Version Reviewed: 1.6
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini (Retina)
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Long time fans of the popular role-playing series Dragon Age will likely be pleased to see Electronic Arts and Bioware bring the franchise to iOS. Building the perfect squad for battle against light and dark, Heroes of Dragon Age will see one's strength and strategic skills tested to their limits as the fight for medieval victory begins.
As players gradually move across the various points on the map their squad will become increasingly more powerful, until such a point as they are ready to take on the “boss.” Using all of one's skills, the aim in the game's early chapters is to drive back those of the “Darkspawn” -- a group of subterranean creatures who have started to overrun the continent -- returning the land to its once former self.
Choosing from a select group of heroes who have been tasked with overturning the evil Darkspawn, every character available in Heroes of Dragon Age comes with their own set of health, power, and abilities. Playing the game in units, the first of which is lead by the Fereldan Ash Warrior, players will aim to use each heroes' abilities to land the perfect attacks on their enemies.
Perhaps one of the main points to make is that this game is pretty big. 480MB of required free space, big. This is also reflected in the amount of time it takes for Heroes of Dragon Age to go from the start screen to the actual main menu. That said, this is also indicative of Heroes of Dragon Age's commitment to providing a supreme level of detail to players - which is really apparent throughout. Suffice it to say, one is going to want to connect to Wi-Fi in order to cut these load times down considerably.
Heroes of Dragon Age plays out on a turn-by-turn basis. Characters at the front of the unit are first to attack, but consequentially may not have enough time to opt for the best method of defense. Meanwhile those toward the back have more time to focus and are likely able to land a bonus ‘2X Damage Hit’ - which packs a serious punch. Select members such as The Circle Apprentice can attack an entire row of enemies, while others see their attacks curtailed by health, speed, and power. Battles did appear to be semi-automatic, although player input is required to select which member of the unit to put forward.
Heroes of Dragon Age's approach to visuals is extremely detailed. In fact, they're so detailed that one can even make out some skin textures. This works in the game's favor for the most part, but also can give the visuals a level of glitchiness. In terms of the strategic element, this game is certainly challenging. Although while not challenging in the traditional sense, the differentiation of power levels, health, and speed makes for some tough decisions on how to achieve the best outcome.