Sorry to disappoint fans of the Mel Gibson flick of the same name, but this game has absolutely nothing to do with the classic tale of the Scottish struggle for independence. Rather, this incarnation of Braveheart is the tale of a horndog who gets caught molesting a princess in public.
In exchange for his own life, he accepts the king's option to go on a quest to bring back a holy artifact instead. It's a comedy – and while this isn’t the most graceful example, it actually has a fairly decent sense of humor. It's not just a comedy though, it's also an action game through and through.
Once you get past the humorous plot set-up, the game is mostly about bashing foes with a huge mace. A mace so big, the protagonist has to spin around in circles just to use it (accomplished by spinning your finger around in a circle anywhere onscreen.) When you need a ranged killing machine, you’ve got a crossbow - you simply put one thumb onscreen to anchor your whirling warrior and tap the screen where you’d like to shoot.
The “spinning like a top” attack strategy may seem basic, but it’s also welcome – you’ll find yourself facing off against dense waves of enemies from all sides. The action is obviously simple, but Braveheart's leveling system and item stores – as well as power-ups like dynamite, fire and ice blades, and so on – kept us coming back for more.
Braveheart also features a fairly extensive leveling system (for a two dollar App Store game.) You level up throughout battles, which then awards you with points to allocate to several areas of your character's skill set (melee attack, ranged, health etc.).
You'll earn gold which can be spent on different types of weapons and other gadgets and potions. The weapons aren't just statistical upgrades though. Many of them offer a switch in play style, although they're still all focused around the archetype of flails and crossbows.
At just $1.99, Braveheart is an strong value. There's quite a bit of gameplay here, and its compelling blend of light-RPG elements and action brawling will keep you entertained for hours. Just remember: Nobody is going to jump out and shout “Freeeeeedoooomm!” – that’s some other dude with a noble aorta.
Dec 10, 2010