Trouserheart, a light-hearted hack-‘n’-slash adventure developed by Dicework Games and published by 10tons Ltd., is now available from the app store. Featuring a variety of enemies, simple controls, and tons of loot used to upgrade your character, Trouserheart may be light on depth, but it’s heavy on fun.
- Colorful, blocky graphics and simple controls reinforce the accessible nature of the game
- Two difficulty levels and permadeath option increase challenge and replay value
- Nice variety of enemies and ability to upgrade character through collected loot
- Bite-sized gameplay is perfect for the platform
- GameCenter integration for a couple dozen achievements
- No manual blocking ability
- Would like save slots to have games of varying difficulty going at the same time
King Trouserheart is ambushed one fine day by a pants-stealing goblin that makes off with his leather leggings. Without so much as a thought to putting on another pair, he ambles off into the kingdom to retrieve his pilfered pants in just his royal unmentionables. With sword and shield in tow, King Trouserheart wends his way through about a dozen castles, vanquishing any foe that stands in his way. Goblins, blocky barbarians, evil Jello Jigglers, tentacled grounddwellers, and the like do their best to keep him from reaching the 10 bosses at the end of each multi-room level, but each spills their guts full of coins, gold bars, jewels, and hearts just the same when Trouserheart is on the rampage. Treasure chests also spill their contents after a swift beating from our hero, offering up plenty of the local currency which allows Trouserheart to upgrade his sword’s damage ability, his shield’s chance to block attacks, his health, and the percentage of treasure he collects. The path that Trouserheart takes is very linear, with no ability to explore or find alternative routes through castles. Fire pits act as checkpoints, where you can beat on a heart machine to replenish any lost health before pressing on. Each section within a castle takes up the width of a screen, and there are some light puzzle elements (matching floor tiles to move on) and sneaky traps (floor tiles that fall away or spikes that shoot up from the ground) to keep you on your toes. In all, the entire campaign is fairly short (each castle should only take a few minutes to work through), but it is an extremely enjoyable romp through the medieval landscape.
Graphically, Trouserheart employs a colorful, blocky style that reinforces its light-hearted, simple nature. Even the names of the castles (Derpington Halls, Dimrock Dungeon, Bleak Pastures, and more) are whimsical and cute. An accessible game for players of all ages, there is no bloodshed and defeated foes simply melt into the ground. A collection of hearts adorns the upper left corner, indicating your remaining life at a glance, while a coin counter tracks your wealth in the upper right corner. The soundtrack features a catchy minstrel’s tune that sets the mood nicely, while the controls are tight and easy enough for anyone to get a handle on immediately. Movement is controlled by a virtual pad in the lower left corner, and you swing your sword by tapping the attack button in the lower right corner. Shield blocking is handled automatically, though we would have liked an option to manually block. Seems like it would have come in especially handy against the tentacled boss, though learning how to dance around enemies is key to surviving.
Replay value is decent, as you have both casual and hardcore modes to try out, with a permadeath option for each. We found the difficulty on casual to fit the moniker, while hardcore certainly can give gamers a run for their money. Permadeath adds quite the challenge and really increases the likelihood that this game will stay on our devices long after we’ve completed the two main difficulty levels. GameCenter integration also offers a couple dozen achievements to earn. A universal app for $2.99, Trouserheart is a solid 4-Dimple romp.