Sawbuck Gamer


Quarter Muncher

Maximus is a modern twist on the coin-devouring arcade slice-’em-ups of yore.

By Adam Volk • July 2, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

As a Lord Of Darkness, your career options are pretty limited. The glowing eyes, the eldritch armor, the stench of evil—it’s not exactly job-interview friendly. It’s probably why you won’t find Sauron or Skeletor working at a Sbarro anytime soon. Instead, any Lord Of Darkness worth his cursed +3 Sword Of Malevolence invariably ends up living in a haunted castle, waiting to do battle with a group of intrepid heroes.

That’s the case with Maximus, a hack-’n’-slasher in which it’s up to you to take down the land’s evil overlord, who’s sitting pretty in his distant Black Castle. You choose one of four heroes—a flaxen-haired swordsman, a club-wielding goon, a silent-but-deadly archer, or a bikini-clad sorceress—as you slice their way through 14 levels, upgrading your weapons and magic along the way. In the end, you face off against the evil Mr. Big himself. Several other modes are unlockable, like the Arena, which throws unending waves of monsters at you, or a Boss Battle arena where you can bet on the outcome as the game’s bosses square off against each other.

While Maximus is free, you can use real-world money to purchase more gold, special abilities, and post-death continues. (Ten continues will run you $1.) Buying a continue replicates that old arcade feeling of frantically jamming a quarter into the machine as the screen flashes “CONTINUE?”. (Despite loathing in-game purchases, I found myself dropping three bucks over the course of my two playthroughs—money well spent.) Between that sensation and the silky-smooth battling, Maximus really feels like a nostalgic blast from the coin-op past. It offers its own mobile take on classic arcade hack-’n’-slashers, like Golden Axe, complete with that poor typecast demonic evil overlord.

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4 Responses to “Quarter Muncher”

  1. Demon-O’s Pizza! Offering the freshest soul crust on the eastern seaboard, cooked to perfection within the fires of Mordor, and don’t forget to pickup a side order of Cthulhu Chicken Poppers, they’ll drive you mad!

    • ProfFarnsworth says:

      It goes great with the blood of your enemies.  Also, will you be hiring?  I happen to have numerous death clocks about…

      • Thank you for inquiring about starting your career with Demon-O’s Pizza! We’re not currently hiring in our corporate office at this time, but we do encourage you to check with your local Demon-O’s franchise to see what kind of employment opportunities may be available 

        Such positions include:

        Evening-shift Manager of the Damned!

        Demon-O’s Pizza is an is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It is the policy of Demon-O’s to provide equal employment opportunity to all persons, outsiders, and sentient magical beasts regardless of age, race, religion, color, national/dimensional origin, sex, political affiliations, marital status, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, or alignment, except where otherwise provided by law.

  2. JokersNuts says:

    Still waiting for that Castle Crashers follow-up… :-)