Heroes Of Destiny
If you've played Mika Mobile's outstanding party combat game Battleheart - and if you haven't, you really, really should - then there's a lot you're going to love about Heroes of Destiny. It's a fairly traditional fantasy story of gnolls and dark forces stirring up trouble in the world, but it's packed full of the same strategic team-based gameplay that made Battleheart such an addictive delight.
The key components of the dungeon-crawler are all present and correct here. There's the warrior "tank" who can grab the attention of even the fiercest enemies, while your healer works overtime to keep them alive through thick and thin, and your ranged archers and mages do their best to inflict as much damage as possible so that the core duo don't perish.
Controls are tight, and you simply draw lines to have each character do your bidding. Swipe from a character into empty space, and they'll move in that direction, while swipes between friends and foes set up healing and offense targets. As you'd expect from this sort of game, there's enough variety in enemy types that you'll have to re-strategize on the fly a great deal, taking down enemies that heal as a priority, and switching healing targets as enemies descend upon the battlefield.
You choose your battles by moving around a sprawling map and selecting your current target, be that advancing the story campaign or simply claiming mines for your team - and you get a nice chunk of change from holding these defenses. Each combat node on the map has a series of difficulties associated with it, and you'll have to work your way up the difficulty ladder to get your hands on the juiciest loot. Attempts are locked out by a timer, but there are a huge number of them so you should never be short of something to do.
These node fights are made up of multiple sections, and between each section your team goes on a little jog through darkened passageways. Here you get the chance to tap on pots of coins for your stash, or even precious minerals that can be used to upgrade your equipment. You'll want to keep this equipment upgraded constantly too, and this system adds a very addictive flavor to the gameplay as you perpetually chase down better and better equipment.
Of course, it won't surprise you to learn that for a little real-world cash you can bypass some of this grind. The most premium characters are pricey indeed, and it's hard to imagine being able to unlock them without spending a little of your hard-earned money. There's a success-percentage associated with upgrading gear too, and the higher you upgrade your gear, the greater the chance the process will fail - unless you use some of the premium gems, naturally.
As party members gain experience, they'll also get to access new skills and abilities that can be activated on the battlefield. Your tank starts off with a temporary shield force, while your healer has a powerful healing aura, and your ranged attackers have mighty aerial bombardment skills at hand. They're all on cooldown though, so you'll have to make very careful use of these if you're to avoid wasting their powerful potential.
We're stilling waiting for someone to deliver the next true Battleheart, and do so without a freemium structure underpinning everything, but until that time comes Heroes of Destiny makes for a great stop-gap. You might not take your party all the way given the timers and currencies involved for the mightiest fighting, but you'll have an absolute blast for the time you do spend with the game.
What's Hot:Great strategic team-based gameplay with a slick control system, lots of content, and some very high production values.
What's Not:The freemium nature of the game takes the shine off the experience.