Samurai BloodShow leads trio of Sega iOS releases

For its latest iOS games, Sega is turning to the Far East for inspiration.

On Thursday, the game maker released on Apple's App Store. An English adaptation of the Japanese game Gempei Taisen Emaki, this tower defense game isn't really the violent gore fest that its name would imply (though it's not without its share of bloodshed). Rather, it's based on an actual event in 12th-century Japan--the . Sticking with the historical theme, all of the art is based off of the scroll styles of the time and all of the music is inspired by the traditional music of the 1100s. To westerners like myself, I thought of it as almost an education on classical Japanese culture. But a Japanese Sega representative assured me that the theme is considered almost satirical in Japan.

Samurai BloodShow is a strategy-based game that incorporates a trading card element with tower defense gameplay. Rival samurais approach you in waves; you draw cards and place your samurais in their path. Once a rival samurai reaches your samurai, they battle each other until one erupts in a fountain of blood.

During the battle, you can level-up your samurai by dragging cards on top of him or place a new samurai behind him for back-up. Because the different cards have different capabilities, you can strategize by putting a far-reaching attacker further back from the front lines while keeping the samurais with the best defenses closer to the enemy.

After you have killed all of the rival samurais in a battle, you receive a new playing card. Players can also buy more cards via in-app purchases.

It takes a little bit to figure out the nuances of the game, but, in after a little hands-on time with the game, I found Samurai BloodShow pretty addicting. It offers multiplayer capabilities through either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi multiplayer as well as 100 levels and an ever-increasing library of cards. Sega says it's already looking at the possibility of a sequel set in ancient Egypt.