iPad Game Review: Might and Magic Clash Of Heroes (Universal) Review
Reviewed by Tom Slayton
Might and Magic Clash Of Heroes is an iOS port of a great Playstation/X-BOX title. It features original and innovative puzzle/RPG gameplay but suffers from an imperfect touch interface and a severely broken multiplayer component.
Might and Magic Clash Of Heroes is a truly original and fun RPG/Puzzle game set in the well established and rich Might and Magic universe. If you've never played a Might and Magic game, fear not; the game is not designed in such a way as to give those with prior exposure an advantage. If you, like me, are a veteran of the lore, however, it's an enjoyable walk down memory lane. The real advantage of tapping into this universe is the fact that factions and armies have been tweaked over the course of many years, resulting in pretty balanced gameplay.
The RPG elements of the game emerge when you are moving about the map, recruiting new team members, and interacting with NPCs. Once battles begin, however, the puzzle aspect of Might and Magic Clash Of Heroes emerges. If you've ever played other puzzle RPGs like Puzzle Quest, this is the point where it becomes difficult to maintain your suspension of disbelief as even the best role-player will find it difficult to remain immersed in a game world while playing a derivative of Bejeweled. With Might and Magic Clash Of Heroes, however, you are manipulating actual creatures into rows (defense) and columns (attack), not jewels, and there is substantial variety in the armies available to you. There is a great deal of depth and nuance to these battles, and the 20-hour campaign will be greedily consumed in pretty short order. Once this happens (if not sooner), your next stop will be Battle Mode where you can face off against a live opponent via pass-and-play, face-to-face (simultaneous play on same device), or online (cue ominous music). While the first two methods work well, the online component is crashy and buggy. In fact, less than half of my online matches went off without a hitch. Frustrating, to be sure. Lastly, the touch interface can be a bit temperamental in that it sometimes behaves unpredictably, particularly when opening chests.
The graphics of Might and Magic Clash Of Heroes are clearly ported directly from the console versions. The artwork is nice, and the production value high. However, I found the graphics to look a bit muddy on my iPad 3 due to the lack of retina support, although not to the point of distraction. Might and Magic Clash Of Heroes does support the iPhone 5's resolution, however, and it looks great there.
Decent sound and music, although neither really stood out.
In-App Purchases (IAPs)
The IAPs in Might and Magic Clash Of Heroes are there primarily for Battle Mode, and consist entirely of additional factions. Thankfully, there are no consumable IAPs in Might and Magic Clash Of Heroes; a fact that quickly compelled me to plunk down $2.99 to unlock all 5 factions (individual faction unlocks are $1 each). My only complaint is the absence of a "Restore Purchases" button. Repurchasing something you previously purchases will not result in an additional charge, but if you've forgotten what you've bought you may end up playing a digital version of Russian Roulette as you try to guess which you've already bought and which you haven't.
Might and Magic Clash of Heroes is a fantastic puzzle RPG with a broken multiplayer component. There's still plenty to like here if you have friends you want to play with or enjoy single-player campaigns. If you're an online junkie, however, you may want to wait for a patch or two.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4 - Nicely drawn and animated, but lacking retina support. Sound: - 3.5 - Decent sound effects and music, but they don't particularly stand out. Controls: - 3.5 - The touch interface works MOST of the time. Gameplay: - 4 - This game would have been a "5" if the multiplayer worked as advertised.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Take the time to get to know your armies so you can make the most of them. Don't forget to use your spells and artifacts. Try playing a few rounds of Battle Mode against the computer to get your feet wet. When you do, be sure to watch how the AI plays; it's the best way to wrap your brain around some of the more important strategies.