Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3GS
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Hills of Glory gels a squad based, World War II themed combat system with the ever popular gameplay mechanics of the tower defense genre. The end result is an interesting -- if not entirely historically accurate -- take on both the tower defense genre and World War II themed games.
This game is more than just slapping a WW II skin on a generic tower defense game. There are several mechanics and features that set Hills of Glory apart from other games in the genre. While this game is probably most accurately categorized as a tower defense game, that categorization doesn't necessarily encompass all of the features that Hills of Glory offers. While the point is still to defeat wave after wave of incoming enemies, this isn't accomplished by strategically placing units around a stage. In fact there are no units, or towers, or items of any kind to be placed in this game.
Before each stage, the player must select three soldiers to use during that stage. Each soldier is selected from one of the available soldier types. Each soldier type has its own special abilities and each ability has its own area of effect and recharge time. Each soldier can be trained and their abilities increased by spending money awarded in each level. New soldiers with new abilities can also be purchased using that same money, as well as new levels to play in the campaign mode.
With three soldiers are selected, the player is ready to face the advancing enemy. The soldiers aren't actually placed anywhere on the stage and there are no avatars for these characters. They are bunkered down in a protected area at the top of the stage and all that is seen of them is the ordinance they liberally fling at the enemy. Players use specific touch commands to direct and unleash each soldier's specific abilities. Tapping in one spot might use the shotgun ability while swiping vertically on the screen will unleash a line of grenades and swiping horizontally will call down a shower of mortar. Using these different abilities in tandem and timing their recharge times just right will allow players to keep the enemy from reaching barricades from which they can attack and destroy the bunker.
It's a lot of fun to wipe out waves of enemies with powerful attacks as they advance, but there is very little variation in the enemy types. The majority are generic infantry units with the occasional officer, transport truck, and tank thrown into the mix. The patterns of attack do vary, though, and each pattern must be approached differently if the player is to survive the level.
The game plays smoothly, but the load times are almost unbearably long for such a simple game. The amount of time it takes to load each menu screen and each level makes this game almost impossible to play in quick sessions. Of course, load times will vary from device to device so this is no reason to count this game out completely. Even if it takes a while to get to the gameplay, the levels are long enough that it's worth the wait.
Hills of Glory is great fun to play, and the special abilities of each soldier type are fun to use. The game's visuals aren't the shiniest you'll see but they get the job done and they bring a bit of character to the game. Don't overlook this game as just another tower defense game, it may be a pleasant surprise for players looking for something a bit different.