When I heard that Chillingo—makers of hit games like Cut the Rope, Catapult King and Mad Coaster—had teamed up with Mattel to developed a new game for iOS (iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad) based on the 80′s cartoon (and action figure) He-Man, I couldn’t wait to try it out. If you were a child of the 80′s—and most likely a boy—your life was probably consumed by one of, if not all, three of these cartoons/toys; GI Joes, Transformers and He-Man. He-Man was such a big part of my childhood, in fact, I remember dressing up my dog—a small Sheltie—as Battle Cat and “saving the day” in the basement. Ah, Good times.
Anyway, I’m getting off topic. The team at Chillingo didn’t just replicate the 80′s cartoon series with He-Man: The Most Powerful Game in the Universe, they updated it for He-Man’s 30th anniversary and even added in some tongue and cheek humor, like how the characters reference the fact they’re in a game. The artists took a more stylized take on the characters of Eternia, giving them smaller heads and legs, but massive arms and chests. Everything is extremely well polished and even the music has an updated, yet familiar vibe to it.
Rather then be a straight up adventure game, the development team took a more casual approach, setting the game up to act like Angry Birds. You have individual levels or “areas” of Eternia that each have about 4-5 “stages.” Once you complete a stage, which are relatively short, you’re honored with stars—a maximum of three—for how well you completed it. Each stage is littered with gems and He-Man “H” logos (which provide the player with unlockables, like concept art and pictures of old figures) the latter of which are hidden, some times off the field of view, which can only be seen by double jumping.
The gameplay itself is pretty straight forward, on the bottom left corner, you’ll place your left thumb, which you’ll slide right or left depending on the direction you want to run, as for the bottom right corner, simply tap to attack and swipe up to jump or double swipe to double jump. As I mentioned, during each level you’ll obtain gems that you can use to purchase upgrades like an extra heart container or new attacks. The first one that I purchased was a whirlwind attack. To pull off this new attack, instead of tapping to attack, you simply swipe down. The only downside is that He-Man stands still and can’t move until he’s done, so you’ll have to time some of your attacks just right.
Overall, the game was a blast to play, it wasn’t too difficult (probably so younger kids can get in on the action too), but it does get a little tougher the farther you progress. For fans of the original show who still hold a special place for He-Man in their hearts, you’ll love it. All the villains (or henchmen) are present like; Beast-Man, Mer-Man, Hordak and of course Skeletor, He-Man’s arch nemesis, you’ll also see guest appearances from Man-at-Arms, the Sorceress and Orko. For me, the game’s price tag of $0.99 was a small price to pay for a trip down memory lane, if you’re anything like me when it comes to your childhood heroes, you’d be foolish not to spend money on this great game. As for those of you who never watched the show, I think you’ll enjoy the game as well, it’s fast paced, fun and is just a well made side-scroller.
Give it a shot. For you Android fans, a version for you is coming soon, so be patient.