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iPhone Review: Helsing’s Fire

Posted on 27th Jul 2010 at 09:28 by Joe Martin with 2 comments

Joe Martin
Egads! London has been invaded by monsters, who skulk through the shadowy, smoggy streets in search of fair maidens to devour. All that stands in their way is vampire hunter Van Helsing (and his man-servant, Raffton), who much push back this blight with naught but a handful of torches and a few monster-slaying tonics.

From the pitch you’d expect Helsing’s Fire to be just another clumsy action game, but it’s actually a rather gentle puzzle game played from the top-down perspective. The aim of the game is still to purge London of monsters, but it’s done with brains rather than brawn.

As with most puzzle games the gameplay is fairly straightforward at first, but quickly escalates as nuances and complications are layered on top of the core rules. To start with it’s merely a matter of positioning your flaming torch so that you cast rays of light on as many monsters as possible, then using colour-coded tonics to destroy them utterly. Later levels introduce more complicated elements though – shielded foes, fair maidens who must be protected and skellingtons who’ll extinguish your torch should you get too close.

iPhone Review: Helsing’s Fire  Iphone Review: Helsing’s Fire iPhone Review: Helsing’s Fire  Iphone Review: Helsing’s Fire
Bring me some gin for this tonic!

What really sells the game and makes it so enjoyable though isn’t so much the mechanics of the game, but the style which pulls it all together. Van Helsing and Raffton’s calm, classic speech contrasts brilliantly with the fist-bumps and high fives they celebrate cleared levels with, for example. The simple, stylised graphical style makes Helsing’s Fire instantly endearing too, especially when Raffton offers quips to expertly dispatched baddies – “Crumble, foe!

Helsing’s Fire is far from perfect though; the core campaign is expansive, sure, but it’s clearly padded out more than it needs to be. The difficulty curve is so relaxed that it’s sometime hard to tell whether it’s climbing or falling, meaning that the first few stages sometimes struggle to hold your attention – especially since it takes a good thirty or so levels before you unlock Survival Mode.

Ignoring the overall ease though, there’s no denying that Helsing’s Fire is one of the most humorous and pleasant puzzlers on the AppStore. It doesn’t have the moreish-ness of something like Bejewelled, but it’s still a great time filler.

Verdict: A bit slow on the whole, Helsing’s Fire’s main strength is the humour and art-style rather than the core gameplay – but it’s still not a title to be sniffed at considering the low price.

Helsing's Fire is available for the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad. Get it from the AppStore for 59p / 99c.

2 Comments

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pimlicosound 27th July 2010, 11:30 Quote
Joe, I agree, this game is good fun, mainly for the presentation. Although, right now, I'm hooked on Chop Sushi! That game is a better puzzler and the presentation is even better - a perfect parody of typical Japanese bizarreness.
melone 29th July 2010, 11:21 Quote
When ordinary townsfolk start to disappear Dr. Helsing and Raffton head to the Shadow Blight to eradicate the monster who caused the townsfolk to mysteriously vanish and who happens to be the infamous Dracula. Helsing's Fire is a new kind of puzzle game that’s designed to work on the iPhone and iPod touch. The actions can get frantic and puzzles are intriguing.

Gameplay

Helsing's Fire isn't your ordinary puzzle game. The gameplay is much more exciting: you use torches and tonics to destroy Dracula's minions on your way to destroy the blood sucking monster himself. In Helsing's Fire you have a torch to illuminate your surroundings. Depending on the monster's color you use the same colored tonic to eradicate them. It would have been easy, but there are obstacles in your way that can block your light, and in darkness, there are usually monsters lurking behind. The gameplay becomes challenging and very intriguing here since you have a very limited supply of tonic, so you have to use them wisely while navigating through the light and darkness. If you happen to run out of tonics and still have monsters left in the screen then you must exit the level and start all over again.......Electronic Book Reader Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6" Display, U.S. Wireless)

Killing Dracula's horde isn't everything. You can also get achievements depending on how many monsters you slay. And there are ton of monsters! Helsing’s Fire has a sprawling 90 levels in 3 worlds. If you pride yourself as a monster killer, you’ve come to the right place to hone your skills. Different monsters also possess special abilities. There are 13 types of monsters including werewolves, ghosts, vampire bats, mummies and more, each of them harbor a deadly weapon. Some can shoot arrows and others can attack you're torch, making the game more challenging and a lot more fun!

After you beat 30 levels you'll unlock survival mode. In survival mode you must destroy all monsters before time runs out and if it does run out then you lose. It’s game over if you run out torches or tonics also. So you really need to plan where you are going and use your tonics efficiently and accurately.
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