Real time strategy at your fingertips, plus one happy minstrel.
Before heading out to save the world, it's important to assemble the ultimate team. That's the premise behind Battleheart, a strategy/action game from Mika Mobile, the same developer that gave us Zombieville USA and OMG Pirates! This fantasy inspired App tasks you with creating a four-person squad and then guiding these warriors in combat, harnessing each character's strengths to defeat monsters. It's fun, attractive and worth $2.99.
After booting up the game, the first things that jumped out were the impressive graphics (the same cartoon style visuals from Mika Mobile's previous efforts) and the story, or total lack thereof. This App doesn't force players to wade through annoying cut scenes and multiple screens of text. Instead, the plot couldn't be simpler. Monsters invaded the world and it's your job to deal with it.
You do this by spending gold acquired in combat to recruit new heroes at the Tavern and then sending them off to kill multiple types of creatures, including bats, skeleton warriors and even a giant spider. Enemies get progressively more difficult, forcing you to adjust the party, level up and unlock new skills.
Mixing and matching different warriors is without question one of the game's best features, thanks to a variety of characters, all of which serve a key function in combat. Baelrosh the Viking, for example, throws himself into a fight and hacks adversaries to pieces with dual axes, while Lucille (a Cleric) hangs back and heals the party. Then there's Edwardo, a traveling minstrel who inspires courage with his music, and Thistle, an elven sorceress who destroys her adversaries using fearsome magic. Those are but a few of the heroes willing to be of service.
That said, it's in your best interest to create a team that plays to each other's strengths, using guys like The Black Knight and Garrick the pirate to do the dirty work while Lucille casts a healing spell to keep them in peak condition.
To play, you simply draw lines with a finger and the selected character moves to that location. The key to success involves double teaming tougher enemies while keeping defenseless heroes out of harm's way, something that becomes tougher with multiple bad guys on screen; once a character croaks, he or she is out until the next level.
This user-friendly system makes playing a breeze. The only downside to the gameplay involves character overlapping, where you accidentally instruct two or more heroes to fight in the same location, which makes selecting one (by tapping) an exercise in frustration.
In addition, the game's prone to crash without warning, though the developers have done a great job releasing updates to correct the problem.
That said, you shouldn't let either of these complaints affect your decision to purchase Battleheart. Mika Mobile has once again commanded our collective attention with a game that is both easy on the eyes and immensely satisfying. Buy it without hesitation and cross your fingers for plenty of free characters and levels in the future.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.2 or later.
What's Hot: Lots of characters at your disposal, cute cartoon style graphics, plenty of new skills and loot, user-friendly controls, universal App.
What's Not: The occasional crash, overlapping characters make selecting the right one annoying.