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Gaming Review

Mobile review round-up: 'Clash of Heroes', 'Ghostbusters' and more

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Released on Tuesday, Jan 29 2013

Each week, Digital Spy rounds up the biggest mobile gaming releases with reviews and trailers. This week's games are a rich competitive strategy game, pixelated fantasy puzzle battles, catching unfortunately-named creatures and busting ghosts with Bill Murray.

Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes

Platforms: iPhone, iPad
Price: £2.99 / $4.99

Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes is a mostly faithful mobile adaptation of the fantastic puzzle-strategy game hybrid. While the game is based on a simple match 3-puzzle concept, it elevates the gameplay by turning each puzzle into a battle. Matching units vertically creates attacks, while horizontal matches create defensive walls.

By the time unique faction units are introduced, the strategic options become incredibly deep, making every match very satisfying to play. All five story campaigns are accounted for in the iOS version, allowing players to discover the unique strategies and units in each of the different factions.

'Might & Magic Clash of Heroes' screenshot

© Ubisoft



While the battles are excellent, unfortunately the mobile port doesn't handle the map and menus as well. Navigating anything between battles is far more difficult on the touchscreen than it should be, with the tappable area around every map location and menu item seeming to be either a bit off or smaller than the item itself.

On a high note, Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes makes the significant addition of asynchronous multiplayer, which fits the game's strategic turn-based format perfectly. And while the campaign has its missteps in the menu, the battles are still excellent and there is well over 20 hours of single-player campaign to discover, making it a fantastic iOS download.


> Download 'Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes' from the App Store




Pixel Defenders Puzzle

Platforms: iPhone, iPad
Price: 69p / $0.99

Pixel Defenders Puzzle is a puzzle game that borrows liberally from Triple Town yet manages to find its own unique play style. Players start by placing pixels on the board, where three pixels of the same colour are next to each other and they become a soldier, with the class of soldier determined by the pixel's colour. If you manage to arrange three of the same soldier next to each other then they combine into a more powerful unit.

Enemy waves come in from the top of the screen, which players can target with their matched pixel soldiers. Units have four different levels they can evolve to, each with unique abilities. Some units deal more damage, others cause status effects. The trick is to strategise which units to use right away and which to save and combine for their more advanced form.

'Pixel Defenders Puzzle' screenshot

© Social Titans LLC

'Pixel Defenders Puzzle' screenshot

© Social Titans LLC



While players are matching soldiers, there is also a V.I.P. character walking around the board. The V.I.P. is the primary target of enemy attacks, with the only way to really defend it to defeat an enemy before it can attack. The V.I.P. helps keep the game's pace flowing, forcing a player to balance their time between matching and attacking.

The main story mode is broken up into 36 stages, each against a set number of enemy waves. Two bonus modes offer additional diversions, with Assault pitting players against an infinite number of enemies, while Endless mode removes attacking completely to make it a pure puzzle game. Both are satisfying for their own charms, and will keep players coming back long after the story missions are over.


> Download 'Pixel Defenders Puzzle' from the App Store



Dingle Dangle

Platforms: iPhone, iPad
Price: 69p / $0.99

With a name like Dingle Dangle, it's difficult to know what exactly to expect. The game features a sky pirate flying around the world collecting tiny furry creatures called dingles from holes in the ground. The only way to collect dingles? To dangle a rope into the holes, of course.

An on-screen level on the right side controls the rope, lowering it into the hold and raising it out again. The holes often have twisting caverns, requiring players to tilt their smartphone or tablet to navigate the rope.

Dingles will stick to the end of the rope or each other, which turns some of the more challenging levels into puzzles as players try to find the right order to collect each furry creature to reach even the most tucked away ones.

'Dingle Dangle' screenshot

© Chillingo Ltd



There are three worlds of 20 levels each. The second world introduces different coloured dingles along with colour-changing bugs, while the third world adds hazards like fireballs that can burn through the rope. It's a nice mix of physics puzzles, balancing the line between offering a light challenge without being so hard as to get stuck.

The smooth difficulty means that players can move through the levels rather quickly. Players can always go back to try for more stars and faster times in each level though, which does offer a significantly greater challenge. The game feels short, but that's more because of enjoying the puzzles and wanting more to play than because of a lack of content. As problems go, that's a pretty good one to have.


> Download 'Dingle Dangle' from the App Store



Ghostbusters

Platforms: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free

A new Ghostbusters game has arrived on iOS, bringing with it mixed emotions on how it adapts the series into a mobile game. Taking place sometime after the films, the mobile game sees the ghost extermination business growing with new recruits.

Players take a group of up to four ghostbusters on calls around the city. Tapping selects a ghostbuster, and then dragging from their location can either move them around the play field or have them target a ghost. Ghostbusters come in three classes, each with its specific role. Blasters are the main attackers while wranglers have a weaker attack that can distract ghosts. Finally scientists act as medics, able to target their teammates with a healing beam.

The gameplay during a call is fairly simple, though as the game progresses the battles can get quite hectic trying to clear all of the waves and keep the ghostbusters alive.

'Ghostbusters' screenshot

© Beeline Interactive, Inc.



Clearing calls also awards slime, which can be used to unlock new levels in the 50-floor tower that acts as the main storyline. This often leads to grinding as the slime requirements add up, artificially padding the game's length.

As a free-to-play game, Ghostbusters employs some restrictions that could grate on players. Taking a call uses energy, which slowly replenishes over time. The energy requirement limits how much you can play at one time, which adds to the monotonous feeling of grinding for slime. The game also puts a paywall in the way of playing as any of the original characters, with free players only accessing three new recruit characters.

The humour and highly-referential dialogue will definitely please Ghostbusters fans, and the teamwork between the three classes works well for the series. The free-to-play design elements may hold some players back from completing the game, but it is clear the developers have a lot of love in their homage to the Ghostbusters films.


> Download 'Ghostbusters' from the App Store



What mobile releases have you been playing recently? Add a comment in the space below!

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