Tiny Heroes for iPhone
As any proper nerd could tell you, fantasy gaming isn’t just about heroes braving dungeons and slaying dragons. Equally important is the mad architect who bludgeons, shreds, and perforates any would-be adventurer who dares to loot that dungeon’s precious treasures.
This is the appeal of Tiny Heroes, a tower defense game for the iPhone and iPod touch from Simutronics. As waves of cartoony heroes (that is, enemies) wander into your dungeon, you protect your treasure with spinning blades of death, floors concealing spikes, and caged monsters ready to do your bidding, among other hazards. You’ll have to plan for several kinds of heroes, each with its own specialty, from knights who shrug off damage to thieves who undo your best laid traps.
The gameplay is extremely similar to Plants vs. Zombies, but maps change between levels, making some approaches more sensible than others depending on dungeon layout. At high levels—Tiny Heroes boasts more than 50 unique levels—play requires a combination of strategy and tactics.
So you’ll need to balance between planning ahead with smart barricades and dropping explosives in the thick of a fight.
The lack of music may disappoint some players, but I was happy to focus on the satisfying sounds of heroes getting eaten. Fortunately, when adventurers are controlled by artificial intelligence, you can kill them off without worrying about losing friends.
[Jason Tocci is a writer based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.]