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iPhone game of the day: Highborn

Game: Highborn
Price: $0.99 / £0.59
Size: 67MB
Buy it now from the iTunes store:US/UK

Fantasy strategy RPGs are usually very tense, straight-laced, somber affairs. The kingdom is always about to be overwhelmed byorcs, skeletons, or demons,and the only way to avertdisaster is by tactically maneuveringyour gallant knights, gnarled mages, and tragically fragile archers around a bloody battlefield like a chessmaster. Highborn recreates this dramatic tension well, but delivers its story with the spirit of a stand-up comedian. If you like a little wakka-wakka in your wargames, Highborn was made for you.

For example, one of the earlymissions finds a soldierrecycling Sallah's"Verydangerous. You go first"jokefrom Raiders of the Lost Ark. And when righteous, obliviously dense lead knight Archie (think Deathspank or The Tick) rhetorically ask a level boss, "How many of your brood must I slay before you show yourself?" she deadpans back, "Just the four." Granted, you're more likely to find yourself simply smiling at the game's personality than doubled over in hysterical laughter, but it sure beats the usual po-faced "thou must slayeth the dragon lest the entire kingdom be rent asunder" melodrama.

The gameplay itself isn't bad, either. It's traditional turn-based strategy fare, but added touches like monoliths that grant added magical spells andfireball-launching wizard towers that can becommandeered mid-battle help keep things fresh. There's also an HD iPad version (see the bottom screen below) for folks whoprefer their portable gaming jumbo-sized.

Sept 24, 2010

I was the founding Executive Editor/Editor in Chief here at GR, charged with making sure we published great stories every day without burning down the building or getting sued. Which isn't nearly as easy as you might imagine. I don't work for GR any longer, but I still come here - why wouldn't I? It's awesome. I'm a fairly average person who has nursed an above average love of video games since I first played Pong just over 30 years ago. I entered the games journalism world as a freelancer and have since been on staff at the magazines Next Generation and PSM before coming over to GamesRadar. Outside of gaming, I also love music (especially classic metal and hard rock), my lovely wife, my pet pig Bacon, Japanese monster movies, and my dented, now dearly departed '89 Ranger pickup truck. I pray sincerely. I cheer for the Bears, Bulls, and White Sox. And behind Tyler Nagata, I am probably the GR staffer least likely to get arrested... again.