Version Reviewed: 1.0
Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics and Sound [rating:3.5/5]
Re-use / Replay Value [rating:2.5/5]
Hellemental is one of those titles that on first impression, you can't quite work out what it is. The game plays out the story of Elija, a powerful wizard who arrives in the strange but magical country of Norlisk. With the use of magical scrolls you aim to summon the most powerful of storms that call on each of the four elements: Earth, Wind, Water and Fire, defending each city from attacking monsters.
At its heart though Hellemental is a tower defense title. The game plays out on 16 battlefields over 3 difficulty settings. As you progress further, you'll encounter various different types of monster set on destroying your land. Each of these monsters are assigned a certain class and overall there are 5 classes of monster you will encounter. Moving in-game and describing the actual playing screen, in the top right you'll find all your controls for your spells. In this section you'll see three circle type orbs. The center and larger orb represents your spells current charge. If you don't have enough charge, you won't be able to cast it. The top orb is a number which represents the remaining casts you have left for the currently selected spell. To the right-hand of the screen you'll see your spells inventory. To select a new spell just tap on the one you wish to use next. To cast a sepll on-screen you just tap and hold that ancient symbol in the bottom left and BOOM! .. (as Steve would say).
Turning on the 'Magic Eye' option in the top right of the screen will immediately give you an auto-panned view of the paths you must protect. This helps the title's gameplay immensely as you can step out of the rigid camera view for a few minutes, and take a look at your surroundings. Towards the top of the screen you'll see a depiction of the level gate. This shows you how much damage your gate has withstanded, and how much more beating it will take. Throughout the game you'll meet a whole host of weird and wonderful creatures ready to attack your land. These are dubbed elementals .. and as you progress further through the game, you'll unlock the ability to buy spells to defeat them. Starting off, the game will offer you 4 types of spell each corresponding with the elements of life; Earth, Fire, Water and Earth. Overall there are 20 purchasable spells which can be purchased with the games virtual gold currency.
These spells include:
Windmill - Spins down the hurt on an attacking elemental
Tornado - Whips an elemental up and into oblivion
Celestial Sphere - Blows down the enemy with the fury of the Gods
Lord Hurricane - Lifts a marauding gang off their feet
Air Seal - Helps protect the gate against air attacks
Fire Blast - Punches out an attacking elemental
Fire Ball - Knocks them down like bowling pins and lights them on fire
Wings of Fire - This scouring attack sends groups of elementals back to their maker
Fire Beast - A monster attack that obliterates all before it
Fire Seal - Helps protect the gate against Fire attacks
Water Blade - Drops an icicle into the skull of an attacker
Geyser - Pours frozen death on elementals
Acid Rain - Wipes a group of attackers off the map
Frozen Tsunami - Shows down death on whoever is beneath it
Water Seal - Helps protect the gate against Water attacks
Stone Bomp - Smashes an elemental, especially effective on air elementals
Volcano - Buries enemies under hardened stone
Anger Earth - Swallows a group of attackers
Meteor Shower - Obliterates all that happens to be beneath it
Earth Seal - Helps protect the gate against Earth attacks
Visually, this title definitely has something about it. While they're not the best graphics I've seen on the iPhone, they sure are charming. My only little caveat on the visual side of things is the 'wave notification' located at the top of the screen flashes up red, and due to the game being set on highly coloured green grassed battlefields, and being colorblind myself, I found it a little hard to work out what numbered wave was coming next. Making this notification black would further increase its visibility, in my opinion.
Overall, Hellemental is a respectable tower defense title. For its gaming genre its visual look and 3D feel makes a change to flat 2D offerings. While Hellemental didn't hold my attention for as long as I would have liked to it, it definitely has promise. I've filed this one under worth a quick look!