Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 1G
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Legendary Wars has come to the iPad at last, with Legendary Wars HD. This strategy game, which fuses elements of real-time strategy, RPG, and castle defense games, has the player controlling various types of units that travel on a side-scrolling plane with three lanes. There are a variety of enemy units, from skeletons to werewolves to vampires and more generally malcontent creatures that are trying to attack the castle. Money is collected by dwarves to spend on units like knights, dwarves, and unicorns, each of which have different stats, attacks, and special abilities. For example, the unicorn attacks with rainbows and can dash forward using the special attack button, which drains from a special attack bar that is fueled by orbs dropped by enemies. And no, it is not a robot. Completing levels earns the player gems, which can be spent on unit and castle upgrades.
Legendary Wars HD is a strategy game, but it doesn't get too complex, and is not a very passive experience, as it demands the player to get involved. Damage from ranged enemies can be avoided by moving units to a different lane, for example. Keeping an eye on the action and interacting with the units directly is a prerequisite to success. Gem collection requires tapping on the dwarves as they collect gemsThe game features plenty of variety - there are plenty of side-scrolling action segments as well as the strategy gameplay. These levels pop up in both the Campaign, as well as in separate pick up and play endless modes. These endless modes award gems for buying items and upgrades in the Campaign mode, so they're not just timesinks. The iPad version makes great use of the larger screen, as the wider view makes the game feel far more open than it does on the iPhone, and allows the artwork to truly shine.
Individual unit management is very tricky, as it is difficult to send a unit to just one spot, like to set up a wall of dwarves to protect a wall of archers. The trickiness of individual unit management makes the archers almost useless, as they are weak and will not survive on the front lines. I found myself using heavy duty melee units, like the dwarves and unicorns, more than any ranged units. Sadly, the endless modes are unlocked until Campaign is completed - it'd be nice to unlock the endless levels for certain environments as they are completed in Campaign, especially as the gems earned from those modes could be well-used in the Campaign mode.
Legendary Wars HD's variety is what makes it solid - one level is not like the next, and the game's experimentation with its concept is part of what makes it so good. iPad owners who are fans of strategy games looking for a little more action, or vice versa, will enjoy this one.