Fast forward to January 2011 and a host of imitators and innovators later, Mika Mobile released their own interpretation of an RPG for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, Battleheart. Again, they weren't the first to market, not by a long shot, but their lovely cartoon-like environment, original animation, and easy to master yet engrossing combat, made that game a highly enjoyable experience, well geared for mobile gaming.
|Start your adventure with a short|
but handy training session.
For one thing, you no longer control a group of up to four adventurers; Battleheart Legacy is all about a solitary hero, just like the highly popular desktop franchise from Blizzard Entertainment, Diablo. But that comparison doesn't actually do Battleheart Legacy justice: Diablo, like nearly all RPGs that have inspired themselves from the venerable Dungeons & Dragons, relies on the player choosing a character class from which their unique abilities are derived. These classes are set for each character - you can't create a Mage who happens to be a handy pickpocket and dabbles in martial arts... Until now. This is exactly what Battleheart Legacy offers: the ability to utterly customise your character, picking the best traits from numerous professions, combining them together with devastating effect, and modify your selection anytime you're not in a dungeon.
|Learning new skills is the secret|
to your character's power.
Sadly for a game that offers such amazing character customisation, including a vast array of equipment which are then reflected in your character's outward appearance, the initial look you set when you create a new one is disappointingly limited to four male and four female faces and hair styles. More would've been welcome, especially since you can save a large number of games and this limited set can make choosing the right session confusing.
|Many dungeons have progressively more difficult|
levels to explore.
The story is fairly simple: you are a villager who's decided to explore the kingdom. After some basic training, you set off, full of dreams and expectation... But this is a dangerous place: the map allows you to travel between various locations with each one bearing a level requirement, advising you if you aren't powerful enough to venture there. Nothing will stop you going in, but you'll find it much safer to wait until you've reached or exceeded that minimum threshold, if you wish to survive in one piece, that is.
|Grab the treasure or fend off the giant spiders?|
Through talking with local villagers, you'll quickly discover the main objective of the game: to bring back three mythical lost solar shards to the king, but you'll need to train up a lot if you hope to even grab the first one.
|Get access to new quests by chatting with anyone -|
it's good to talk.
|You might need a little help fighting ice giants.|
It can be a little tricky to remember all the information you're given: there's no kind of quest log to remind you who you talked to and what they revealed, and since you can take on multiple adventures at the same time, it would've been nice to be offered some kind of to do list to help you keep track of everything.
Battleheart Legacy is an incredibly large game and successfully completing some locations reveals more advanced challenges in that same place, which will keep you busy for a while. Those challenges are varied when it comes to the types of monsters you encounter, but the outcome is almost always the same: fight.
|From snow capped mountains to arid deserts -|
everywhere is fraught with danger.
Once you feel powerful enough, seek out The Arena, where you can engage a constant stream of foes until you perish. There's no penalty for dying in that part of the game and the more you manage to defeat in one session, the higher the prize you'll receive.
|Hmm... maybe additional experience is required...|
On top of which, the developers aren't lying idle: they're working hard to squash any bugs that the players find - with so many possible permutations, it's hardly surprising that some slipped through, but these get fixed as they're identified.
If you're into fantasy adventures, go grab yourself a copy. It's as simple as that. You won't regret it.
|Battleheart Legacy is not without a sense of humour.|
Version Reviewed: 1.1.3
Price: £2.99 ($4.99)
Rated Rated 12+ for the following: Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor, Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence, Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes, Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimised for iPhone 5.
Tested on: iPhone 4S and 3rd generation iPad, both running iOS 7.1.1