With this evaluation, we continue with the newest member of our ABT staff, Mario Vasquez, who will be heading up our “Mobile corner” as Contributing Editor. Mario (aka ZeroEnigma) will help ABT with mobile platforms. This is the next of many of his upcoming evaluations, articles and blogs.
We also welcome your comments on these blogs and articles and all of our staff are ready to serve you. Also, please remember that each editor speaks his own mind and is responsible for what they write. There is no ABT site “point of view”.
Senior ABT editor
Hero Academy (free): Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad.Requires iOS 4.1 or later.
The Creators of Halo Wars and Age of Empires, Robot Entertainment, have struck gold with their latest iOS release Hero Academy. The game is free to play with some optional micro-transactions, there is no single player experience. Hero Academy centers around a team of deployable units, upgrade items, and blocks on the map that give you effects such as raising your attack, defense, or crystal damage (think of these as your life).
In essence, this is a turn-based strategy game that is a mix between Poker Pals and Final fantasy tactics and that is combined into a perfectly implemented online system not unlike Words with Friends. You get 5 moves per turn to either upgrade a unit, attack, or swap out items. You start off with a blank map and several random items or units to deploy. Your end game is to out-maneuver and eventually either destroy all of your enemies units or their life crystal.
Everything is randomly generated – from map tiles, units to start with, and the action! That’s the hook of this game, every move has its positives and negatives and every game you play is different.
The units are perfectly balanced with their own unique traits. The items that you get are important and crucial to every turn. The maps are always fresh as the tiles and placement of crystals is are always randomly generated. Just recently the developer introduced a whole new “Heroic team” ( the Dwarves) and free public maps based on them.
Warning: you will become addicted! Not only is this game FREE (with ads), it is fantastic. With the latest update the game has 3 types of teams: The Council, The Dark Elves, The Dwarves. The Council is the only free Team and it costs $1.99 per any respective Team (currently the Dark Elves are on sale for .99 cents to celebrate The Dwarves update).
Hero Academy contains typical fantasy-type units that include healers, warriors, ninjas and more, depending on the race. You play on a random chess board-like map that contains crystals for either team. Your goal is to either defeat all of a player’s units or to destroy their crystals. Every turn you have 5 moves to make. These include: moving a unit, placing a shield on them to increase defense, using a potion, using an Area of Effect spell on an enemy team, and more.
Double tapping an item or unit in the “dock” will give you some more information on the unit
Each race has very different units and strategies that go along with them. Even though the extra races cost a buck or two, they are very well worth it. The gameplay is addictive, the music score is good, and the online system is fast and there’s always something to do. I currently have over 40 concurrent games running; you may not want so many and that’s fine! That’s the beauty of this game – it’s a game that you can play casually with a couple of buddies and it also caters to the hardcore.
Hero Academy features Game Center support to play with all your online friends, gain achievements, and also has a create a game feature that is easy to use. You can begin games with random opponents, Facebook friends, or by username (mine is Zeroenigma).
Hero Academy also has in-game chat, a feature that many games lack. Training sections are in the main menu. I highly recommend that you visit these to get the basic mechanics of the game. You get all these features for free without paying a cent, Again, you do get ads. Under the Customize section you will see throughout the game, there are optional add-ons that cost various amounts in order to attain: Extra heroic teams, avatars, uniform colors, taunts (you get 10 free taunts included with the game), and more.
Hero Academy’s music, animations, strategy and polish are fantastic. The developer has given every nook and cranny of this game its attention. The Retina Display shines when using this game. It might take a few losses for you to get the strategies you want down, but there’s always a move to make, someone to play with – and it will have you thinking about it all day. Hero Academy is the Game of the year so far for me – let me know what you think of it! The only flaw of this game are its micro-transactions, but those are all optional.
The retina display shines when using the game, it looks gorgeous. It might take a few losses for you to get used to the many different strategies and approches to playing Hero Academy.
-balanced turn-based strategy, music, and polish
-diverse maps, units, classes
-Perfectly implemented online system
-Micro-transactions(although I do think buying the extra “heroic teams” is worth it)
-No single player component, although this game doesn’t need it
Final score: 5 out of 5
–Mario Vasquez, ABT Contributing Editor
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