Sunday, September 29, 2013

Michelin Game - Trouserheart Review

There has been many Diablo clones in iOS gaming, and for that matter, a fair number of hack and slash type of games on this platform. For the most part, they are usually quite competent and playable, and some like Orc: Vengence, are really quite outstanding.

Yet, there has never been one that really compelled me to play until the end, as most of such games tend to be quite repetitive and consist of very cliche storylines.

Well, that is, until Trouserheart that was released last week that has totally won me over with its charm and its quite addictive gameplay.

The premise is simple yet amusingly funny. King Trousers has had his pants stolen, and your task is to play King Trousers on a romp throughout his empire to retrieve the said trousers. Whimsical and hilarious, isn't it?

The game has about 3 different environments and in each one, it consists of 3 castles and another 3 bonus areas and one final castle, cleverly named as Very Final Dungeon. So in total, there are 19 levels, which is not really that lengthy of a game.

A Forest Fight

While the levels are randomly generated, the boss at the end of each castle level is individually distinctive, each with its own character design and animation, and its own attacking feature. That makes for a quite a challenge as you will need to learn each boss in order to defeat them the first time around.

The game comes in 2 difficulties, one for casual gamers which you can quite easily beat this game in under 2 hours, give or take a few deaths and a few retries. The other hardcore mode is really just that, hard. The bosses in particular, in the hardcore mode are real feisty challenges for even the most hardcore of iOS gamers out there.


The RPG elements of the game are really quite simple and straightforward. Every dungeon you get past, you will be able to collect gold and jewels that will be converted in currency, which you can then go back to your home castle for upgrades.

The upgrades come in 4 areas, namely, weapon, shield, health and gold collecting. All are really simple to grasp and the simplicity really makes it easy for even 1st time players of RPG games. And in hardcore mode, you really need those all important upgrades.

One of the many Bosses

In addition to the 2 game modes, there is also an option to turn on Permadeath, which means every time you get slain, you go back to the very first level, and this is insanely difficult. Apart from that, the game is quite simple.

The controls are just as easy to master, and consists of a virtual joystick for movement and one solitary attack button. No multiple attacks or spell buttons, just whack on that one single button to kill.

Hack and Slash

The 3D graphics are really a standout here. Very well designed and animated, the very cartoony style is also buttery smooth on any device, and the color palette is also well chosen here. Bright, blocky and distinctively Wii like quality, and on the retina iPad, amazingly gorgeous.

On top of the brilliant graphics and animation, the sound and music department is also well served here. A nice catchy tune permeates the game and appropriately changes to a more dramatic score during combat, and the overall sound FX are equally good. The production values are far above the usual iOS fare.

The backgrounds may be repetitive, but a clever use of colors tends to distinguish them between levels. And the enemies are also nicely varied, each with its own distinctiveness, from bomb carrying ghouls to fireball throwing wizards and square blobs that grow in size.

The Map Area

Overall, the game is a blast. When I first started, I thought it would be like any RPG action romp, but after a few minutes into combat, Trouserheart turned out to be anything but normal.

It is one of those rare games that really gets you hooked even with its short gameplay, and you are really enticed to come back for a second round in the hardcore mode soon after you have completed its easy mode.

Easily one of my favorite games this year, it is the first game since Melodive that has me totally enraptured with its refreshing charm and gameplay. Certainly one of the candidates for game of the year for me.

Trouserheart (US$2.99) - Click here to download

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