And that’s just the start of Legendary Wars‘ content! During the main campaign the player progressively unlocks bonus minigames-of-sorts accessible from the main menu. These allow the player to relive the aforementioned sidescrolling obstacle course levels to heart’s content or engage in infinite battles. Additional modes like these normally strike me as a tad gimmicky, but in Legendary Wars they become an integral part of the experience when the player realizes that monetary rewards earned for performance in these minigames carry over to the main game. While the story mode’s levels can be re-played to build up cash, most players will probably opt to use the unlocked modes instead because they offer nice diversions when mingled into a normal playthrough.
Between confrontations in the game’s story mode the player can splurge on upgrades to castle defenses and troop types, which will appeal greatly to fans of stat micromanagement. While regular cash earned through victories within the main campaign and bonus modes suffices for most common upgrades, a much rarer form of in-game currency must be traded for the most powerful options, including new equipment sets and additional Dwarf miners. Here the much dreaded In App Purchase can be called upon, but thankfully it becomes a non-issue with judicious management of resources earned during a typical playthrough.
I found the movement virtual buttons used in Legendary Wars‘ sidescrolling minigames a little too small to be completely reliable, but its most standout interface flaw lies in how difficult it is to highlight and command individual soldiers when several are closely crowded together. The player can alleviate this with very careful attention to keeping troops spread apart, but this is extremely difficult to pull off in the heat of battle. Ultimately, this interface weakness lends itself to a particular strategy: the player will often find it best to create a front line with a thin screen of soldiers, putting them to their most efficient uses through individual commands while building a close-packed horde behind them. When the player’s frontline skirmishers become overwhelmed, the reinforcements’ sheer numbers are typically enough to launch a successful counterattack once the player issues an army-wide march order. In the absence of such a calculated workaround, the player is liable to grow frustrated with accidentally misdirecting particular soldiers — and the game’s challenge is certainly robust enough that the cumulative effect of repeated mistakes can transform an otherwise well-managed campaign into a rout.
Legendary Wars sports gorgeous hand-drawn sprites and environments. Its music consists of very compelling, full-length orchestral tracks, which should be a real treat for anyone as tired as I am of the 30-second jingles found in so many cell phone game ports. A surprising amount of tender love and care has even been poured into the designs of the game’s menu systems. All told, Legendary Wars’ presentation has to be one of the most impressive among 2D iOS titles — a fitting match for the sheer depth of gameplay to be found beneath such an enticing outer coating.
If you have the least interest in strategy games Legendary Wars is a real keeper, with gameplay that’s deep, varied, and chock-full of hectic fun. RPG fans will also appreciate its complexity if they’re in the mood for a lighthearted story that pokes fun at medieval tropes. While the fundamental strength of its interface weakens a bit when soldiers are tightly packed, most players will be happy to wrangle with this flaw because the game’s design and amount of content on offer otherwise feel perfect.