Allstar Heroes (Hands-On) (iOS) Preview

By Lex Firth 27.03.2015

Review for Allstar Heroes (Hands-On) on iOS

It can be incredibly easy to dismiss free-to-play games as a product of corporate greed, especially given their prevalence on mobile devices recently. Scrolling through the App Store, it's difficult to find a game that isn't laced with in-app purchases, constant reminders to submit a review, or advertisements that grind the entire action to a game-breaking halt, and it's disheartening at times that what was once hailed as the next frontier for gaming has devolved into such unabashed clamouring for the consumer's 79p.

Enter, then, Chinese export Allstar Heroes. Having already taken conquered the Asian charts last year, developer Lilith Games is now targeting the West with this free-to-play title - but thankfully it's a much fuller package than many others in its category.

The first thing that most will notice about Allstar Heroes is not its gameplay, but rather its charm. The game looks fantastic, with a fantastically diverse range of character designs, each with their own different attacks and skills. While they mostly fall into standard RPG tropes (elemental mages, walking trees and orcs are the order of the day here), each looks great and is enhanced with smooth animations and simple yet pleasing scenery.

In fact, the entirety of Allstar Heroes' presentation is brilliant. Its soundtrack may fall on the generic side, containing a variety of genre-standard rousing battle themes, but it's fitting and even provides an incentive for players to keep the sound switched on - a real rarity in mobile games. Even the menus are laid out cleanly and neatly so that new players can jump in with ease.

Screenshot for Allstar Heroes (Hands-On) on iOS

That's not to say, however, that there's particularly a wealth of features on display. The gameplay could best be described as a mixture between its mobile brethren Brave Frontier and Final Fantasy: All the Bravest. The similarities with Brave Frontier arise from its alchemy-style hero summoning mechanic, albeit done in a slightly different way: Allstar Heroes has players collecting enough of a certain character's "Soulstones" by completing particular stages in order to bring them to life. It's an interesting way of doing things, but ultimately can end up taking too long - some of the more powerful characters have around eighty or more Soulstones to find.

The comparison with All the Bravest, sadly, comes from the level of interaction the player has. Whereas the Final Fantasy spin-off's gameplay entered around tapping each character individually to set their attacks off, Allstar Heroes robs the player of even that. The gameplay is a simple case of letting a party of heroes fight waves of enemies automatically, with the only human interaction during battles being the occasional button press in order to deploy a special move. It highlights the necessity of pre-fight preparation, with upgrades and party switching becoming key, but it means that boredom sets in far too quickly.

There are a few other quibbles about Allstar Heroes - it takes far too long to load up; the multiplayer features (an extension of the single-player gameplay) take too long to unlock; the story is thin with too little dialogue to understand the plot - but most of these are fixable, as the game is yet to be formally released and there is confidence that Lilith Games is committed enough to this project to make it as playable as possible before its Western release.

Screenshot for Allstar Heroes (Hands-On) on iOS

Final Thoughts

Allstar Heroes looks set to be a great addition to the ranks of other free-to-play RPG-lites, such as Brave Frontier and Puzzle & Dragons. Despite premium currency and an energy system, it's not intrusive with its demands for money, and the character designs are clean, happy and incredibly charming - a great package at no cost. For those that need even more persuasion, the game is officially in closed beta on Android, and to celebrate Allstar Games is running a launch promotion here.

Developer

Lilith

Publisher

Allstar Games

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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