He-Man: The Most Powerful Game in the Universe
Next to Transformers and G.I. Joe (that aircraft carrier play set...mind boggling), He-Man was one of the hottest TV shows from the 80s. The merchandising was just as cool, with muscle-bound heroes and villains, Castle Grayskull, Skeletor's Snake Mountain and the Slime Pit our mothers forbid us from opening in the house. And what about Battle Cat? A He-Man collection wasn't complete without him.
If you picked up on all those references, congratulations, you're about as old (or older) than He-Man. The character turns 30 this year, and Mattel has quite the treat in store for longtime fans, courtesy of Chillingo and developer GlitchSoft, both of which are hard at work on He-Man: The Most Powerful Game In The Universe for iPhone and iPad, a 2D hack-and-slash romp through Eternia designed to resemble the classic Saturday morning cartoon, filled with familiar faces, like Man-At-Arms (he appears in a support role, temporarily attacking enemies), Orko, Beast Man, Mer-Man and Hordak. Mattel even hinted at Battle Cat being hidden in there somewhere. We can only hope.
On that note, the game takes place across seven zones within Eternia, places like the Crystal Sea, Eternos Palace and the aforementioned Grayskull and Snake Mountain. As usual, Skeletor is up to no good, tricking He-Man and making off with the key to Castle Grayskull. Undeterred by these shenanigans, He-Man sets off on a monster-chopping rampage, and thus far, we really dig what the developers have done with the combat.
First, it's a HUD-free display, so you don't have to worry about pressing virtual buttons per se. Instead, there's an invisible slider on the lower left that guides He-Man left/right, and to fight, everything's gesture based, as you swipe and tap to unleash sword slashes, spinning attacks, ground pounds and a variety of other maneuvers, with cool names like Tornado Spin and Ariel Smash; He-Man also possesses an axe throw.
A large portion of the environments, meanwhile, are destructible, allowing players to cut through metal crates, stone pillars and other objects. Even better, you "have the power" to send debris into enemies to inflict damage, which keeps He-Man out of harm's way for a little while; you can earn up to three gold stars per stage.
During your travels, it's smart to gather gems lying about, as the precious stones function as the game's currency. Visit the store, and you'll be able to purchase additional moves for He-Man and upgrade his abilities.
You should also be on the lookout for hidden H's, as collecting these hard-to-reach letters will unlock a wealth of bonus content, from character profiles to classic comic covers from the 80s and concept art, including the first (and very early) screens for the game.
Suffice to say, there's a whole lot of He-Man in The Most Powerful Game in the Universe, perhaps enough to make his past titles (Power of Grayskull for Game Boy Advance comes to mind) disappear. That said, prepare to save Eternia and possibly find Battle Cat later this month.