Hills of Glory: WWII, a war-time castle defense game with RPG elements, has been developed by Mando Productions, published by BulkyPix, and is now available from the app store. Using a number of unique soldier-types, gesture-based weapon deployment, and fast fingers, you’ll need to hold off wave after wave of enemies bent to taking you out.
Hills of Glory: WWII Pros:
- Detailed graphics and a variety of locales
- Simple gesture-based controls
- Endless survival mode and campaign mode
- Upgradeable soldiers and a plethora of weapons
- GameCenter and OpenFeint leaderboards and achievements
Hills of Glory: WWII Cons:
- Some enemies can blend into surroundings
- Relatively short campaign mode
Hills of Glory offers both a Fire At Will mode and a Campaign mode. Fire At Will is an endless challenge that asks you to hold the hill as long as possible while enemies become harder and harder to fend off. Campaign is the meat of the experience, allowing you to play through a set of tutorial levels before purchasing additional level sets with in-game currency. There are a half-dozen missions in each. Before starting a mission, you can equip up to 3 soldiers, each with two weapon types that he specializes in and his own training level. As you play, enemy soldiers, tanks, and trucks will enter the screen from various points. You are positioned at the screen top, poised to fire first and prevent having your position overrun by the enemies. Using gesture-based controls such as tapping, tap-holding, swiping horizontally/vertically, pinching, or double-swiping, you command your soldiers to unleash certain weapons upon the charging masses. The weapons include rifles, machine guns, grenades, rockets, napalm, air strikes, mines, mortars, and more. Each weapon has a recharge time, indicated by a small icon that refills its color after it has been discharged. The weakest weapons recharge almost instantaneously, while the more powerful weapons can take several seconds to become active again.
After clearing the board, you earn cash or coins for your performance, as well as experience points. The money is used to purchase new soldiers to use, as well as train them to upgrade their power. Certain elements require you to have achieved a specific rank in order to make a purchase, such as new campaigns or powerful soldiers. Alternatively, you could also pay a great deal of money to pick them up earlier. Each playthrough, win or lose, earns some amount of money, which is good as you’ll likely need to grind a bit to earn enough money to be successful. The game is a good deal of fun, but it can get a little repetitive and frustrating at times. Some of the enemies can blend in with the surroundings, making it difficult to see that you’ve failed to kill a soldier or two who are in the process of destroying your position. Also, if you don’t launch the bigger weapons at the right location, they can be easily wasted. Sometimes, being off just a touch with your fat fingers can be the difference between victory and defeat.
Graphically, the levels are varied and well-detailed, offering interesting backdrops that have some destructible elements that can be seen as you launch powerful offensives. There are no on-screen controls to muck up the works, which allows you to really enjoy the view. Despite being called Hills of Glory, there is but one hill and the viewpoint does not give a strong impression that enemies are climbing toward your position, but rather that they are crossing a field. Obstacles may cause enemies to wend their way around the screen a bit, but your weapons don’t seem to be affected by their presence. The screen top contains a completion percentage meter, your health meter, and your score. Under these, the weapon refill meters are visible, offering useful info when you find time to pull your gaze from the charging forces, which is not often. We found ourselves more likely to attempt a gesture to see if the weapon was active rather than check the screen top, but this is due more to the frenzied pace of the game than anything else. Tapping the send button in the upper right corner will release the next wave of enemies early, increasing your multiplier and giving you the chance to rack up bigger scores and earn more money. The soundtrack is militaristic and upbeat, which felt like a nice fit for the game. The controls were very easy to use and pretty responsive. There is even a bit of a tilt element that comes in to play when using some weapons, as you can influence the direction of gunfire by tilting left or right.
Replay value is pretty good, despite a relatively short campaign. The endless mode allows you to earn high scores to compete on the GameCenter or OpenFeint leaderboards. There are also 20 trophies to earn for various accomplishments. In all, it’s a fun addition to one of the most crowded genres around. Its ability to stand out and make a name for itself remains to be seen. At $1.99, Hills of Glory:WWII is an enjoyable 4-Dimple challenge.
Hills of Glory: WWII Review,