Friday Review: (Game) Hellfire for iPhone

Disclaimer: I am not a gamer. I have never played Dungeons and Dragons, I don’t do role playing games, and I have only a really cursory knowledge of how these things work. Sure, I got hooked into the Angry Birds thing on my phone, and I have a whole bunch of puzzles, arcade, and other games on my iPhone. So, I am going to give my impressions of this game, and hope those who are more familiar with the gaming world will forgive my lack of knowledge.

I got this one because it was free, pure and simple. It is somewhat grounded on card-collecting games, and the creatures you win are depicted as collectible cards. The graphics are really beautiful. Game play is hurling fireballs at a series of creatures, and trying to kill them before they kill you. Some of those creatures are captured and become part of your collection. You can evolve and reinforce your collection to add strength to your health and attack numbers. Naturally, some creatures are stronger than others. There are also special rare creatures that are often rewards for special battles.

The basic game is multiple lands with various regions, each with an elemental affiliation. Certain elements are more effective at defeating others. For example, Death  is more effective against Earth than other elements. Each region has two elements that will represent the enemies faced. Each player has a deck of nine cards that the player can change to work against the enemies faced. Players also gather  allies, who are other players that can be taken on missions. And, as with most games, the more you win, the more you level up. These missions are good, but the real appeal of the game is the special events, which are run often. These have special challenges and gain both the player and allies extra points. There are also special creatures to be collected.

What do I think? I’m pretty addicted to the game. I think it helps that everyone here in the house is playing, so we can compare notes, take each other as allies, and, even though it is not truly interactive (your allies don’t necessarily need to be online to help you), there is strategy involved. At lower skill levels, the reliance on higher level allies to help defeat enemies is crucial. It is not just a shoot ’em up type of game.

I can’t say I won’t get tired of it at some point, but so far, I am enjoying playing, Well, most of the time. I also can’t say it isn’t frustrating at times, when I can’t get past a battle. But it is still a good frustrating. I get determined to figure out how to reset my deck and/or take the right ally to beat this level. Are there things I don’t like as much? Sure. I think some of the rewards in the special events should be a bit looser. It can get frustrating when you hit a special card enough to (maybe) capture it and the free seals you get for playing every day fail time after time. There are a few other things, but nothing bad enough to stop me playing. For a free game, it’s  not bad. I’m enjoying it, anyway.