Guns'n'Glory Heroes

There's a big movie out at the moment in which dwarves, elves, and a little chap with big feet take on a 3D dragon. You may have seen it.

HandyGames presumably has and, understandably, is using the box office Hobbit behemoth to support the timely launch of its first fantasy-flavoured title.

Guns'n'Glory Heroes uses the series's familiar model of traditional tower defence waves being fended off by player-controlled units, which need to be constantly shuffled around to block enemy waves. On top of that it adds a dash of Might & Magic.

It's a tantalising prospect and a charmingly presented title. It's only let down by cumbersome controls that often fail you like those heartless Wood-Elves did the dwarfs in the battle for Erebor. Oh, and where have all the guns gone?

A kind of magic

An evil Dark Magus is terrorising the land of with his Orc minions (sounding familiar yet?) and only your intrepid trio of heroes can save the day with their mix of unique powers.

Your Knight, for example, has a mighty sword and strong defensive skills, while the Dwarf can go berserk, melee-style, and blow up enemies with barrels of booze. The gentle lady Elf proves your most useful warrior, though, thanks to her powerful ranged spells that keep the enemy droves at a safe distance.

Each hero has to be moved individually throughout the generous 50 battles that make up the five-chapter story, with the priority always being to block incoming waves and defend a key area (such as a castle or portal).

Early on, swiping a 'hero' icon to pick a character and then tapping to either move it or use one of its four powers is simple enough. Once things get hectic, though, you'll constantly be selecting the wrong warrior and getting muddled over who's hacking at what beast.

It doesn't help that no matter how much you level-up your heroes through combat experience they remain incapable of doing more than basic attacks without your direct control.

Lord of the coins

To help out, you can occasionally pick up potions on the battlefield or buy specific buffs from traders conveniently placed on the battlefield. Of course, the extra strength and life-restoring brews come at a real-world cost that will have you reaching for your Google Wallet.

You normally get one free, as a taster, for each battle, but by the end we were downing more potions than Sambuca-chugging participants of a Brighton stag night just to stay alive.

Admittedly, neither of these quirks diminishes the appeal of Guns'n'Glory Heroes's opulent fantasy looks and challenging combat, but they take the shine off an otherwise precious package.

Guns'n'Glory Heroes

The new fantasy setting means there are fewer guns, but there's still a fair amount of glory for tower defence fans prepared to battle some control quirks
Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
A newspaper reporter turned games journo, Paul's first ever console was an original white Game Boy (still in working order, albeit with a yellowing tinge and 30 second battery life). Now he writes about Android with a style positively dripping in Honeycomb, stuffed with Gingerbread and coated with Froyo