Battleheart Legacy review (iOS / Universal)

June 4, 2014

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10 word description: Customise unique hero, battle hordes of enemies, real time combat.

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10 word review: One of the best iOS games ever, regardless of genre.

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You will like this if you enjoy: Full-featured, highly polished, addictive, fun action-RPGs. With no IAPs.

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The good news: Everything! Ok, I can’t leave it at that, I know. Character graphics, environments and visual effects are excellent. Enemies are varied and detailed with great animations. The multi-class character system, effectively letting you freely customise your build (attributes, active & passive skills, items), is truly wonderful. The control method works very well, although a small amount of learning and experimentation always helps. World map is a decent size, with many locations unlocking higher-level areas or repeatable boss fights (at the same location). Cloud sync is cleverly implemented, functioning as a separate save slot. Dialogue humour is actually funny. The game is a whole load of fun.

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The bad news: There are still some crashes, even after the update, that appear to be related to summoned skeletons (in my experience anyway). Progress is based on clearing areas and repeating lucrative encounters (and the Arena) rather than following a story-based quest chain. This is NOT bad in any way, but is worth mentioning as it may disappoint players who are hoping for a quest-fest, which this game is not.

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Arcadelife verdict: Battleheart Legacy is brilliant, one of those rare games that instantly takes over your life and becomes your sole reason for existence. Tragic, but true! The character customisation is a work of genius; the diversity of builds defines the word CHOICE with all its joys and implications.

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Levelling up and picking skills is a constant progression filled with surprises and decisions, with additional build variations coming from weapons, armour and items that you acquire from drops, treasure chests or the local shop. The full map can be explored from the start, although the fixed levels of every zone will mean that reckless dungeon delving can lead to your swift demise.

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The fact that enemies don’t scale to your level means that character progress can easily be measured by revisiting a map area or boss encounter after levelling a few times, where you can revel in your newly acquired uberness, or just die again due to slotting a less than optimal set of skills.

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And then there’s the arena, which is just you versus endless waves of enemies until you die. Until you reach at least level 15, the dying part will occur very quickly. If you can kill at least 10 enemies in the arena (not as easy as it sounds) you earn a reward item. As far as the story is concerned, you will be told about the location of some items to retrieve in three high level areas, then pretty much left alone to choose how you level up enough to be able to tackle those zones.

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There are a few entirely optional side quests that are sometimes more fun to fail than to complete, for example a Mage Tower quest to kill a giant spider using only elemental magic.

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The absence of the usual generic plethora of mundane quests is refreshing and gives the game a very liberated feel. The associated absence of a quest log, with only the most rudimentary map markers can initially feel rather daunting. Once you realise that the quests are not essential for progress or, indeed, for enjoying the game, it all makes a lot more sense.

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Overall, Battleheart Legacy is a hugely entertaining game. I haven’t had as much compulsive fun running around blowing stuff up and buying cool items since Galaxy on Fire 2, and that is a great compliment to pay any game. And, finally, the fact that a mobile game quite casually takes on the “be anything you want to be” character development ethos of Skyrim and makes it even more fun is a massive, praiseworthy achievement. I have no reservations about giving this game the highest score; it’s a fantastic experience and it deserves to do extremely well.

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Arcadelife rating

Presentation – 9.5/10
Visuals – 9.5/10
Controls – 9/10
Content – 9.5/10
Fun – 10/10
Final rating – 10/10


Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.1.1
iTunes link

Mika Mobile website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
5th gen iPod Touch (iOS 7.1.1)
4th gen iPad (iOS 7.1.1)
This review was typed on a Das Keyboard Model S mechanical keyboard – check them out, they’re really rather groovy.

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