Battleheart came out over seven years ago, but it remains one of my favorite iOS games of all time, and that's not an easy feat. I remember first downloading it when it came out, and I invested dozens of hours into the game — I was clearly addicted.
Several years later, Battleheart Legacy came out, and while it had the same general feel, it just felt slightly off to me. It definitely didn't hook me like the first game, and it was somewhat forgettable compared to the original.
But now Battleheart 2 is out, and it's rekindled my old flame with Mika Mobile.
Story and setting
Just like the first game, there's not much of a story going on in Battleheart 2. There's a bit of flavor text for each character that you can use in your party, but other than that, players get an assortment of pint-sized battles to partake in.
The world of Battleheart 2 is pretty, though. As you go through the world map, you'll see that it takes place in the typical fantasy medieval setting that's standard fare for most RPGs. You'll find various environments for each stage, such as lush forests, hot deserts, icy tundras, and more. Each area appears quite detailed as well, giving the game a much more polished and modern feel than the first.
While Battleheart is an RPG at its core, the gameplay works a bit differently than what we're used to. However, since the game is on a touch screen device, it works out incredibly well.
You'll see the world map each time you enter your game save file or return from a battle. Several randomized battles appear on the map, with details like level and rewards shown to you.
Before going into each fight, you can pick up to four characters (out of 12) for your team. Unlike most RPGs, you can select any character you want, as they're all unlocked and available from the get-go. Each one specializes in tanking, damage, or healing, as indicated by the symbol next to their class type. They'll have their own unique spells and abilities to use in battle, but stronger ones need to be purchased with skill points that you earn.
Ideally, you'll want to go for a battle that's closer to your current party level, but harder fights usually have better rewards. I'd recommend at least grinding a few levels before attempting a tougher one.
Each battle consists of several waves of enemies. Once you defeat one wave, there's a few seconds before the next one comes in. The fights consist of drawing lines with your fingers to direct movement and select targets. Everything happens in real-time as well, the game's fairly fast paced.
Once the battle is over, you'll earn experience for your team (the team level covers every character so they're all equal), and receive any additional rewards that you saw on the level select screen.
After every battle (win or lose), a new, random selection of battles appears on the map. You can also tap on the "Gear/Talents" section to view the shop, equip your team, upgrade their talents (skill points), and enchant their gear (crystals). The shop inventory changes after every battle, so make sure to check it often!
While Battleheart 2 retains much of the original gameplay mechanics, it does introduce multiplayer co-op battles.
To use the multiplayer feature, just tap on it on the main menu of your chosen game file. Then give the room a name or enter the name of an existing room. All available players in a room are shown in the left, and you can select as many characters as needed so that there are a total of four among all players. The number of characters can't exceed more than four.
Whoever's the leader of the room gets control over the map and levels. During battles, you can only control your chosen characters, but you can select teammates as targets for heals and other defensive capabilities.
I love the multiplayer capability, but it's a little disappointed that it appears to be local only. Maybe someday in the future Mika Mobile can add online co-op.
When Battleheart first came out, it was a completely unique game with an interesting control scheme. While many games have come out since then with similar controls, Battleheart 2 sticks to their tried-and-true formula. For those who haven't played the original, the controls in Battleheart are simple, intuitive, and designed for touch screens.
To direct movement for each character, draw a line from the one you want to where you want them to go. If you draw the line to an enemy, the character auto-attacks once they're in range of their target. Healers can target teammates to heal or cast other defensive spells on them. Your team can also begin attacking automatically once enemies approach them.
As mentioned earlier, each character has unique abilities. In order to activate these skills, tap on the character you want, and then tap on the skill icons in the upper left to use them. Everything has a cooldown, but you can queue it up to use immediately when ready.
The only negative thing about the controls is selecting characters when they're overlapping each other in the midst of battle. When this happens, it can be difficult to pick the character you want, and sometimes you end up making ranged attackers move instead of targeting an enemy.
Visual and audio design
One of the things that made me fall in love with the original game was the art style. The first game had a cute cartoonish style that I found simple but incredibly charming, and it introduced me to Mika Mobile's flair.
With Battleheart 2, the aesthetic's upgraded, so there's no more of the simple cartoon style that fans adored. However, the new graphics appear to be much more polished and modern, giving the game much more life, so to speak. The environments look gorgeous with textures and shadows, and each character sprite packs in a lot of detail.
The music remains similar to the original game, as well as the sound effects. If you enjoy medieval tunes, then Battleheart 2 has your jams.
After being slightly disappointed with Battleheart Legacy, I'm glad that Battleheart finally has a true sequel. This title follows their classic formula, and it's equally as fun now as it was back then. I love being able to pick whatever character I want as well, since it gives you a good chance to play around and experiment with what works best.
Once you start Battleheart 2, you'll have a hard time putting it down. It's definitely worth the wait and the price.
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