Robot Entertainment's Hero Academy has launched on iPhone and iPad this week, bringing with it turn-based battles against other players in a fantasy setting. This free-to-play title allows you to engage in asynchronous multiplayer against both friends and strangers alike using Facebook Connect, specific username search and more.
Each battle takes place on a grid, with color-coded crystals representing each army's health. As you place units on designated tiles on the board, you'll be able to move them into position to attack your enemy's crystal, all the while defending your own crystal from the enemy onslaught. On each turn, you'll be allowed to make five moves in total, whether those moves be placing new units onto the board, healing wounded soldiers, attacking other units and more. You can undo and redo moves as many times as you'd like on each turn, and must finally submit your choices to the server before your turn actually ends.
In each game, you'll have a limited number of troops, potions, etc. accessible to you, so if a battle goes on long enough, you can find yourself scraping the bottom of the barrel, if you will, in terms of troop quality (you'll have access to both ranged and melee fighters, as well as mages). At any one time, you'll have access to six different items in your tray, with units, potions, armor and weapons all taking up those precious slots. It then becomes a strategy-filled balancing act, as you'll have to determine exactly when to put a certain troop into battle, which troops to heal or upgrade and so on, all while keeping your five-action limit in mind.
With Twitter and Facebook integration, Hero Academy doesn't suffer from being a solely multiplayer game. Even if you don't have active friends within the game, you can also fight random strangers to practice your skills. While the game is supported with ads, you can remove these by purchasing the Dark Elf army with real cash (otherwise, you'll only have the human army available to you). Other premium options allow you to change the colors of your armies' uniforms, or purchase packs of avatars to make your individual armies stronger.
With Hero Academy, each individual battle can take quite a while once you get your bearings. Unless one player decides to abandon their crystal altogether, it can be a real fight for dominance as troops fill the board and attacks come from every direction. Still, the game is free to play, so if you're looking for another option in the strategy / turn-based combat genre on your iOS device, it's worth downloading just to try it out.
Download Hero Academy on iTunes --->
Have you tried Hero Academy or other similar strategy / combat games on iOS? How do you think the genre handles on the mobile platform? Sound off in the comments.