Tiny Heroes, a challenging tower defense offering from Simutronics, is now available from the app store. Mixing elements of Plants vs. Zombies with variable path mechanics and clever AI, Tiny Heroes brings frustratingly fun gameplay to a medieval setting.
Tiny Heroes Pros:
- Great twist on PvZ formula, hero AI offers nice challenge
- Nice variety of heroes and defenses to use
- Touch controls are responsive and intuitive
- Clever use of the 3-star system
- GameCenter and OpenFeint integration for global leaderboards and achievements
Tiny Heroes Cons:
- No background music
- Some levels can be frustratingly challenging to complete, let alone earn 3 stars
You play as an evil gold-hording dungeon overlord, doing your best to protect your stash which is too much for the brave heroes to ignore. Wave after wave of archetypal heroes descend upon your dwelling, seeking to make off with buckets of loot. Your defenses are unlocked one by one after completing each level. Items can be placed by purchasing them for mana, which is generated periodically from pools or crystals contained within your walls, similar to sunshine in PvZ. Each use of an item requires time to recharge before you can use said item again, and items are not upgradeable in any way. You only have a set number of defense slots, too, so you’ll need to be selective in choosing which of the game’s 35 defenses to make available in each level. Crossbows, floor spikes, and attacking Gorks are useful in the early going, but they may not be powerful enough to hold up against the likes of the Epic Knight, who can destroy your barriers with a mighty swing of his iron-clad fist.
There are 2 available campaigns at launch, with each containing 20 levels and 7 additional challenge levels. There are also additional campaigns available for IAP once unlocked. Quick Play mode allows you to replay any previously-completed level. A level is complete if you successfully defend your dungeon by not allowing all of the gold to get hauled off by the sticky-fingered heroes. There is a 3-star system in play, with 3 stars earned for keeping all foes from touching your gold, 2 stars for keeping all gold within your domicile, and just a single star if some of the gold is removed. Earning 3 stars can be a difficult challenge, requiring you to tweak your methods and choices again and again until you hit on the magic formula.
Graphically, Tiny Heroes uses a great cartoon style that has nice appeal. The heroes and defenses are all varied greatly and easily distinguishable. Some defenses can only be placed in certain locations, like the wall blades which require close quarters. A green dot appears when this defense is selected to show any location that you can place the item. Any defense calls up a horizontal and vertical line that aids in proper placement and indicates legal and illegal locations. The dungeons can be panned horizontally by dragging on the screen, though they aren’t much wider than the screen size. Available defenses appear along the right screen edge, where they can be dragged and placed in the gaming area provided they are not dimmed. Recharging items appear to refill and light up normally when done. Mana amounts appear at the screen top and next waves can be sent early by tapping on the wave indicator icon in the upper left corner. Oddly, there are a number of sound effects employed for various actions, but no background music to enjoy while playing.
Replay value is great, as you’ll require several replays of a number of levels to pick up all stars. The variety of dungeon layouts and wealth of defense options also allow you to try many different strategies to drive up your score and compete on the GameCenter and OpenFeint global leaderboards and earn achievements, too. A Tinypedia is available to detail the defenses, as well as the heroes, who each have special abilities and specific weaknesses. One hero targets and destroys mana crystals, another heals heroes, another disables floor spikes, and still others use ranged attacks that make them fairly impervious to certain defenses. At a worthwhile price of $1.99, Tiny Heroes is a very enjoyable 4-Dimple option to test the mettle of strategy/TD fans.
Tiny Heroes Review,