MANOS – The Hands of Fate iOS review

MANOS – The Hands of Fate iOS reviewI used to run with a group of actor types, and MANOS was an acronym they’d created for Morning After Night Out Shi*. Beautiful stuff. Beautiful.

I’m pleased to report that MANOS – The Hands of Fate, available now from the App Store and Google Play, is most definitely not Shi*. Au contraire, it’s really freakin’ good.

MANOS – The Hands of Fate is a throwback to the days of 8-bit platformers on the NES and that. Heck, even the app icon has been designed in the style of a traditional NES game box with the sloping red writing. Brilliant.

On the whole, MANOS – The Hands of Fate is completely – and intentionally – over the top; that goes for both the gameplay and the story.

Our protagonist here is Mike, who’s lost his family in the desert. At the end of Level 1, you meet a strange guy called Torgo outside the haunted Valley Lodge.  He “takes care of the place while The Master is away”, and ultimately serves as the first boss.

The game continues in that fashion, and armed with a revolver and occasionally a shotgun, sees you battling – inexplicably – snakes, moths, Frankenstein’s monster type things, flying skulls, and a giant serpent. Almost everything in the game is out to kill you.

MANOS – The Hands of Fate iOS review

As for the controls in MANOS – The Hands of Fate, we’re dealing with a simple virtual left/right in the bottom left, while the bottom right hosts a shoot and jump button. Easy!

There are seven levels in all in MANOS – The Hands of Fate, and the game changes it up with a side-scrolling stage, a vertical-scrolling level, and – bizarrely – a level in which you pilot a plane.

It won’t take long to blast through MANOS – The Hands of Fate. Looking at the leaderboards, it’s possible to do it in around 10 minutes, though expect to spend around an hour on your first playthrough. Warning: you will swear. A lot.

There’s added replay incentive in the form of seven collectibles, which I believe reveal the true ending.

And that’s MANOS – The Hands of Fate: a wonderfully absurd and insanely challenging old school platformer. You should go play it. Yep.


  • The retro 8-bit presentation
  • The old school platforming
  • The story


  • Really hard
  • Really short
  • Uhm, only two weapons

Summary: MANOS – The Hands of Fate sets out to recapture the essence of old school platformers circa the NES, and for the most part, does a fantastic job. Throw in an outrageous story and an array of baddies, and it’s a definite winner.

Developer: FreakZone

Price: £1.49 @ App Store, £1.60 @ Google Play

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 5.1 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

MANOS – The Hands of Fate iOS review

Read more about: Apple iPad 4Apple iPad miniApple iPhone 5Apple iPad 3Apple iPhone 4Apple iPhone 4S

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