League of Heroes
A free action-RPG that's just a little too rough around the edges.
There's a lot about League of Heroes that will be familiar to anyone who plays a decent amount of free games on their mobiles. There's an energy meter which paces your progress, and there are premium gems which can be purchased to get all sorts of gameplay bonuses. It sounds like it has all the makings of yet another empire-building game, but League of Heroes is in fact a combat-orientated action RPG.
For most of the time, you're going to be pootling around the landscape of the world and achieving some very familiar objectives. Get a quest from one of the villagers, then kill so many of a certain type of creature. There's variety in the form of boss events where you have to fight off a greater swathe of enemies before taking out the head honcho, but that's about it.
The combat is basic but works well enough, and as you gather coins and XP from the fallen enemies, you'll be able to upgrade your weapons and armor to tackle more challenging foes. It's a pity that the virtual controls are so sluggish though, and your character not only moves at a frustratingly slow pace around the immediate action, your thumb will also slide away from the area of directional control very easily.
To say this is a free game supported by in-app purchases is a little bit of a stretch, because you'll be forced into the cash shop very quickly if you're going to make anything like meaningful progress. You start off with a fair chunk of the very precious blue gems which are used to buy the finer equipment of the game, but it won't be long at all before you really need that gear to make progress. You can earn more of these gems by spamming your friends with updates on your game achievements via Facebook, or by texting them, but that doesn't sound like an awful lot of fun for you or for them.
Are you prepared to spend a significant amount of cash to make worthwhile progress in the game? Not a problem. Are you comfortable with a slower sense of advancement compared to those with more money? Here you're less well-served, and it's important to understand which camp you occupy before investing a significant amount of time into League of Heroes.
Whether it's attributable to rough translation, or simple writing from a non-English native speaker, the text will also jar from time to time, and some of the regional accents are also very poorly voiced. There are some funny moments to the text though, particular when a NPC 'LOLs' at your equipment and packs you off to the blacksmith for an upgrade.
It's a mixed bag, then. On the one hand, it's nice to see a freemium progression game that gives you a more active, combat-orientated role in how that progression develops. On the other hand, it's tethered very tightly to that monetization system, and the combat and controls aren't particularly exciting. It's probably worth checking out if you have money to burn, but tough to recommend to a general audience.
What's Hot: A more hands-on freemium progression game with some decent loot and plenty of monsters to slice your way through.
What's Not: The text within the game is poorly written, combat is basic, and the game leans very heavily on its in-app purchase system for any meaningful progression.