Only One.

It’s your job to fight through 70 waves of enemies and 7 bosses en route to become the mythical Only One.

Don’t get me wrong: I love Only One, but gamers may well be surprised to find a game a little bit slower paced and more deliberate than the virtual button masher you might be predicting. That’s no bad thing, however, since the fact that genuine tactics are sometimes required — and specific enemies each require their own strategy to beat — means that the gameplay experience is ultimately a more rewarding one over the long term.

In the short term, there’s all the aforementioned treats to enjoy — with a personal favorite being the scream your enemies make when they tumble over the edge of the platform to their deaths.

“The gameplay experience is [a] rewarding one.”

What could be improved? Well, a multiplayer mode would certainly be nice, and one can only dream of teaming up with a buddy to dispatch waves of enemies, before finally turning on each other to determine a victor.

A floating joystick is reportedly on the way in a future update, but until then the fixed virtual button can be a bit tricky to use — particularly on the iPad, and when the going gets tough as more and more enemies arrive.

When all is said and done, though, this is a tremendous game — and one (or should that be One) that I would be surprised were its intended audience not to fall in love with immediately. Highly recommended.

Screen_Shot_2014-02-10_at_22Game Name: Only One
The Good: A retro-styled arena slasher that sees you destroy wave after wave of enemies with a magic sword. Speaks for itself, surely?
The Bad: A multiplayer mode might be nice for a future version. Controls can be slightly problematic in the game’s current incarnation.
The Verdict: In short, I loved it. Who knew that all of those hours using productivity apps on my iOS device would’ve been better spent sending enemies hurtling to their death off a giant platform in the sky?
Buy from: App Store

Cult of Mac rating: 4/5

  • enderwiggin21

    Kill Bill’s bloody finale? Wasn’t that just the 5-point palm exploding heart technique? Yes, internally bloody, but hardly a bloodfest. /s

  • Luke Dormehl

    RE: Enderwiggin — Yes, you got me. I meant Vol 1.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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