Review: EpicHearts Plus – A Thrilling New RPG Adventure for iPhone

Rating: 3.5/5

Posted in Apps, iOS, Reviews on 13/11/2012 by J. Glenn Künzler

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As many great games as there are on the App Store, one area that seems to be lacking somewhat is RPGs. There just aren’t very many decent RPGs out there for iOS devices! Fortunately, the folks at 4:33 have heard the cries of RPG-deprived iPhone gamers, and have produced an excellent addition to the App Store that any RPG lover should enjoy: EpicHearts.

It was clear to me as soon as I started playing EpicHearts that this is a game designed specifically for RPG lovers. While keeping its appeal for those new to the RPG world, it also offers a heavy dose of classic RPG gameplay, features, and elements for dedicated fans. For instance, the game features very simple controls without a lot of options – much like many of the early RPGs for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

The game features all of the elements of RPG gaming that an experienced RPG player might come to expect, such as quests, warriors, magic, and a rich storyline. All of this is backed up by a very smooth gameplay experience, and great graphics that resemble RPGs from the early days (albeit with a modern twist).

Gameplay

I was pleasantly surprised by just how well the gameplay mechanics work in EpicHearts. I was initially concerned that the game wasn’t optimized for the iPhone 5, despite the fact that it was released well after the iPhone 5 launched. I was prepared for the worst – a mediocre half-assed gaming experience.

Instead, EpicHearts completely changed my mind, offering a smooth, fluid gameplay experience, which especially excels in terms of action and battling. Even when attacking multiple spiders on monsters, the gameplay remained smooth and natural. After my first 15 minutes, I was surprised at just how much I was enjoying the game, which I had initially written off.

The game includes three playable heroes, each of which have their own story and unique gameplay style. The story elements are compelling and quite strong – although the placement of text on the screen leaves much to be desired, and the dialogue is riddled with grammar issues and translation errors.

Even so, if you can look past the translation, grasp the story beneath it all, and immerse yourself in the action, you’ll find that EpicHearts brings a fantastic gaming experience that’s better than you might expect from first glance.

Graphics and Design

Whet EpicHearts lacks in dialogue, it more than makes up for in graphics. While the graphics in the game aren’t particularly high end by iOS standards, they do provide high contrast, highly detailed, and extremely varied environments.

The animation and illustrations are also excellent, providing a nod to the origins of RPG gaming, while at the same time introducing enough modern graphical goodness to catch the eye of discerning gamers accustomed to more modern graphical styles.

Another strength of EpicHearts lies within the interface. Everything from the maps, to character inventory, in game shops, quest logs, and various menus, such as the leveling menu for the main character. The only disappointments I really had were the roughness of the translated text, and the lack of widescreen support for the iPhone 5.

Playability

Another strength of EpicHearts lies within the interface. Everything from the maps, to character inventory, in game shops, quest logs, and various menus, such as the leveling menu for the main character. The only disappointments I really had were the roughness of the translated text, and the lack of widescreen support for the iPhone 5.

Between the great graphics and the compelling story (despite translation issues), EpicHearts also provides a customizable control system. Each user can choose between traditional d-pad style controls or more modern touch-based controls.

Another aspect I found interesting about EpicHearts is that users can even customize the speed of the game. Those who like a fast-paced, more challenging game can set the game to run faster, while those who prefer a somewhat calmer gaming experience can dial things down.

EpicHearts provides hours of excellent gaming, and will keep you coming back for more. The replay value is practically endless.

Verdict[rating:3.5]

EpicHearts isn’t perfect. It has its own set of issues, such as the quality of the translated dialogue, and some initially difficulty getting used to the controls and game mechanics. However, all things considered, the game’s strengths far outweigh its weaknesses, and it remains an excellent example of what RPG gaming on iOS should be like.

For $1.99, I highly recommend EpicHearts to any iOS gamer looking for something new, and to any fan of RPG gaming. At $1.99, EpicHearts is hard to pass up. Check it out in the App Store!

Pros

  • Great graphics.
  • Rich, compelling story line.
  • Affordable – just $1.99!

Cons

  • Dialogue suffers from translation issues.
  • Gameplay can take a while to master.
  • Lacks iPhone 5 support.


Author

J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he's up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor's house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.