Seller: Ubisoft Entertainment
Requirements: iOS 4.3 or later
Compatibility: iPhone 3GS/4/4S/5, iPod touch (3rd through 5th generation) and iPad
File Size: 534MB
Version Reviewed: 1.3.0
Age Rating: Rated 9+ for infrequent/mild horror/fear themes, frequent/intense cartoon or fantasy violence
This is becoming a theme. Take a great game originally developed for a different system, improve the graphics, alter the gameplay for the touchscreen, add some new features, and bam! You’ve got a great game for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It’s just too bad that the pricing scheme has to be adjusted, too.
Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes is a game I loved back in 2009 when it originally hit the Nintendo DS. In fact, it was my favorite DS release of 2009. It’s now 2013, and it’s been updated for iOS. Everything I loved about the original is here, but bigger and prettier with more to do. If you’re at all a fan of turn-based strategy games, Clash of Heroes is not to be missed…even if you’ve already played it elsewhere.
The game is set in the Ashan, a world where humans and elves generally live in peace. But when a village is attacked and its people slaughtered, the humans and elves turn on each other. The first character you play—an Elven tracker named Anwen—knows this is a set-up, and battles her way past many foes to prevent war between the humans and elves.
The story progresses in episodes as you move across five characters and scenarios: but the characters aren’t there just to make things look different, they require completely different strategies. The gameplay is based across two facing playing fields, with your army on the bottom half and the enemy army at the top. Your goal is to use your allotted moves to stack up three like warrior units either vertically to put them in attack formation or horizontally to turn them into a defensive wall. After put in attack mode, a number will count down the rounds required (2 to 6) until they spring from their formation and charge the enemy side. If they’re able to penetrate any obstacles in their path and reach the back of the enemy’s line, they’ll damage him. Take his health down to zero, and you win the battle.
There’s a lot of strategy required here, as you have to plan both offensively and defensively, and you need to think many moves ahead. There’s also plenty of luck, as you don’t know what units will appear when you call in reinforcements (which you’ll do a lot), or where on the playing field they’ll appear. You will often have to sacrifice your own units in order to get to the ones you need, but creating a chain by sacrificing a unit rewards you with another move in that round.
Combining chains leads to more powerful attacks. Each character has his/her own special ability that can turn the tide of battle. Some battles require you to hit targets in a certain order or take out an enemy without hitting a moving object on that side. The game is constantly changing up on, and therefore remains fresh throughout its 20+ hours of gameplay, including the bonus puzzle levels.
And to top it all of, there’s multiplayer, too, via online, face-to-face and pass & play modes. Face-to-face is great; like playing chess or checkers with elves, warriors and demons. It’s almost enough fun to make you forget about the single player campaign.
But there are two problem with it all. First, the touch system is a bit finicky often dropped my warriors in the wrong place; the game could use an “undo” button for when this happens. Second, in the original DS version, there came a point where the opponents suddenly got much tougher, requiring plenty of level grinding in order to beat them. Here, that difficulty spike happens much sooner. And coincidentally, you can bypass the level grinding by buying what you need via in-app purchase. Annoying, yes, but considering a starting price of only $4.99, it’s unlikely you’ll reach the $30 DS price tag even with those purchases.
And the pricing scheme doesn’t detract from what is one of the most unique and engaging turn-based strategy games available for Apple iDevices.
I loved Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes back in 2009, and I’m loving it again in 2013. Pick this one up and it’s going to be your go-to game for quite some time.