In a world where one could literally drown themselves in the amount of RPG titles that are constantly thrust upon the unsuspecting public, Swap Heroes 2 is given to us unwashed masses like a breath of fresh air. This turn-based strategy game delivers across all fronts, giving the player exactly what they want from a mobile RPG. There’s just enough of a challenge, cute pixelated graphics that harken back to an older time (complete with a great soundtrack), and an interesting spin on what could have been another faceless RPG. Those familiar with the previous title, Swap Heroes, will be happy to find that this game is not only similar but also greatly improved.
Swap Heroes 2 comes to us from game-developing Canadian Chris Savory, who did a wonderful job updating and rehashing the sequel to his popular title bearing the same name. This
game may have its problems, but it is widely a success, especially when compared to other RPGs currently on the mobile market. Alas there is no plot, but I did not find myself wanting or missing a storyline to drive my rag-tag group of heroes through the fantasy land. You begin the game with four characters (mage, warrior, bard, and fighter/brawler) and find yourself facing adorable animals ready to maul you into a puff of death. Adorable animals? Yes, your first fearsome (and furry) foes are woodland creatures stripped from a cartoon musical. It’s momentarily bewildering to find yourself facing such a seemingly timid foe; but timid they are not. These may be simple forest-dwelling creatures, but they put up a hell of a fight. The first level is a slightly rough breeze on the easiest difficulty and the champion is given a star (used for upgrades) and a new character. The newest character to join your party is an adorable hooded fox armed with a bow and arrow. And so forth do you advance through the world, swapping your party and laying waste to those who dare cross your path.
While this game may be short, it does give the player a lot of re-playability. The levels can be re-visited upon completion and you can pit your party against a higher difficulty of foe. While you are playing the same level again, which may be boring, the higher difficulties do pose a much more serious challenge and provide added hours of bonus frustration. Characters earned later in the game can definitely offer an advantage when revisiting previous levels and add an extra element to the gameplay. When each stage is cleared the player is able to upgrade the party’s overall stats. And seriously, who has ever turned down extra health? During this time you can also swap a new character into the party, some characters will definitely be more frequently used in battle than others, but there is also (always) a strategy to who you bring to each stage. The werewolf, a character you receive early in the game, is strong but does no damage unless the enemy is directly in front of it. I quickly banished him to the depths of my party where I quickly forgot about him and the dishonor he brought upon my group. While I may have loathed my werewolf, my skimpily dressed mage was consistently favored with a place in my party, finding her special attack rather adept against all foes.
Overall, Swap Heroes 2 is an extremely successful sequel to a pretty decent first game. There do seem to be some technical issues, like game crashing after successfully clearing a stage (which will happen at random), but other issues I had were quickly remedied within the past few days with a new update. Should you buy this game? Do you really need another classic RPG? Depending on your threshold for the genre, it should be a definite purchase for those looking for a classic with some unique additions.
Is it Hardcore?
Classic, cute, and fun. What else do you really need from an RPG?