by Felix Xiao
February 2, 2011
OverviewFrom the developers of iOS hits Zombieville USA and OMG! Pirates comes Battleheart, the story of several brave heroes taming a kingdom filled with evil monsters. Combining RPG, line-drawing, and strategy elements, this game puts your commanding skills to the ultimate test.
FeaturesBattleheart is universal for iPhone and iPad and includes over 30 levels of campaign combat. In each battle, you choose 4 characters from your party and equip them with any of over 100 items and skills to defeat enemies in different areas of the world. Some levels contain a spectacular boss fight that is often very challenging. Every region is home to a survival arena that lets you use your army against endless waves of monsters.
The GoodThe thousands of possible combinations made possible by fantastic RPG features fuel Battleheart's frantic gameplay. Your characters can equip a weapon, shield, and 2 accessories, some of which can be upgraded. In order to obtain many rare pieces of equipment, you must compete in the survival arenas. After a victorious fight, you earn gold and experience that can be spent in the merchant shop. Every time a character levels up 5 times, they unlock a new skill that can be used during battle to hurt enemies or help party members. Battleheart lets you choose your strategy in every fight from beginning to end. By visiting the tavern from the game menu, you can recruit any amount of new warriors with special abilities in exchange for some gold. However, only 4 of these characters can be included in your active party. This allows for some tough decision making that will determine how successful you will be. On many levels, you'll want to either have a cleric that can heal other fighters or equip your entire army with regeneration rings. The game employs a multi-touch line drawing combat interface that works effectively. To command a character to attack an enemy, you simply touch and draw a line from one to the other. Tapping a hero allows you to use their selected skills if they are cooled down. The graphics of both your friends and your foes are adorable on a Retina Display. The background scenes also change from level to level and add some variation to the game. Before and after a battle, you are taken to a screen where you can access the armory, merchant shop, academy, tavern, and keep to apply any changes to your party.
The BadThe most frustrating part so far about Battleheart is the prescence of random mid-battle crashes that force you to start the level from the start again. Mika Mobile, however, has announced that these issues will be addressed in an update that will arrive very soon. The game currently lacks any form of social integration in the form of leaderboards or achievements. Shopping for new equipment for your characters is a bit inconvenient. On the merchant screen, you can tap on each of the available wares to see its stats. However, it's not possible to compare the attack and defense ratings to your currently equipped gear on the same screen. When several friendlies are near each other during a fight, it's difficult to select the one that's standing furthest in the back. In order to command the blocked character, you have to move the other fighter away first.
The VerdictIf it were free from annoying crashes, Battleheart would be a unmatched experience in its genre that's a lot of fun. The level of customization and freedom combined with smooth multi-touch controls makes each battle unique and fast-paced. Assuming that Mika Mobile will fix the current mid-battle visits to your home screen, Battleheart is a should buy for $2.99.
Mika Mobile, Inc.