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Battleheart (iOS Review)

Role playing games on iOS often have trouble trying to balance the fact they are on a mobile device with the in-depth nature of the genre. Some developers disregard this concern and go all in, making an RPG much like those you would find on PC or a home console. Then there are games like Battleheart which simplify the formula while still keeping some of that much needed depth.

Battleheart sets players up with a team of up to four characters who must defeat evil forces – the usual fantasy stuff. The make-up of this party is entirely up to the player. There are a handful of classes to choose from, each with their own speciality. Clerics heal, Barbarians deal damage, Wizards specialise in magic and so on. You can mix and match the classes as you see fit, and new recruits can be found at the Tavern to bolster your ranks if you fancy a change. It allows for a good bit of variety and often requires a rethinking of tactics.

Once you have your team assembled, it’s off to battle. During the game’s fights, each character is controlled directly. It’s a simple case of placing your finger over the character and dragging them to the enemy you wish to attack or the place you want them to move to. It’s an incredibly intuitive control method and allows the screen to remain relatively free of any clutter. There are some issues when characters get too close together, making it difficult for the game to determine who you are trying to control. In addition to basic attacks, each class has special abilities, which you can access by tapping on that specific character. Stronger abilities are unlocked as your characters level up, which they do individually by gaining experience points for each battle.

This is the crux of Battleheart, at certain points of the game you will come across a stage – perhaps containing a stronger boss character – which will prove more difficult than previous battles. In order to best the level, you will have to replay earlier stages to gain more experience points and improve your characters. The game is all about upgrading, whether it’s your party members or the equipment they use. It can sometimes become a grind but it’s a testament to the core gameplay that it takes a long time for that grind to set in. In fact, if played in short bursts, the grind may never set in at all.

The visuals in Battleheart are gorgeous, the art style is simple but executed perfectly. Coupled with fluid animation, it’s a wonder to look at. The entire game, from menus to characters, looks sharp and expertly crafted. They give the game a great deal of charm and personality.

Battleheart is perfect for those looking to get an RPG fix on the go, without having to worry about an intricate story or a ton of complicated gameplay systems. Even with its minor control niggles there’s plenty of fun to be had, from the battle system and the lure of one more battle to level up that Wizard.

Originally published on Square-Go.com

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