November 7, 2010
OverviewIt is now basically common knowledge that if an app did well for the iPhone, it will do well for the iPad. This is likely due to the fact that by the time an app gets the HD nod, it has gone through the bugs and kinks and probably has a following of some sort. It wouldn’t be surprising if the new Mac OS app store yields similar results. Medieval was a mid-level hit for the iPhone. The smooth game play and high level of replay ability brought in pleasant reviews and kept the purchases coming in at a steady clip. Now the HD version is here, but like other apps that have made the big jump, is bigger really better?
FeaturesMedieval HD is a sort of conglomerate of several different game styles. It is mostly a mix of tower defense and Angry Birds style shoot ‘ems. At this point it isn’t entirely unique. One of my favorite all time iPhone games, Panda Mania, is almost identical in the way you defend coming hordes of attackers, while receiving upgrades to more powerful weapons along the way. (I’m sure there are other similar games, so just know that I am ignorant to them and tell us about them in the comments) Medieval HD eventually differs even from Panda Mania. Interestingly, there are several different ways to win a level. Like tower defense, you can defeat all of the waves of enemies until you are declared a winner, but you can also win in two additional ways; destroy the opponent’s castle, or capture their flag. Each of these awards a different bonus with capturing their flag the highest. Now understand that this also means that you can be beat several ways as well. If either your castle is destroyed or your flag is stolen and returned to their side, you lose. Game over. You receive gold based on how well you hit the opponent. If you get a head shot, you get a whole bunch, but a foot shot will only get you a coin or so. You also have to defend the friendly skies from hot air balloons which can get very pesky when they attack in numbers.There are four levels of difficulty to choose from; Fast Fire, Easy, Normal and Hard. I recommend trying one of the latter three first because Fast Fire will ruin your experience the way a good cheat code ruins any other game. Luckily, I first tried Normal. When I did try Fast Fire, the world was on fire. You basically don’t have to wait for your arrows to reload, so you can just make it rain. I saved up for the five-pack of flaming arrows and that was all she wrote- Armageddon had arrived. If you don’t feel like the pull back and shoot format akin to Angry Birds, you can opt for an easier point and shoot mode. The option to play from left to right is also a welcome addition as I’m a card holding member of App Reviewers Against Left-Handed Discrimination (ARALHD). The Good The first thing you notice when you fire up Medieval HD is the brilliant graphics. Give the art department a raise because they really made the many different sceneries and backgrounds sparkle. Speaking of raises, the animation guys deserve on as well. Flowing waterfalls, dancing flames, collapsing catapults and hand to hand combat all move smoothly and in sync with the rest of the décor. The amount of upgrades available, both for offence and defense, are rivaled by no other similar game. The way that you can upgrade your castle, build units and improve weaponry is much more reminiscent of RTS games than tower defense. This is a full-fledged game, boys and girls. There are also four slots to save games in. This way, if you are half way through defeating the difficult campaign but want to give it a break for a while, you can start over in another slot in Fast Fire, and make it rain. The game play is borderline addicting, there are tons of levels, and the sounds are classy. Oh yeah, if you don’t want to pay to play, you can try it out first with the free lite version! The Bad As easy as it is to play this game, many will get bored of swiping their finger over and over. The screen will get disproportionately smudged as well. Although there is much need for your off hand to switch weapons while waiting for reloading, most of the game is just pulling back and shooting- over and over and over… This isn’t a knock on the game so much as a shout out to developers, but I really think it would be great if this was just made into a full RTS. I can’t spell medieval without spell check.
The VerdictIf you are into casual pull and shoot games at any level, you have to give Medieval HD a look. The graphics pop, the game play never ends, and the continual upgrading put this game up there with any other top iPad app. So swing on over to the App Store and either try the no-risk free version or just take my word that Medieval HD is well worth the $3.
Angry Birds HD
Medieval HD Lite
Brisk Mobile Inc