iPhone Game Review: Battleheart
Reviewed by Epox
MikaMobile has developed two simple yet very successful iPhone games, Zombieville USA and OMG Pirates, and now they have released a new beautiful app that rethinks RPG design. Battleheart, although with no storyline, throws you into a deep campaign mode with plenty of levels and an arena mode to compete to get the highest scores. When you take all this fun and make it in crisp and excellent graphics you get a sure hit.
The gameplay is very deep and you can choose many different routes as you set out to beat the campaign mode and survive in the arena mode. You start the game with a easy, classic line-drawing controls. From there you may use many of spells and weapon upgrades the game has to offer. There are over 25 levels, each with new unique types of enemies that make you have to rethink your strategy on how to approach the game.
First, you start of as a knight called Shepherd from there you can hire more recruits to join your army. Your army can only have 4 recruits during a fight, so you will have to think it through which ones you want to level up and use. This part of the gameplay makes the game stand out for any RPG fans: the game requires a lot of strategy as you have to tweak your team to take advantage of the abilities each of your team member offers. There are fighters that excel in strong hand to hand combat, rogues that excel in quick fighting, mages, and more. Each has their positive and negative, so be careful.
There are also tons of items you can find at the end of fights; these items make your recruits even more powerful. Each level lasts about 5-15 minutes depending on your skill and the level you are playing, and at the end of each level, you receive experience points and gain levels, or go to the Tavern to unlock special abilities and spells and more. There is also a Merchant from whom you can buy equipment after a battle, and the items he has are random every time.
There is also an extra arena mode where you can keep fighting endlessly until you die. This mode is where you will find the best items, so be sure to check it out! Sadly, there are some downsides to the gameplay here as the game crashes during gameplay. Personally, I have never had any crashes and I have beat the campaign mode. The developer, MikaMobile, said they will send out an update that will fix the bugs eventually. Also, there is no leaderboard in the current version where you can compare scores in the arena. For gamers who are into this genre of games, missing global leaderboard is a big downside.
The cartoonish graphics not only work well for the game but also look beautiful under retina display. All the characters look wonderful and they each have a little background story. The environments are well made and it has the cute style that gamers of this genre have come to adore. The controls are simple: just tap to select a character and draw a line to where you want the character to move or attack. The app itself seems to be a quick pick-up style game that is easy to navigate through.
Battleheart has both background music and sound FX, the game gives you options to turn on and off both easily. Soundtracks start in the menu screen with soft music which puts your mind at ease to get ready for your battles to come. The music is calming and certainly fun to listen to but after some time it just becomes something you don?t even pay attention to. Now when in battle, you are listening to an eerie sort of music which sounds epic and very nice in relation to the gameplay. This music starts to grow on you and it certainly fits the overall tone of the game. The sound effects have a stark contrast to the music; while sound FX is fitting they are obtrusive at times. Also, you can listen to your iPod music while playing the game ad that?s a big plus.
Battleheart is an easy to pick-up game yet requires very deep strategy as you progress. It has infinite replay value with an arena mode in which you can approach fighting in many different ways and using many different combos of items and characters. One advice to the traditional RPG fans: if you are looking for the traditional RPG, this isn?t it. But if you get the game play, Battleheart can be more than worth its price. There are still some bugs that need to be ironed out, and when the game is solid, it will become a staple in your iPhone games library.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - The gorgeous cartoonish style graphics work and look very well.
Sound: - 4 - The in-game and menu music is very good and addicting, but the sound fx needs some work.
Controls: - 4 - Easy to pick-up and use controls, though a simple double tap control might be a bit quicker and easier to use.
Gameplay: - 4.5 - A very deep game with simple controls is very unique in the app store, and MikaMobile perfects this and makes on of the best simple RPGs I have seen.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Some things I recommend while playing this game is to try all of the characters. They all have unique characteristics which could make them useful to your party. It is very important to have a healer, because I have tried playing without a healer and it is very tough when monster start spawning from everywhere. Also, when you get to point where you fight mages try and take them out first because they can move around quickly and heal other enemies. Also, protect you healer at all costs except when your down to 2 characters. I repeat it is the most important character.
Release Date: Jan 31, 2011
Buy App: Battleheart
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