Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes Hands-On Preview

Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes has already lived two lives. The game is a unique puzzle/ strategy RPG that first came out for the Nintendo DS in 2010. The following year it was reborn as an HD game on the downloadable stores for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The game’s third life begins on January 24, when it comes to the App Store as a universal app for $4.99. We’ve already taken it for a spin on the iPad; read on for the details.

At first, Clash of Heroes might seem like a fairly basic puzzle game. You and your opponent face off on a gridded playing field, with your army on the bottom, and your opponent’s on top. A line across the middle separates the two factions, and never the twain shall meet– at least until one of you sends a troop on a suicide attack mission.

The game plays out as a mix between a strategy game and a Match-3 puzzle. To build up your defenses, you line up three or more similar troops in a horizontal line. To mount an attack, you form a vertical line. Your matched up troops become stronger with each turn that passes, and eventually your attacking troops will charge across the center line, dealing damage to any enemies in their path. If they make it past the enemy troops, they’ll deal damage to the enemy commander. This plays out until either you or your opponent runs out of health.

Once you get a little further in the game, you’ll start to realize that there’s enough depth here to make the Grand Canyon jealous. You gain access to bigger, more powerful troops– but they cost money to purchase, and they’re harder to arrange on your battlefield to mount attacks. Each troop type has different abilities, and you have full control over which types you send into battle.

As the commander of your army, you also learn powerful abilities that can add to the destruction your army causes, or help heal you when you need it. These abilities can also be swapped out between battles, allowing you to hand-pick the most useful one for the situation at hand. Add in bosses, battle puzzles, changing victory conditions, and a multiplayer mode, and you’ve got a nearly never-ending amount of content.

As you can probably tell from the screenshots, the iOS version is a port of the HD version of the game. The touch controls work as you’d expect, with taps and swipes to arrange your troops on the board. In our build, the game makes you tap a little above where we’d normally tap to select a troop. This isn’t a big problem– it just takes a little getting used to, and it may be addressed before the game’s release.

We’ve been having a lot of fun with Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes on iOS, and are looking forward to playing the rest of the campaign when it comes out in two weeks.