Developer: Gaijin Entertainment
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod Touch

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Sometimes I really wish I could have been alive during the Dark Ages. Sure, there was sort of a plague thing going around and the average life expectancy was something like 12, but if the world was anything like what’s depicted in Braveheart then you got to spend all day twirling in a circle swinging a mace at anyone who got within 10 feet of you. I don’t know about you, but that’s a life I can get behind. Though the game is the farthest thing in the world from mentally taxing, Braveheart can still be an entertaining lesson in rampant skull bashing.

Gameplay in Braveheart is simplicity personified, with players making circular motions to send their hero spinning like a top as he wipes out baddies. Moving around the field is as simple as tapping where you want to go, and there are even a few multitouch commands for things like firing off a volley of arrows. This is definitely one of those games just about anyone can pick up and play instantly.

The trouble with such a simple scheme is that it also erodes any lasting appeal the game may have. Braveheart tries to keep players interested with a weapon and skill upgrade system as well as mid-level perks that grant temporary status boosts, but these are little more than distractions which try and make you forget that what you’re actually doing isn’t all that fun. The only objective in each stage is to kill all the enemies who come running toward you, so there’s very little call for skill or strategy. Simplicity can be refreshing, but overly-simplistic games just aren’t that much fun.

Though the gameplay’s nothing to write home about, Braveheart’s presentation manages to be top-notch, with crisp visuals and nicely detailed environments. Though the frame rate may chug every once in a while, overall the app does a nice job of keeping up with all the onscreen action, as mass murder is always a bit more palatable when it looks this nice.

Braveheart manages to entertain for a short while but then it quickly starts to wear thin. Though there are a number of nice bells and whistles, the core mechanics just don’t quite hold up over the long haul. Feel free to check out the lite version and get a taste, but there’s a good chance that a taste is all you will need.

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