Kingdoms in turmoil. War between Elves, demons, humans, griffins, and unicorns. Sounds like standard fantasy stuff, but Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes is anything but typical. The Match-3 / strategy hybrid garnered a lot of positive attention when it hit the Nintendo DS in 2009, and again when it received an HD remake for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 in 2011. The iOS version of Clash of Heroes is essentially the aforementioned HD remake refitted for mobile. While the port is a bit sloppy in places, don’t let that stop you from adopting what’s still one of the best strategy titles in recent memory.
The story for Clash of Heroes revolves around six kingdoms and a “Blade of Binding” that has kept demons at bay for ages. Lo and behold, the demons break free of their prison, the blade goes missing, the kingdoms rally against the bad guys, and so forth. The story for Clash of Heroes isn’t riveting, though it takes you to some admittedly cool places at times (including the kingdom of the dead) and the character dialogue is occasionally hilarious.
But you don’t play Clash of Heroes for its story. You play it to fight, and fight you shall. Each battle pits your army against your rival’s. Said armies are composed of differently-colored foot soldiers, elite units, and champion units. You simply need to match up three similarly-colored units to launch them at your enemies (after varying charge times), but elite and champion units—the real heavy-hitters—require you to put two or more fighters behind them before they’re allowed to break loose and wreak havoc.
The Last Unicorn
While you definitely want to thin out your opponent’s herd, your real goal is to physically attack their life bar and deplete it. If it hits zero, you’re the winner. If your bar hits zero first, er, well, you’re the loser.
Though Clash of Heroes’ battle system is a snap to learn, its depth is bottomless. Strategic thinking and foresight are key, especially if you’re playing multiplayer. To make things even more interesting, the nature of your army shifts depending on what kingdom you’re playing in. The elven kingdom’s fighters favor speed and defense, whereas the mighty Griffin kingdom is all about power.
Clash of Heroes was a remarkably fun strategy game when it hit the DS four years ago, and it remains enthralling. It has its frustrating moments, however. Boss battles can be particularly rage-inducing because they often come with a special set of rules that require you to hit a moving target, or else avoid some idiot who’s wandering around on the battlefield for whatever reason. Luckily, most of these moving enemies / idiots follow a pattern that can be easily memorized.
Smokey the Bear approves
The iOS port owns some exclusive problems, too. The action is tiny on an iPhone screen. You can pinch and zoom on the front lines, which is a huge help, but an iPad is definitely your best option. The tap controls are responsive on the battlefield, but tend to be finicky on the map screen. Hint: swiping in the direction you want to travel sometimes works a little better than tapping.
If you already own an HD copy of Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes, the precise physical controls might serve you better. But if you don’t own the game in any capacity, or you want an HD version of the game that you can play on the go, make sure you enlist today.
Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes developer trailer