Apple Arcade: A Review of HEROish

Is Apple Arcade's newest castle defense game any good?
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Our rating: 4.25/5

Apple Arcade only just came out in 2019, so building up an extensive catalog of good mobile games, the kind of mobile games that gamers love and are loyal to, took time. Recently, however, Apple Arcade subscribers have been pretty spoiled with the amount of good gaming options. From RPGs to FPSs, Apple Arcade has something for everyone, and for the low price $4.99, about the same price that one game alone costs in the App Store.

Recently, Apple Arcade released their newest mobile game: HEROish. HEROish is an action and castle defense game on mobile that is available to any Apple lover who subscribes to Apple Arcade. In HEROish, a fiery sorceress Lavinia summons the evil Lord Marduke, and together they create undead armies to fight, while rocking out with their pretty rad electric guitar. Basically, it's part "world tour" part world destruction, and players get to start the game fighting the bad guy before becoming the bad guy.

That is, however, if players decide to play the campaign instead of jumping straight into multiplayer battles with other HEROish players. After all, HEROish is a castle defense game meant to be played with others too, for gamers who prefer battling it out with one to two other players.

Either way, HEROish is the newest of the castle defense games on Apple Arcade, and it might be the best too.

Developed by

Sunblink

Platform(s)

  • iPhone iOS 13.5 or later
  • iPad iPadOS 13.5 or later
  • iPod touch iOS 13.5 or later
  • Mac macOS 11.0 or later (M1 chip or later)
  • Apple TV tvOS 13.5 or later
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Controls in HEROish are about as intuitive as controls can be in a game, especially a mobile game. One of the downfalls with mobile gaming is that controls are often either too simple or too complex. HEROish has definitely taken the simple route, but that doesn't mean it makes gameplay too simple or too easy, either.

Gameplay itself is challenging enough, as long as gamers customize the difficulty to what best suits and challenges them. The fluidity and ease of the controls in HEROish just makes it more addicting and more satisfying in terms of gameplay.

Players simply move the "joystick" to move, click on a spell card to play it, and repeat. Heroes automatically attack enemies when they are within range, so players can focus on their deck and playing the right cards to fight their enemies.

Pros

  • Simple tutorial at the beginning to help players learn the controls.
  • Easy controls that feel intuitive.
  • Controls don't over complicate gameplay.

Cons

  • None!

HEROish is a castle defense game with 6 playable characters, A.K.A HEROish heroes, all of which have various cards to collect. With each playable character comes a customizable deck of those cards which require carious amounts of mana with each use.

During the first campaign, "Imperial," heroes can use those cards in winning combinations to fight large, armor studded bears, undead troops, and other various bad guys before destroying their Soul Gem and taking them out. Of course, once players have been the good guy (Imperial), they get to be the bad guy (Cursed) and kill and raise troops from the dead.

Luckily, this is not one of those castle defense games that is pure strategy, leaving out story and music and all of the glorious things that make good games really immersive. There are many RPG elements to HEROish, cool cinematic scenes, and the music and art tie everything together in a big, red bow. What makes is better, everything from the graphics to the music feels uniquely and thoughtfully put together.

Playable characters

One of the lovely things about HEROish is that players get to experience both fighting and being the same characters. Personally, I love playing the bad guy in HEROish. Lavinia, for example, has an amazing customizable deck, so that players get to experience the same game from a whole new standpoint.

  1. Flynn- A tank with a striking resemblance to Johnny Bravo
  2. Vega- A ranger/assassin with a loyal warrior pooch, Ajax, and a super cool eye patch.
  3. Lavinia- A sorceress/assassin with fiery hair and a killer crown.
  4. Spiderbait- A cute but scrappy rat bandit and assassin who rides around Tiki the raccoon.
  5. Lord Marduke- A warlord, fighter, and music enthusiast with an impressive Mohawk.
  6. King Bully- A tank to be reckoned with and King of the "Bearzerkers."

Pros

  • Good selection of playable characters, both "good guys" and "bad guys."
  • Cute graphics from scrappy rats like Spiderbait to Ajax to the troops that can be summoned using a heroes' deck of cards.
  • Ability to experience gameplay from multiple perspectives, with different abilities, and chose which character you prefer (in the first campaign, players chose between Flynn and Ajax, etc.).
  • Each character comes with unique styles, both graphically and in combat.
  • Heroes often come with furry combat buddies like Ajax and Tiki.
  • Great, cohesive art, music, and storyline.

Cons

  • Would be nice to have more options for different classes, such as various archers, etc. Though, the playable characters offered are awesome.

The gameplay in HEROish is some of the best I've experienced in mobile gaming, and definitely one of the better games I have played on Apple Arcade. Basically, HEROish has it all. The unique characters, battle locations, music, and storylines allow players to get the full gaming experience.

While I hesitate to call any game flawless, it's clear every aspect of HEROish was carefully considered. Character dialogue isn't a pointless aspect of gameplay to skip over, but actually enhances gameplay and clarifies the challenges of each unique battle. The game scores match the style and theme of the game, and allow players to get lost in hours of gameplay. Plus, the customizable and unique decks that come with each playable character/hero comes with some amazing cards to use when defeating enemies.

All in all, it is extremely hard not to get caught up in gameplay when playing HEROish.

Gameplay options

HEROish players are able to play both campaign or multiplayer. By playing the campaign, players get the full experience and the storyline offered in HEROish. While I prefer the campaign, and am not one to choose the multiplayer option if there is one, it does offer a different way for gamers to experience the game and interact with other HEROish players, if they are into 1v1 or 2v2 battles.

Pros

  • Fun gameplay.
  • Each battle is unlike the last.
  • Changing playable characters in each campaign makes gameplay varied enough that it never gets boring.
  • Option for multiplayer 1v1 or 2v2 battle with other HEROish players.

Cons

  • Campaigns could be longer. I breezed through the first campaign far too quickly. Unfortunately, that means this game is easy to beat in a fairly short amount of time. Though, you can always repeat campaigns.

At the end of the day, there are very few mobile games out there that are as good as HEROish. It has everything one could ask for in an RPG and a castle defense game. It's unique, fun, comes with cute playable characters, and allows players to experience gameplay with different playable characters and classes.

Decks are unique to each character, which means it's like playing a whole new game with each campaign, and to be honest, the game has everything. HEROish has the story elements and dialogue that gamers only get to experience in an RPG, and the strategy necessary for a castle defense game.

This game will be taking up space on my iPhone for a long time to come.

Pros

  • Easy, fluid controls.
  • Fun, varied gameplay.
  • Awesome heroes with different customizable decks.
  • Good graphics, music, and more.

Cons

  • Wish there were more campaigns to work through. Essentially, I want more of HEROish! There simply isn't enough.
  • Wish there were a few more characters from various classes.
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