Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hills and Rivers Remain

"Hills and Rivers Remain is a video game developed and published by Square Enix and released for the iPhone and iPod Touch in North America and Japan, and additionally for DSIWare and cell phones in Japan."
So says Wikipedia. That could be the end of this pseudo-review. However, I had a lot of fun with the game and decided it needs a bit of ego stroking. It was fairly entertaining and it kept me coming back. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd say it's right up there with Minesweeper. I like Minesweeper, even though I only understood the game 5 years ago.

H&R is a strategy thingy where you capture bases and each base grants you more troops at the start of a new turn (or is it the end of the current one? Bah!) And that's pretty much it. You have plenty of different maps, some bases boost your speed while others make your troops hit harder but the game isn't that complex. If a base is defended by 5 goons, send 7 of yours and all that. If you have horses you get there faster. Simple, eh?

Even so, the game made every bathroom trip a delight and even though my legs never quite became numb (not like Numblast. Oh, haha but the "numb" in that is actually from "numbers") I found myself having to take the charger with me on several occasions.

The game's story is as cliché as it could be but that's to be expected from a Squeenix game. Kingdoms battle each other and knights struggle with their values and the orders they're given. Not much depth there. But the gameplay experience was surprisingly satisfying enough.

Sound and song were what you'd expect them to be and, even though it pales in comparison, it reminded me a bit of FF Tactics. But, then again, most things pale, shrivel up and die when compared to FF Tactics. As well they should.

I breezed through story mode easily enough, with the odd map or two when they really want you dead. Luckily, there's a free mode where you can not only replay the maps from story mode but you're also presented with new maps (and a bit of useless trivia stories packed in) and the option to play with characters you've been playing against.

But that's the only thing remotely resembling progression the game has to offer. You unlock these maps and characters as you go through story mode but that's the only thing you get, as per my understanding. I do have a vague recollection of a message saying my troops were now more competent but for the life of me they seemed to kill and die with the same efficiency or lack thereof as before.

A good game if you need something to entertain you on your way to work/school/home/bowel release.

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