Developer: AppyNation
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPad 3

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Help for Heroes is a charity that helps rehabilitate and reintroduce wounded soldiers back into normal everyday life. It’s a wonderful charity in the UK, and this is their first game – the proceeds of which go towards their important work.

20131014-212303.jpgIn Hero Bears, players take control of two medics carrying a wounded soldier on a stretcher. The aim is to avoid traps and obstacles while helping the bears arrive at their destination safely (presumably the teddy bear hospital or medical tent for wounded stuffed animals). The obstacles vary from barrels, to rope-swinging recruits, to army trucks, to wooden boxes. Controls are simple; using either a swipe up to jump or a swipe down to slide.

The whole thing looks undoubtedly cute, like something taken straight from a Paddington Bear book. The watercolor backgrounds and rousing tune of the ‘Colonel Bogey March‘ also help in adding a touch of British class that fills one with pride. There are a couple of recognizable faces on hand to cheer players along too, including Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear fame, as well as a personal thank you from some of the team at Help for Heroes. There are lots of missions, daily rewards, and power-ups available so there’s a fair amount of content that’ll have players coming back for more. I could talk about the slight difficulty issues or the lack of variety to gameplay, but ultimately it would be beside the point.

20131014-212308.jpgWhile it might not be the most ground-breaking endless runner out there, Hero Bears is still enjoyable and playable enough to help pass a few minutes at a time. Younger players in particular will love the game’s simplicity and addictive qualities. Plus, the cost of the app goes towards something that will greatly benefit – and in some cases even save – the lives of many brave soldiers and their families. Everyone wins.

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