Intersog has released a new castle defense game called Hellemental. There are several things about Hellemental that sets it apart from most games of the tower/castle defense variety in several ways.
Firstly, unlike traditional 2D castle protecting, Hellemental is in 3D. Your screen is the layout of the front of the castle, with a small hideable window displaying the front door. You can zoom in and out, using the same pinch-pull method used to zoom in and out of images and webpages on the iPhone. Graphics and animation seem to be rather well-done, but I can’t help but feel like they were done at a resolution larger than what the iPhone’s screen can offer. As a result, they look cramped when zoomed out completely. It definitely looks better zoomed in, but then you risk the chance of seeing your enemy earlier and zooming in and out while having to attack them would involve much reallocation of finger placement which can get awkward and tiresome. Another point of interest is in the accuracy of the shots. The elementals are constantly moving towards you and as there is no indicators of where you’re firing, some may find it frustrating when shots they fire seem to but do not harm the enemy. A crosshair or some sort of target indicator may be a useful feature to add in future updates.
Secondly, Hellemental adds an RPG aspect to the game, with a novel and fairly in-depth storyline and (simple) spell/monster-specific strategy. You play a wizard named Elija, tasked with protecting cities against raging elementals. You have an unlimited amount of rocks to throw at them and at the end of each level, you can use the gold you earned to buy and upgrade your spells. Each spell (fire, water, earth, air) corresponds to an elemental of the same varieties and pitting the right spell at the right monster will result in more effective attacks. The language used in the descriptions and instructions reads a little awkward to me at times and I found it to be a particular spot of bother that in their own tutorial, they spell their own main character’s name two different ways. It is unfortunate in a game as detailed and graphically complex as this, however it is minor and can easily remedied in a future update. Also, on initial start-up, you will get asked to register with their server. It is pretty quick and straightforward to do.
Hellemental is a unique game with solid graphics and while it felt a little cumbersome and repetitive to play at first, but because of the upgrades you will receive, different landscapes and unfolding storyline, I can definitely see this as one of those games that you end up enjoying a lot more the more you advance through. This is important to keep in mind because it is a bit of a niche game and will not appeal to everyone. However, it is a very interesting and solid piece of work and fans of castle defense type of games will definitely want to check Hellemental out.
Here is a video demo of the Hellemental app on the iPhone
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