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The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Battleheart is a cartoon-ish role-playing game. The game uses a very basic interface, which makes it incredibly simple to understand and control -- letting you easily get into the thick of battle with the usual RPG enemies (goblins, bats, giant spiders, skeletons, etc.). While the game is little more than a series of battles, with opportunities to buy upgrades and recruit new party members in between those skirmishes, the violence levels are actually quite low. Enemies disappear in a puff of smoke and there's no blood. There's no difference between the iPad and iPhone versions of the game, except for the screen size. An Android version of the app is also available.
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Is it any good?
There's a tendency in role playing games to overcomplicate things. Battleheart takes the opposite path. By lowering the barrier to entry, Mika Mobile has created an imminently accessible title that's incredibly charming. The cartoon-like appearance of the characters might lead some to believe this is a game only for kids, but there's actually a fair bit of strategy required -- as entering the later stages with the wrong combination of characters will result in certain defeat. Controlling the battle is done with a series of finger swipes, which is easy to pick up and keeps players involved in the game without overwhelming them. The lack of any sort of story is a bit disappointing, and at some point among the 30 levels, things do get a bit repetitive, but this is still a must-buy for anyone with a remote interest in the genre.