Charge lads; crush them under your boots for this is our final battle for keep Kamblad.
Foursaken is best known for their excellent zombie survival games set in New York, but has also delved into action castle defence using bugs in Bug Heroes. Heroes and Castles takes the formula further by turning up the military strategy, and third person fighting elements.
Heroes and Castles lets you choose one of three manly musky heroes depending on the play style you prefer. Sword to skull mano o mano brawling, quick mace to the head with stronger allies or slug to the scrotum and powerful defences. Personally I am all for striking my foes in close quarters. Your hero levels up, and gets cool runes to equip when you use him in battle. Completing the same levels using all heroes give you some extra challenges.
A lot of the draw to the game is upgrading buildings, units and crafting runes using the crystal currency. This is hard to earn in the game, and to really excel you will have to ponder buying some using iAP. This lets you unlock units, and defences ahead of time, as well as upgrading them to their maximum potential. The entire game can be played without spending more than the cost of the game, but it will be a much harder battle.
The gameplay goes as this: you stand behind the gates of your walls, and await the assaulting horde. Building gold mines increase the rate at which you gain gold. While waiting to be able to afford at least five gold mines you are left to guard the castle alone. Running around smashing foes is a must. The controls are quite good, albeit our heroes are limited to a single attack button. A sprint button is great to use when trying to escape overwhelming odds, or run out to take out enemy archers before they kill your foot soldiers. Once you get enough gold to recruit soldiers you have a limited population. Stronger soldiers take more population to recruit. Getting a number of archers, or stronger ranged soldiers on the walls is a great start. Amassing an army of pikemen, and laughing blunderbuss dwarves lets you enter the fray again.
The game ends when all enemies have been slain, or when either the hero dies, or the keep is destroyed. Successful battles let you continue to the next level, and upgrade hero and units.
The presentation is quite good, and it is easy to see the similarity to other games from Foursaken. What is less good is the rather long loading times, and the quite boring level select screen. The story being told in a couple of sentences is also a bit lacking in scope. Still it is a cool game once the action gets going, and I get surrounded by huge ogres and snickering goblins.
Heroes and Castles is a great game with an excellent mixture of strategy, and action. It is an intense experience standing in the keep waiting to heal while skeletons wielding huge swords raze the walls. The fact that there is online coop multiplayer is awesome. Heroes and Castles gets my total recommendation.
Heroes and Castles $1.99 Universal for iPad/iPod/iPhone