Edited with additional personal playing experience Introduction Price: $2.99 iTunes Store link: Merlin's Legacy Merlin's Legacy Lite Developer: Oasys Mobile, Inc Although Merlin's Legacy is quite an old game, it nevertheless is one of my favourite games. The storyline is a cheesy "avenge your mentor" adventure; Merlin has just died, and you are to find out who is behind his death. Gameplay Long version (Scroll down to view simple short version) The actual mechanics of the game is very simple. Two wizards face each other on a long 2D field (varying fields include, desert, forest, snow). Difference between fields are purely aesthetic and do not impact game play. The field view is changed by dragging along the screen. You and the enemy wizard have access to spells that can be learned every few battles. Each wizard uses spells to attack or defend their life points respectively. Every spell has a different mana requirement ranging from one to four. There are three school of magic spells you may learn from. Please Register or Log in to view images Please Register or Log in to view imagesPlease Register or Log in to view images You can mix and match spells from any school of magic to your liking for each upcoming battle, although the game recommends at least one of each type of spell. First of all are missile spells, which can destroy enemy monsters, trees, graves or simply the enemy wizard. Each missile spell has a different effect and strength. For example "Ice Bolt" does medium damage and leaves behind an a temporary area of effect of ice which slows any monster that walks through it. All missiles share the common trait of having a splash effect, which monsters grouped together will all be damaged. Using missile spells require you tapping the icon once then tapping the area on the screen you wish to cast the spell (you do not have to choose each time, as it remembers your selection, defaults to enemy wizard in beginning of battle though), tap the spell icon again to cast. Missiles are cast from your wizard so there is a delay from initial launch to impact at chosen spot. Everyone likes visuals Please Register or Log in to view images Next, monster summons. With these spells you summon a monster from your wizard (or if they're undead, the closest gravestone to the enemy wizard). They travel along the field dealing damage to enemy monsters, shields, or the enemy wizard. Monster strength is also it's hp. The game is scaled so that stronger monsters can mow down several weaker monsters. For example a "Wood Spirit" which costs two mana and has a strength of two can defeat three imps, each costing one mana each. The game therefore favours single or few stronger monster as opposed to a mob of weaker monsters. Upon reaching shields, monsters whittle down the shield's hp without any strength loss, the same can be said upon reaching the enemy wizard. Lastly, shields provide some defense for your wizard. There are only three types of shields in this game, and only one that can attack enemy monsters. Shields are conjured the same way as missiles; A tap on the icon, a tap on the field, and a final tap on the the icon to summon. Ideally, summoning a shield in front of your wizard is the best defense, as it blocks incoming monsters and missiles. Shields summoned anywhere besides in front of your wizard provide only monster defense. Moar visuals Please Register or Log in to view images In addition to spells, there are magical artifacts that appear at beginning of battles that can be picked up by monsters. When a monster with an artifact is destroyed the artifact is dropped. The magical artifacts grant powers to the wizard such as increased missile damage or reduced mana cost for spells. I mentioned trees and graves earlier so, what do they do? Trees are in the field background and can only be generated by summoning a "Wood Spirit" or a "Wood Guardian". Trees can be destroyed by missiles only. When "Druidism" creatures have a tree in their direct background, they gain a one strength bonus. A certain "Druidism" creature gains a bonus for each tree on the field as well, making trees a valuable resource. Graves are summoning points for all "Necromancy" creatures and are a requirement for the spell "Necrotic Strength" which gives bonus strength for each grave. tl;dr Short version (Fiiiine, ignore the long version) Summon monsters, shoot missiles, defend with shields Please Register or Log in to view images A. Life bar. Whoever empties out first loses. B. Mana bar. Regenerates slowly, each slot corresponds to one mana. C. Shield. Must be conjured. Protects the wizard's life. D. Shield strength. Shield is destroyed when swords reach zero. The shield in the diagram can attack, but only this type. Shield strength is not related to shield attack strength. E. Monster strength. Monster is destroyed when swords reach zero. Monster strength is related to attack strength. F. Monster. Different monsters can be summoned with different spells. Monsters attack shields, wizards, and other monsters. G. Tree. Trees give several differing bonuses to "Druidism" spells. H. Missile. They can destroy trees, graves, monsters, and wizards. I. Grave. Graves give bonuses to "Necromancy" spells. Also a summoning point for "Necromancy" creatures. J. Spell bar. This shows the spells you have chosen and are available for this battle. Tap to use. There are three modes of play which I'll cover briefly. 1. Quest This is basically the Campaign and the first mode you will be able to play fully. As mentioned above, you follow the story of an apprentice who must avenge his mentor's death. The story progresses as each battle is fought and little by little the protagonist finds clues until at the end he defeats the murderer. 2. Tournament In this mode, you battle several wizards in a row. If you successfully defeat the string of enemies, you win perks that are applied in all modes of play. Examples of perks is a strength bonus to all "Druidism" creatures and a bonus to starting mana. 3. Endless This is my favourite mode, as this guarantees to a large degree, replay value. As assumed, you embark on endless battles with randomized enemy wizards that get progressively harder (you can choose three degrees of difficulty though). You cannot pick spells in between battles. Controls The controls in this game are well executed with simple taps. There is no difficulty concerning controls. Playing this game I had no trouble using spells, dragging the field, or flipping through the menu. I don't see how controls in this game can get any better. Extra information There is a Feats and Stats menu to view your... well, feats and stats. A picture speaks a thousand words. In this case, two thousand Please Register or Log in to view imagesPlease Register or Log in to view images Options Please Register or Log in to view images Help Please Register or Log in to view images There is no save button, you just exit the game. If you exit in the middle of a battle, you have to start the battle over again. This is good and bad, good because if you're about to die in Endless mode, just exit. It'll save, and continue at the start of the battle. Bad because if you get a call or accidentally exit and you're about to beat a wizard it's pretty much a "FFFFFUUUUU" moment. Thankfully, the battles are short. Glitches in this game are apparently non-existent as I've yet to find any bugs. It doesn't crash, even when backgrounded, which is impressive since I'm jailbroken and usually have Safari, Mail, and a game going at once. One further complaint I have however is the length of the Quest mode. It took me under an hour the first time to complete it and on subsequent completions it took around 20 minutes. This obviously begs the question of replayability. I touched upon this earlier and to reiterate, the Endless mode is the source of replay value in this game. Few times a week I find myself coming back to the game to play or continue Endless mode. Last Thoughts The game is surprisingly well done for such a simple concept. Strategy is a big factor here too. I'll suggest you try out Lite first, then decide. I haven't seen any other game like this in the app store. If you do know one like this please tell me. Ratings Gameplay/Controls: 8/10 - Very good controls, good gameplay. Presentation/Graphics: 7/10 - Graphics are decent and fit the game style. Audio: 7/10 - Nothing special about the sounds. Replay Value: 8/10 - Play it few times a week for months now Value for the Money: 8/10 - Little bit expensive for a short game, but currently no other game like it Overall: 7.6 - "Good"