My Brute Review (iPhone)

Game Review: My Brute
Updated: November 19, 2010
Developer: Bulkypix
Platform: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (Requires iOS 3.0 or later)
MSRP: $4.99
Version: 2.2 (iOS 4.0 Tested)
Size: 19.2 MB

My Brute gives you the opportunity to pit a fully customized (aesthetically-speaking) brute against others from around the world. Choose a dojo style (snake, cat, or bear) that will define your characters’ development. You have the ability to recruit pupils to your dojo or join another. Go from character creation to arena battle in mere minutes!

Dojo view. More pupils = more gifts.

The description in the iTunes store is very misleading. When it says, “Unlock and personalize up to 9 brutes,” it really means you need to buy the Gold Booster Pack twice since you can only train 3 brutes to start with. Also, when it states, “Discover and master more than 70 skills and weapons,” it really means skills and weapons are randomly awarded when you level up. It is also possible to obtain pets in this way. There is no discernible discovering or mastering of any kind.

The customization screen--change your Brute's features here.

Battle against others is completely automated. The only decision you can make is who to fight; to that end, you can see the other player’s level, hit points, and stats. Once you start the battle, it is all in the hands of a computer. You can watch as the battle ensues, but you must observe while the brutes take their turns hitting each other.

Over the course of the fight, each brute is able to pull out a weapon or use a skill based on what they have earned from a level up. Unfortunately, the AI is far from intelligent: Brutes can randomly decide to dispose of a weapon that they have been dominating with; they may not use a skill or weapon the whole battle; the ‘stats’ don’t seem to have any relevance in determining the outcome. There are a few weapons I have seen that dominate: the club, which does huge damage; the whip, which can repel enemy brutes and pets; and the shuriken, which can be thrown several times in a single turn. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Pets are an integral part of your success as a gladiator.

The one thing that will consistently turn the tide in your favor is a pet. One of my brutes actually has three pets, granting him a significant advantage in battle. I effectively get four turns to my opponent’s one. When my enemy does attack, he picks his target randomly; therefore, my pets also act as tanks. This last feature is enhanced by the fact all health and pets are restored for each battle. Overpowered.

Far and away the most annoying aspect is the daily limit on battles. Every 24 hours, you can only battle five times per brute. If you have three brutes, you will spend 5 minutes battling then wait 24 hours to repeat the process. Think about it—you just spent $5 on this game, and you can only play it for 5 minutes a day. You can’t change your weapons or interact with your pets, so give us more of what we want!

After six days, my highest Brute is level 6. At that rate, I would have to play for 2 years to take over first place.

One last thing troubles me—you can purchase power. The in-app purchases will grant you buffs, making you significantly more powerful. I have been victimized a few times by people who bought the buffs and it wasn’t fun.  I imagine as you continue to level up, the competition will heat up and more people will have bought these buffs. It pains me to see a game ruled by people with deep pockets.

My Brute fails as a game and is probably better suited to be called an unwelcome distraction. With a $5 price tag, I wouldn’t advise you to test this one out. Maybe Bulkypix will wise up and make the game free, but still maintain in-app purchases.


  • Dojo = pyramid scheme
  • Internet connection required (WiFi/3G)
  • Ability to purchase power
  • Battles are randomized
  • Leaderboards
  • 24-hour cooldown on battles

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