Siege Hero (HD) review
It’s impossible to talk about Siege Hero in either of it’s iterations (iPad or iPhone versions) without mentioning Angry Birds. The games are nearly identical in play mechanic, with only a few differences separating them. The main and most obvious of these is the perspective in which you attack collapsible structures. In Angry Birds, you launch from the side, with accuracy depending on how well you can predict the arc of a flightless bird. In Siege Hero, you attack from the front with pinpoint accuracy. The two viewpoints make the games different enough to want to play them both, but sorry, Siege Hero--a comparison to Angry Birds is simply inescapable.
Angry Birds, and coincidentally Siege Hero, has its roots in a Wii title called Boom Blox. All of these games involve locating the weak points of unbalanced structures and exploiting them with some kind of projectile. Siege Hero falls somewhere in between Angry Birds and Boom Blox by co-opting the 2D perspective of Angry Birds and the attack perspective of Boom Blox, delivering a joint experience that's incredibly fun. As long as you glaze over the game's obvious influence, your iTunes money will be well spent.
For those unfamiliar with what will soon be an entire genre of mobile games where you knock stuff down, it’s a simple concept. There is a structure within view that contains assorted treasures and enemies, and it's your job to send objects flying toward it. In the case of Siege Hero, enemies are historical in nature. You’ll take on Knights, Samurai and Vikings in your journey of destruction.
The nice thing about Siege Hero is that your point of attack is incredibly accurate. You can tap the screen exactly where you want your projectile to go. If you want to play around with the experimental chaos that is structural physics, you can hold down your finger on the touch screen to bring up a zoom reticule and hit that perfect sweet spot between two bricks. It’s the main feature that sets the game apart from that other one with birds and pigs, and it makes the whole experience (dare I upset the Angry Birds masses by saying it) more fun.
As you go about destroying things with your arsenal of projectile rocks, bombs, oil and fire, fair maidens must be saved. To do this, collapse the buildings around in a way so only the enemies are knocked over. It certainly adds a challenge to completing the levels with the highest scores, but the levels without people in need of rescuing are generally much more fun. Luckily, it’s not game over if you accidentally kill an innocent--you'll just miss out on receiving a golden crown for the level and unlocking extra levels.
The entire game contains 63 levels along with 10 additional levels that can be unlocked by playing the main levels well. After achieving the coveted golden crown on all 63 levels and the additional 10 bonus levels, I still had not unlocked the Game Center achievement for playing the game for three hours. It's a short game. Right from the main screen, though, is the promise of additional content coming soon, so Siege Hero can be seen as a bit more of an investment.
The iPad and iPhone versions are identical, so it comes down to which device you prefer. Either one will deliver the same experience. The advantage to playing both is the ability to unlock twice as many Game Center achievements, but that is hardly a reason to buy a game twice.
Siege Hero is more than a worthy companion to Angry Birds. I would even go so far to say that it's worthwhile competition to the mobile gaming juggernaut. The game is only different in a few ways, but they're substantial. The biggest problem is the limited length, but with updates coming soon (supposedly), that hopefully won’t stay a complaint for long.