iHeroes ($2.99) by justcoolapps.com is a turn-based strategy game where you control a single hero unit that runs around a large map full of gold, allies and monsters for you to collect, acquire and kill. You also have control of additional fighting forces, but these show up only when in battle.
The game has a very retro two-dimensional look that would probably be associated with the late 1980s or early '90s. The graphics are very pixellated and movement is jerky. There seems to have been no attempt at making use of modern animation.
You start off standing in front of a castle. By clicking on the screen, you will create a line of arrows to that point. There are five buttons on the top right that you can use to control the game. The middle button gives a sub menu which has eight additional buttons that give various options such as saving. The button with a picture of a horse is used to move your hero along the green trail you just created.
Pressing the fifth button will calculate the effects of your turn and the decisions made by the computer. The uses of the other three buttons on the top right are as follows: the first is for looking at the overall map and to move the screen around, the second is for inspecting your hero’s stats and to see what army he has available and the third is for checking how many months and weeks have passed. One turn equals one day in the game.
There are various objects to explore including treasure chests which give gold or experience points, choices for new abilities to be learned, allies to add to your side or some opposing forces to obliterate. The battles are extremely awkward and unintuitive. What needs to be done is very unclear and there seems to be no way to bolster standing forces except by randomly acquiring the odd ally, which doesn’t seem to help anyway. Battle seems to be something that should just be avoided.
You can go back to your castle to get more allies, but they seem to serve in defending only the castle which never gets attacked (at least it didn’t during my time playing).
The idea behind this app has a lot of potential, but it has not been very well executed. Too much is unexplained and battle is too frustrating. Having said that, there is a hidden screen in the game which says, “This game is now in beta development version.” Was that meant to be removed or was the game released on the app store too early? I’m not sure.
If you love old school retro games that remind you of early gaming days, iHeroes is probably worth a try for you. But if you prefer more up to date titles with better graphics and better gameplay, you would do better to look elsewhere.