It’s a common scenario. One game takes off, for whatever reason, and suddenly the App Store is filled with wannabes. The success of Angry Birds has assured a lifetime’s worth of games revolving around the flinging of stuff. Fortunately, Siege Hero HD proves that sometimes a lack of creativity can lead to, if nothing else, reasonably entertaining results.
Siege Hero takes an incredible amount of direction from the Angry Birds school of design to create something that is blatantly familiar while still offering a couple new cute tricks. The major difference between the two games isn’t the fact that pigs are replaced with ancient warriors. Instead, Siege Hero puts the action into a first person perspective, so you’re looking at the destructible fort head-on. Admittedly, you’d be hard pressed to see any other differences when first starting the game.
The action is still 2D, still done up in cartoony graphics that look virtually identical to Rovio’s bird epic, and you’re still flinging stuff. Rocks and bombs of various sorts replace the birds, and there’s no sling shot. The gameplay is actually more simplified in that you just tap on the screen where you want to fling your rock and off it goes. Holding your finger down brings up a scope-like zoom window for finer aiming, which is surprisingly useful.
Munitions vary from just a big rock to three smaller rocks, hot oil, bombs, and even fire. The object never varies though– you have a limited number of shots with which to destroy the enemy. This, of course, means destroying the structure they are hiding in. Physics and material type come into play constantly. Thin wooden piers crack and disintegrate easily, while thick wood or stone takes a lot more effort. You’ll generally aim to cause the structure to become unstable and collapse down around the enemy.
Do the right thing.
One noteworthy addition to the otherwise completely familiar concept is the inclusion of innocent bystanders to rescue. By rescue, we mean, ‘don’t kill’. Aiming to destroy a structure and the enemy while simultaneously not killing the civilians adds a remarkably interesting element to the game play. Many of the levels are quite difficult to complete, but seldom do any feel cheap, and the level design is very well done overall.
If you love the Angry Birds gameplay, Siege Hero HD is definitely worth a look. It throws a few noteworthy wrenches into its otherwise completely clone-like existence and offers plenty of levels to conquer. The game might not be all that creative, but for a quick pick-up-and-play puzzler, it’s surprisingly fun.