As one of my favorite, favorite strategy games is tower defense, I always have springboard space for new and upcoming TD games. In this case, I just downloaded by Tiny Heroes ($1.99 via iTunes) and saying that I am blown away is an understatement. Tiny Heroes is not your garden variety tower defense.
The game title sounds like a Japanese RPG. Moreover, characters involved sound like they jumped out of a Final Fantasy game — knight, wizard, cleric, thief and ranger. But those are not the characters you will control. In fact, those are the foes you would have to endure and dispose of in this game.
In Tiny Heroes, you play some bad guy whose task is to protect the treasures in dungeons from the pesky greedy heroes. Your job is to kill them, in a classic tower defense style, with a variety of defenses. You have a few treasures in the treasure room and if the heroes make it out of the dungeon with all the treasures, you will fail the level.
This game features A LOT of defenses to choose from, including the very basic spike trap to the resource generating mana crystal to something really powerful like a volcano or a lightning rod. Much like a game of Plants vs. Zombies, you would have to choose just a limited amount (eight in Tiny Heroes’ case) of defenses each level to dispose of the heroes. With this much variety and very little slots, you choices can make or break your game. You can play favorites on defenses, if you want to, though, as some traps really go well together. This defense combination is my favorite: wall blade, spike trap, living wall, lightning tower.
While it is a real joy to go through the hilarious description of towers and defenses in the Tinypedia, let us not forget the heroes you would have to squash. As you would have suspected now, each type of enemy has different abilities and traits. The knight can tank damage and is strong, the cleric heals, the archer is a long range attacker, the mage especially likes to kill your resources and the thief disarms floor traps. There are some combinations that are very hard to defeat, mind you. To make it even more challenging, there are epic versions of each hero that have more abilities and stats. I especially hate the epic ranger and his piercing shot that kills every defense in a straight line.
What makes Tiny Heroes different from PvZ is the fact that it features different dungeon lay out each level, requiring you a different strategy from the previous level. A catapult might work very well last round but this time, not so much. You are presented two chapters of campaign and three chapters of challenge levels. Enough to deprive you of a few nights of sleep.
The game is drawn in a goofy cartoony manner — the heroes have bug eyes that glitter greedily when they carry treasure and they die with no blood, you only see a pile of bones or ash and a spirit departing to the afterlife.
The game certainly lacks in the audio department. You only hear sound effects but no background music. I hope the developers can add to it soon.
Also, bad news to iPad users because this game is an iPhone app and you would have to enlarge the app to play. However, iPad version is coming, according to their forum.
Overall, Tiny Heroes is a must have tower defense game to those who love the Tower Defense genre. Tiny Heroes does make the impression reserved only for the likes of epic games like Plants vs Zombies or Cut the Rope and that is just awesome.
Tiny Heroes at a Glance
PROs: Great PvZ inspired tower defense game, careful planning and strategy is needed for every level, cute and funny animation, awesome defenses
CONs: lack of background music, no iPad version
The Point: The tower defense genre is overcrowded in the iPad and iPhone but this one manages to stand out.
Price: $1.99 for iPhone / no iPad Version (buy the iPhone and enlarge it)
iPhone (You must enlarge the app for iPad): Tiny Heroes – Simutronics Corp