Developer: HandyGames
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Tower defense is a genre that meshes quite well with many others, including the RPG. Which means Guns’n’Glory Heroes is a curious mashup that feels a bit like real-time strategy, tower defense, and RPG all rolled into one. Those genres are not so disparate as to make it confusing, so that it is a game that almost instantly feels familiar, even if it does some things I myself had never quite encountered in this configuration.

To start, the game hands out some heroes: a human knight, a dwarven berserker, and an elven mage. They each have their own levels, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses and must ward off the enemies that come crawling from various parts of the screen. Tapping a character, or swiping among them at the bottom of the screen, brings up their portrait and their skill buttons, ready to be used.

The game’s difficulty curve is such that the layouts of the levels are pretty straight-forward and allow all the heroes to band together to fight off the enemies, but as the story progresses, enemies will come from many different sides, requiring a more creative approach. This also means that the heroes do quite a bit of legwork between waves of enemies, while gaining experience to unlock new skills at certain points, with the levels in between allowing the decision of which ability should have more uses.

Which is to say, it’s an amusing romp that manages to touch on a lot of little desirable bits of a strategy RPG game without getting too much in the way of having fun. Paired with an amusingly cute design aesthetic (seeing the dwarf go berserk on the enemies is rather adorable), it lends itself to a fun game to pick up and go.

While there is a story inherent to the system, it does well by mostly staying out of the way. There are only so many times the exact same Tolkienesque fantasy tropes can be used and expect to have attention spent on them at 100% capacity. The orcs and dark elves are bad, the light-skinned people are good, blah, blah, blah, subtle racism, blah.

It is also worth mentioning that while the game is free, there will be an ad (as shown in the screenshots) that stays around unless paid to go away. There is also a way to purchase the in-game currency of coins, which allow the use of potions that heal, resurrect, etc., or scrolls that help debilitate the enemy. It’s fairly standard, and not too egregious, as I found myself able to largely go by without it, in the place of grinding a bit in the unlocked heroic modes (achieved after getting certain badges in the game).

So, if a slightly more in-depth strategy experience is desired, this is an app that delivers quite a bit of content.

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