Lionheart Tactics Review
- Beautiful visual design
- Vast single player story through varied locations
- Characters and power-ups offer lots of tactical options
- On smaller screens you can unwittingly end your turn
- The network requirement frequently limits play
Lionheart Tactics's fast paced and varied campaign make it a brilliant tactical RPG, one which is unfortunately held it back by interface and network issues.
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It is easy to like Lionheart Tactics. Unlike similar Japanese tactical RPGs, it hurls you straight into combat avoiding the long-winded intros and back-story that can limit the genre's appeal. The expectations set by Lionheart Tactics's anime portrait art make its opening pace jarring, as it shatters genre conventions.
Taking control of a sleeping king, you are awakened by a sound, and thrown straight into battle. Each arena serves as a tutorial to various elements of the game, introducing the turn-based combat system, character classes, and special moves.
Despite the exposition, the pace never falters. Within five stages you are up to full force, with six soldiers in your squad, and access to a plethora of in-app purchase options for additional squad members, training, and power-ups. This gives you free reign to personalise your fighting force, and make alterations to suit your tactics.
Every level you battle through wows you with it visual design. Whether you're fighting in a beer soaked tavern, or waging war in a dark, overgrown forest, you're constantly engaged and impressed by the beautiful environments and charismatic character models.
In battle, you control your fighters' movement around grid-based arenas using simple taps. This caused us few issues on smaller screens, as we regularly selected the wrong character or square unless we were zoomed right in.
In turn, this made the energy system frustrating. While it's fair enough to hit a cooldown timer after making a poor tactical decision, waiting (or paying a modest IAP) to get troops back into the fight because the inputs are squiffy is harder to swallow.
Lionheart Tactics's need for a constant network connection also gave us issues. Even with good signal and wi-fi available, we often struggled to stay online for more than one game at a time.
Lionheart Tactics provides a perfect tactical RPG for those who can't be bothered with the genre's usual fluff, but still want a deep tactical experience. Unfortunately technical issues mar the game's otherwise impressive surface, leaving it a few updates away from greatness.