I don’t want to be premature, but I think that Battleheart: Legacy might just be the best mobile game of the year. It’s at least sucked me in, prompting me to play it for several hours so far with no signs of stopping. Highly recommended, is what I’m saying.
Battleheart: Legacy is the sort-of sequel to Battleheart, an RPG squad combat simulator that came out several years ago. Instead of just updating the graphics and whatnot, B:L went a slightly different route by making a single-character RPG in which you acquire and complete quests while clearing out various levels around a world map.
The production values here are top-notch. B:L loads and plays beautifully, with very attractive graphics, good music, and an easy-to-understand interface. Combat happens in real-time, with your character auto-attacking while you choose targets, position, and special skills.
The challenge is to clear each stage without dying (dying dings you gold, which is needed for skills and gear). You get five full health potions per stage, but that’s it. If you use them all up on the first few screens, chances are that you’re not going to make it all of the way through. It can be pretty tough at times, which makes strategic fighting more important than wading in and just swinging away.
There are two things that elevate Battleheart: Legacy to “must have” status. The first is that the quests and dialogue are surprisingly involved. Your choice of moods and responses can make a big difference in how a quest proceeds. Sometimes quests end up changing your options of progression later on, allowing you to be quite virtuous or dastardly evil.
But the really addictive factor is the multi-classing. Your character starts with a sword and a single skill. When you level up, you get three stat points to distribute. You can buy into any of your unlocked classes (which start at five and go up as you discover more through quests) as long as you meet the stat prerequisites. So choosing where you allocate your stat points makes a big difference as to which class trainer opens up the next skill for you to buy.
This means that you can be pulling in skills from a wide range of classes if desired — or you could just invest in one class and pursue it to its ultimate ability. Your character gets eight active and eight passive skill slots, creating opportunities to fiddle with your build for the next zone challenge.
I started out as a fighter, pulling in skills from the Knight to get a shield. Soon I found the Bard and went in deep there, getting skills to heal and charm enemies to fight for me. Around level 9, I discovered the necromancer tower, found a skull that made me go on a murderous rampage against mages, and unlocked the necro trainer. Now I’ve transitioned into mage armor, a wicked staff, and the ability to raise skeletons — all while retaining the skills from my other classes. It makes hitting a new level really exciting, let me tell you. And the replay value? I can’t imagine. I’m already thinking that I want to be a ninja next time around.