Colosseum Heroes by Gamevil deviates from the usual IAP game formula a bit. It’s a paid app for $0.99 that also features several extremely powerful in-app purchases. Is this a good thing? Is it a bad thing? Hard to tell, really, but let’s give it a whirl.
I’ll begin by saying that Colosseum Heroes is a very very fun game as far as 2D RPG Side-scrollers go. The graphics and animations are great, and the music and sound effects fit the theme very well. It’s got a very nice, large selection of weapons that you can purchase or upgrade with in-game resources that you gain by killing enemies.
There are 2 paths that you can choose. Either the Knight, or the Vampire. The two are different both in appearance, with different armor sets and weapons, as well as in statistics. The weapons differ in style as well as effect, and the vampires focus on spells more so than ranged weaponry like the Knight does.
Your hero basically has to fight off waves of incoming enemies, most of which attack at melee range, but as levels progress, more ranged enemies show up. After a number of enemies have been killed, one will drop a golden key. Once you’ve collected this key, you can exit the arena. Nothing is forcing you to though, and if you think you can handle things, it’s actually a good idea to stick around and milk the stage for as long as you can so as to get the coins you need for some upgrades.
Enemies will also drop power ups in the form of speed boosts, damage boosts, health potions, and so on. The types of enemies vary a lot, and each enemy has his own speed, defense, and attack pattern so you won’t be getting bored with waves of the same old monster over and over again. Occasionally you will also have to deal with particularly powerful monsters (wouldn’t really call them bosses per se).
In your fight with the incoming monsters, you have various melee weapons, ranged weapons and spells that you can use. It’s best to upgrade these in the order that you find yourself using them most in. Personally I upgraded the melee weapon first, then ranged, then spells, etc. but to each their own.
Colosseum Heroes also features a Challenge mode, which is a timed mode of the stage you’re currently on. It’s a fun variation that allows for some diversity. It’s also a good way to practice your new weapons/spells.
The game provides you with 6 character save slots which is a nice bonus, as you can run different builds on different characters. Builds may be exaggerating a bit though, as the only differences would be the gear, but hey, it’s a nice bonus.
Some may find the action a little bit repetitive but that’s honestly not so much due to the game, as to your own play style. If all you do is smack smack move smack, shoot over and over again with the same 2 weapons then yeah, it will seem repetitive, but if you mix it up, the game does in fact offer quite a bit of variation.
The worse part about the game to me was the fact that the screen doesn’t flip, so if you’re using headphones, the jack is going to be a HUGE thorn in your left hand. This should really be fixed, as it can become very annoying. You could always just pull the headphones out, but sometimes that shouldn’t be mandatory.
The difficulty curve of each stage is pretty good, and it seems a bit easier on the knight, as he seems to be more focused on defense, so you can afford a few slip ups. If you buy the IAPs, you’ll probably find that the difficulty curve is beyond ok, but hey, not everyone wants to shell out money. Personally I didn’t find it imperative to buy the IAPs, but some may like to, and good for them.
Another issue is that the game has no real story behind it, it’s just one fight after another. With the amount of work that went into the visuals and sounds and general feel of the game, a nice backstory with some story progression would’ve been epic, rounding out the characters, etc.
A multiplayer option would be tremendous, however implementing it might remove a lot of the game’s difficulty so if it is done, it should definitely be done with a lot of caution.