Developer: BengBeng
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.2.0
App Reviewed on: iPad Air

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

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Though I’m not the biggest collectible card game aficionado, I have been known to dabble from time to time. Sword & Magic HD is a CCG-come-RPG with some interesting and quirky looking characters, as well as an interesting concept.

IMG_0430IMG_0440To look at it, Sword & Magic HD is fresh, unique, and trendy, and carries with it an appealing anime-style demeanor. Unfortunately a cluttered user interface and incomprehensible instructions mean players are left to figure out what to do of their own accord, despite the in-game tutorial.

From what I could gather, which even as a seasoned gamer I struggled to ascertain, players initially choose from one hero out of a selection of nine different class types. Each has various unique attributes, fighting styles, and abilities, and naturally start equipped with the bare minimum. Luckily the in-game tutorial does cover the basics of play; including initiating a battle, recruiting more heroes to a team, and a short briefing on the various requirements of leveling-up.

Unfortunately, although commencing battle is as simple as tapping a few menu buttons, watching the short sequence between hero and villain unfold is not dreadfully exciting and can be highly repetitious after the forth or fifth time. Collectible rewards include gold and silver coins (in-game currency), various equipment, collectible skill cards, and an ensemble of cards called “souls.”

IMG_0431IMG_0434Frankly, it is nigh impossible to work out what these souls do, and likewise I never got to the point of working out some of the other various aspects of the game due to the energy mechanism in place and the expense of having to recharge to continue. The shop is the port of call for spending in-game currency (or real money) on gifts, items, and rechargeables, though this can set players back a fair amount of coins.

That said, it’s possible to just keep battling until arriving at a certain point where the enemies levels are too high to advance. Thus it is advisable to level-up – but again, this can set the player back in terms of gold coins. So instead the only choice left is to repeat some previous stages and hope to accumulate more coins and further skills in preparation. As expected, this just ends up being tedious and gameplay can get stale.

That’s not to say that there are not those who will find Sword & Magic highly entertaining, and one worthwhile attribute that deserves a mention is the ability to team up with and battle various players across the server with the prospect of earning rewards and gifts.

Fun though it may seem, Sword & Magic HD is sadly let down by a cluttered and confusing interface, and its somewhat unintelligible instructions and dialogue.

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