I'm pretty sure we all know what we'd do if our trousers were stolen by goblins. We'd take up arms and hack and slash our way through a variety of different castles in order to secure our pilfered garments from the monsters that took them.
Or maybe just buy some new ones.
The protagonist of Trouserheart takes the first option, and sets out on a rather brilliant quest to recapture his trousers. The end result is a three-dimensional brawler with an awful lot of heart, wit, and charm.
That it fits so perfectly onto the quick-bite iPhone gaming platform is testament to a developer at the top of its game, a fact cemented by how much fun you'll have slashing your way through its hefty chunk of levels.Trouser pocket gamer
You play as a king deprived of his leg warmers in his sleep. Undeterred by your lack of leg covering, you'll stride out onto the bite-sized fields of battle in order to whomp anything that gets in your way as you fight for justice, cash, and the return of your prize pantaloons.
The controls are simple. A stick on the bottom-left of the screen moves the disgruntled king around, and a single button lets you swing your weapon. The cash you earn from killing bad guys, opening chests, and discovering secrets can be spent on increasing your stats.
As you up your numbers, your character changes, getting big armour, a more impressive sword, and a shield that doesn't look like it was ripped from the top of a barrel. It's nice to watch your character change, and the stat boosts are necessary too.
Trouserheart is unafraid to drop large groups of monsters at you when you least expect it, or plonk you down in rooms that are empty save for a single chest. The randomly generated nature of the game means each playthrough different.Trouser press
In Casual mode things can get tough later on, but Hardcore mode is challenging throughout. You need to learn to jump in and attack before darting away to avoid taking damage, positioning yourself so your shield has a chance to block incoming swipes.
Here the campfires, which act as checkpoints, come as blessed relief. Don't let the chunky graphics and bright colours fool you - there's a serious game here, and progression through it can be incredibly tough.
If you prefer a more laidback time when you're gaming then Casual mode offers a pleasingly fast-paced action adventure. If you like things tougher, you can turn on permadeath, meaning that once your character is done you need to start all over again.
The mix of satisfaction and challenge, of risk and reward, makes for an engaging game. And while there's a simplicity to the levelling-up process, there's still enough here to keep you coming back and slashing through the levels again.Zips along
You can't help but smile when you're playing Trouserheart. Even at it's toughest it still seems fair, and the pleasure you get when you've completed a particularly stubborn section laden with gold is reward enough for your exertions.
If you've ever complained that the App Store is full of boring clones then you owe it to yourself to give Trouserheart a go. It's fresh, it's fun, and it'll keep you playing for hours.