I need to start this review with a disclaimer – If you don’t like repetitive titles, you won’t like League of Heroes.  Having said that, this little game has pleasantly surprised me.  The story leaves you to your own devices, placing you in a tiny village where you can go on heroic quests and find fame and fortune as an adventurer.  You’ll be engaging in combat, further combat, and even more combat.

The game has RPG trappings like leveling up, buying armor and so forth, but combat is definitely the focus.  Your quests all involve battling to collect experience, money, and items.  In the village you can visit the weapon shop or the herbalist’s, learn new techniques from the trainer, and get new quests from the chief.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

While the combat is repetitive, the variety of monsters helps to keep things fresh.  They’ll advance as you progress – serpents for instance will become fire serpents.  It isn’t just mindless button mashing either as each monster has their own patterns, which you’ll have to develop timing or hit and run tactics for.  Some charge at you, others attempt to pick you off with projectiles from a distance, and others employ group tactics.  There are also challenging boss battles.

This is a vibrant game, whose bold colors help compensate for a lack of visual diversity.  While the forest you trek through looks the same, the layouts change with each mission.  You can also play with day or night settings, and weather effects.  While you can manually pick the time of day (making for some nice evening lighting effects) the weather effects (fog, rain, etc.) are only random.  The 3D doesn’t add much in my opinion (the game doesn’t run as smooth with it fully activated) but it’s still a nice option, and certainly preferable than having no 3D at all.

The audio is pretty nice, with enough music variation to not annoy.  Likewise the sound effects are a fine complement. Some light voice acting adds to the fun.  Settings allow adjusting the audio to your liking – you may want to have it set high, or use headphones.  Control is basic, but solid.  Actual buttons are superior to the games iOS origins.  There are still instances where things feel a bit clunky though, such as lining up with moving enemies, or trying step on bugs.  The touch screen has helpful info with the click of a stylus, such as reminding you of your present objectives.

For a game that wound up in the review queue unexpectedly I’m finding League of Heroes to be lots of fun!  I’m not sure how it will hold up long-term.  However, having sunk in over 7 hours already, I can definitely say that’s $4.99 worth of entertainment.  The levels are short enough for quick play sessions, and the streamlined design makes it easy to return to.  I don’t know what kind of audience this is finding on 3DS.  But with no in-app purchases, no advertisements, 3D effects, improved controls, and updated and generally more polished gameplay, this serves as an example on how to properly port older iOS games .  Repetitive games are tricky to pull off, but League of Heroes is enjoyably addictive!