Heartbreakers has the honorable distinction of being the first mobile game to make me laugh out loud - a feat it accomplished not once, but several times. The writing is clearly the star, here - the entire experience is decidedly light on what is traditionally considered "gameplay."
The package is more-or-less a dialogue-driven text adventure, with expressive, stylized character portraits augmenting the witty exchanges. Gamers play as Danny, a lowly employee at a sandwich shop. Your goal? To date two chicks at the same time, of course! The game's tutorial also serves as a prologue - while putting the gamer through the paces, gamers watch Danny mack on a woman he finds crying in the sandwich shop closet. It's only at the end of this sequence that we find out Danny already has a live-in girlfriend. D'oh.
From there, it's essentially your goal to keep Danny's two girlfriends from discovering each other for as long as possible. Misadventures include taking your new girlfriend to a club, not realizing that your longtime girlfriend is DJing there that night, and having both girlfriends show up at your apartment at the same time.
Gameplay consists solely of choosing dialogue options. Correct choices keep the chapter moving forward smoothly, while incorrect choices lower Danny's confidence meter. Lose all your confidence, and the chapter must be started over. There's no real rhyme or reason to what choices are right and wrong, but really, Heartbreakers is less about gameplay and more about experiencing this story in an interactive manner. So I didn't really mind when all my dialogue options seemed equally reasonable (or unreasonable).
The big selling point is that the dialogue is the most well-written I've seen yet in a mobile game. In fact it's better than the vast majority of videogames, period. It feels natural, includes plenty of referential and non-referential humor, and makes Danny a likable protagonist despite spending the whole game as a two-timer. After completing Heartbreakers, I learned that developer Longtail Studios employs an entire dedicated writing staff just for their mobile games. This attention to quality writing absolutely shines through in Heartbreakers.
The biggest knock against the game is its between-chapter minigames. They feel tacked on, and none of them play particularly well. They're unoriginal to boot, with riffs of Bejeweled, Gunpey, and other puzzle games. Luckily Longtail made them skippable, indicating that perhaps they, too recognized where their game's heart truly resided.
Besides the minigames, the only other issue present is that the entire experience is just too short. As a text adventure there's plenty to read and lots of great dialogue to get through, but compared to action-oriented mobile games that sell for the same price, Heartbreakers doesn't offer up as much overall replay value. I wish Longtail served up monthly episode packs for a subscription fee, instead of the title being a one-off download.
What's Hot: Extremely clever, well-written dialogue
What's Not: Between-chapter minigames feel tacked on.