Given how busy the release season is leading into the end of March before things calm down a bit, it is hard to find time to replay many older games when there’s so much new stuff coming out each week across platforms. With Supergiant Games’ amazing rogue-like Hades finally coming to mobile through Netflix, I now had an excuse to get back to one of my most-played games in the last few years. When Hades debuted on PC and Nintendo Switch, I played it a ton and loved it. The team had somehow managed to make a game that impressed me more than its classic Transistor that I consider one of the best games ever. I still don’t know which one I rank higher because they are both sublime, but Hades was the best one of the lot when it comes to gameplay. I hoped Hades would be great on iOS, and it is better than I expected, but there are two small issues I’d love to see fixed. In this Hades iOS review, I’m also going to cover how it compares to every other current platform because I’ve played Hades on just about everything.

If you’re new to Hades, it is quite different to Supergiant Games’ most recent releases: Transistor and Pyre. Hades is an action roguelike that managed to meticulously blend in its excellent narrative, characters, and progression with a gameplay loop that has you begging for more. All of this is complemented by its stunning visuals and mind blowing music. You might think I’m exaggerating about the music, but this is easily Supergiant Games’ best audio work ever in a game, and a game that should be studied for years with how it handled its narrative, music, and voice acting.

The core gameplay of Hades is one of the best examples of “one more run” in modern times. It never gets old as you slowly progress through the levels, working your way further into the game, defeating new bosses, meeting more NPCs, getting permanent upgrades, and learning more about the world and narrative as you understand the ins and outs of survival in the dangerous levels.

When it comes to roguelikes, you can have the most varied enemies, bosses, and the best visuals, but what sets Hades apart from the rest of the genre even more, is its slick fast-paced gameplay while dungeon crawling. Weapons, upgrades, strategizing on the go for how to build your character for that run, and more all play a part in how far you will reach.

Most games in the genre have enough of a narrative or story to get the job done. Hades isn’t just any game though. Supergiant Games always goes above and beyond with everything, and we see that in how the narrative plays out, the character interactions, and the voice acting. Hades is a once in a generation gaming experience that’s now also on mobile.

I have zero complaints with the actual game on PC and modern consoles, and basically consider it perfect. It even has an accessibility mode that gives you a slight health boost on each death to make your progression easier through multiple runs. But how does it feel and look on mobile? I know the team has mentioned things like 60fps gameplay, customizable controls, controller support, and an uncompromised experience, but I needed to see it for myself.

Hades on iOS is mostly perfect. I say mostly because there are two things holding it back, but one of them will likely not matter to most players. Regardless of your iOS device, Hades is a 16:9 aspect ratio game, and while that isn’t a dealbreaker, I wish the team added some artwork on each side so it doesn’t have black bars. Barring that, I was surprised to see the customizable controls do not allow you to move buttons outside the 16:9 gameplay. I’d have loved to have the controls on each side so the actual gameplay has less clutter in the way. You can move the buttons within the 16:9 gameplay window and resize them with a floating or fixed stick for movement as well.

I knew Hades would be great with a controller, but I specifically focused on playing it with touch controls. As with many games I cover, I found myself enjoying it with touch on the iPhone, but preferring a physical controller wirelessly on iPad. I used my Xbox Series X wireless controller and the 8BitDo I use to test and both worked perfectly. The game displays Xbox button prompts for both. With touch controls, I was surprised at how good they felt on iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 14 Plus. I recommend resizing the interaction button though because the default is a bit too small.

Visually, Hades looks stunning on iPhone 15 Pro and runs flawlessly. On my iPad Pro (2020), the visuals take a hit but the performance is good. I couldn’t test on an older iPad for this review. I know the team prioritized 60fps even on PS5 and Xbox Series X, but I was hoping to see a bit more frame rate options on modern iOS devices.

Hades does have cloud saves on Netflix and I tested this over 12 times back and forth while playing Hades on my iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 14 Plus, and iPad Pro. I only had one issue where there was a save conflict popup that got resolved by selecting the correct data. The syncing worked flawlessly outside that. I am disappointed to not be able to bring my Steam and Switch saves over since I play with syncing on both of those. Hopefully this can be considered for the future.

The screenshot below shows how the controller mapping works for the game and also the God Mode that you can enable if you’re having a rough time. This isn’t just a cheat that makes the game easy, but one that lessens how punishing it is with each death. The God Mode icon is the second icon on the left side.

Since its debut on PC and Switch, Hades hit PS5 and Xbox consoles and I replayed it on both of them. I’ve never deleted the game from any platform, but the launch of the Steam Deck had me find my new favorite version of Hades. You see Hades on Switch wasn’t perfect, and it struggled to hit its 60fps target in many parts and didn’t look amazing docked. It was a good handheld experience, and a perfect companion to the PC version with cross save though. On Steam Deck, Hades was perfect and it even supported much higher frame rates when I used the Dock on my 144hz monitor. It is now best on Steam Deck OLED with that vibrant screen delivering gorgeous visuals at 90fps.

When it comes to Hades on PS5 and Xbox Series X, it has 4K 60fps support and a decent DualSense implementation. On Xbox it supported Quick Resume and had save syncing with the Windows version (non Steam) making it a good option for those who use that store. I ended up playing a lot more Hades on Xbox Series X with Quick Resume support though. None of them having cross save with Switch or Steam was disappointing.

Right now, my favorite version of Hades is on Steam Deck OLED followed by the iOS version on a newer iOS device. The best portable version is Steam Deck OLED with its higher resolution and flawless 90fps support. I’d definitely rate the iOS version above the Switch port with how good it looks and runs here. But in the end, Hades is basically an essential regardless of your platform. I hope this section helped people who own multiple platforms decide which version they should get.

As with other Netflix or Apple Arcade game reviews, the big caveat to the recommendation is that you need an active subscription to play the game in question. Just like with the GTA Trilogy, Hades is a killer app for Netflix, and one that is likely going to push people to subscribe to the service.

Hades on iOS is incredible. While it has two things I’d love to see fixed in updates, I have no hesitation in recommending it for anyone with a Netflix subscription. The wait for Hades on mobile has been long, but Supergiant Games delivered an excellent version of one of the best games in years with no compromises on iOS here.

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