Developer: Triniti Interactive Limited
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

There is a certain joy to be had in mindlessly hacking and slashing every so often. In such instances, a game like Tiny Legends: Heroes delivers quite a bit, while keeping the story absolutely minimal. The goal is to control blocky little fighters, priests, barbarians, and the like to delve into a dungeon, beat up monsters, pick up treasure, and level up. Simple enough.

Which is to say that the controlling of this entire affair goes off with relatively little hitch. Each little class of blocky hero has their own abilities that dot the upper-right of the screen, with heroes being able to be selected by tapping on them or their portraits in the upper-left. Swiping from the hero to the intended target often releases all manner of joy (particularly healing), while tapping on an enemy target sends the little hero to rain wrath upon the accursed treasure-holders. Enemies themselves tend to just sit on a map that is navigated, entering the player into a battle screen when encountered, and then posing the challenge of having waves of enemies come at the heroes on screen.

In many ways, this seems like a cross between a real-time strategy game and RPG, set in a dungeon crawler. Treasure is to be had after each battle, as is experience. The former leads to a little game of three-card monte, where chests replace cards, and no matter what, something will be gained (though the movement is so fast that it is nigh impossible to keep track); the rub is that each of the other chests not opened can be if the in-game currency (the in-app purchase for this particular game) is spent on doing so. Experience quickly, and then more slowly, gains levels, which allows the heroes to go back to town and purchase upgrades to skills or new skills themselves, use better equipment, and generally be more powerful.

In many ways, the entire experience feels very paint-by-numbers. Nothing in particular strikes as wrong, but there is a certain soul the game lacks — it is fine and fun as a mindless hack-and-slash, but offers little else. There is something to be said for number-crunching and grinding, particularly on a device that may often be in transit, though. It certainly offers a nice difficulty curve in its strategic depth, but I kept hoping for something a bit more: a bit more of a pull as for why I should care about these little block heroes’ lives.

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