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Trouserheart (iOS) Review

/ Nov 20th, 2013 No Comments

In a mash-up of hack and slash arcade style gaming and the age old stories of adventures to reclaim what has been stolen, Trouserheart puts a twist on an age old trope with the addition of graphics endearing to all and a title character that’s amusing enough to make the fight worth it. From Dicework Games and 10tons Ltd, Trouserheart is a hack n’slash adventure game available for most iOS devices that’s perfect both for lounging in front of the TV and quickly picking up while in line at the airport or bank.

Story

Trouserheart begins with an image familiar to many fans of the fantasy genre: a portly king upon his throne… but unfortunately in this case having dozed off and misplaced only his pants. When the King is roused (by a polite tap on the glass that separates you both) the dastardly deed is revealed: The pants have not simply been misplaced, but rather stolen off the King’s very legs.

The player must assist the red bearded King in reclaiming his trousers by journeying to various areas and fighting through hordes of enemies to discover who has stolen the King’s most precious, majestic, leather trousers and get them back. The looming truth as each area is cleared without any sign of the missing bottoms is that it may be that the King will be forever clad in only his heart adorned boxer shorts.

Gameplay

From wily tentacles sprouting from the earth to little pesky, thieving, block-like minions, and from armored knights wielding spike adorned shields to gelatinous blocks that such you in and drain your precious hearts, there is plenty of variety in thine enemies while the title still manages to maintain its easy accessibility. And in addition, while most enemies are linear in that a few taps at the right angle will finish them, each level’s boss has a different weakness, beckoning a different strategy for overcoming.
 

The King's castle can be visited for more health and to perform upgrades.

The King’s castle can be visited for more health and to perform upgrades.

As each room generates different combinations of combatants with each playthrough , play can be unpredictable and thus challenging whilst trying to make it past one last room to reach the checkpoint before being drained of health. Nevertheless, health is occasionally dropped by enemies along with coins, gold bricks, and jewels that can be spent as currency on upgrades to the King’s armor, sword, shield and crown, each with corresponding abilities. Health is also dispensed from barrels that drop at checkpoints or reside in the King’s home.

While all the levels can be easily cleared in two hours, three is you upgrade every piece of the King’s equipment for the completionists out there, there are higher difficulties including a hardcore mode with the option of permanent death.

Controls

With an option between floating and fixed controls, navigating and fighting through each level is as simple as using one finger on the on-screen control stick for movement and the other on a single attack button: a true to the core hack n’ slash. That said, it’s easy to mistakenly step over the edge of a platform and difficult to edge around to flank enemies, which can be frustrating at times.

Graphics

Using the Unity game engine, the framework beneath games such as Gone Home and Surgeon Simulator, Trouserheart is simply beautiful on the iPad with a mobile charm highlighted by the playful animations of the title character.

Overall

The peg-legged, red-bearded, handsome King makes for an amusing character through which to journey through the kingdom, but like most games of the genre, once played through, there’s nothing new or different to be experienced. While well worth its $2.99 price tag, many gamers will be disappointed at the repetition and lack of customization and re-playability.
 

Miranda L Visser

Miranda L Visser

Gaming since she dug an NES out of a dumpster down the street from her home as a child, Miranda L Visser contributes to Gaming Illustrated while working on her M.A. in Norway. She dearly misses steak and being able to walk down the street to buy cheap games.
Miranda L Visser
Miranda L Visser

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TROUSERHEART (IOS) REVIEW

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall75%

Gameplay7

Easy to pick up and quite literally play anytime anywhere.

Graphics7

Completely smooth and colorful on the Unity engine.

Sound8

Playful music provide an engaging backdrop to the thunk of your sword colliding with enemies.

Replayability5

Once it's done, it's done.

Story8

A short adorable adventure for all ages.

Addictiveness9

Extremely fun to play and beat in one sitting.

Controls9

Truly intuitive with the extra option of floating controls for customization.

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