By Eric Pankoke on Wed, 05/14/2014
Most of the time, I review a game because either I ask a developer if they want a review or because someone asks me to write a review. Occasionally, however, I just feel compelled to write a review on my own, usually because I simply can’t stop playing the game that I’m reviewing. Beach Hero (Free with IAP) is just such as case. I honestly probably wouldn’t have even given the game a second thought had I not coming across it while compiling a list for a different article; but ever since I first launched the game, I find myself spending more time with it than just about anything else on my device. As a result I decided it was time to share it with iPhone Life's readers.
Like many games I find myself attracted to these days on mobile devices, the mechanics are ridiculously simple. You just swipe left and right to move your gun back and forth while the gun fires automatically. Of course if you want some extra firepower, you can press the bomb or grenade buttons on the right side of the screen. The bomb does come in handy as it decimates everything on the screen, but those are limited unless you choose to spend your hard earned coins buying more. Grenades are a lot more plentiful, but only affect the enemies that are right up against your wall, and they're not really powerful enough to be of much use when you actually need them.
There are only four types of troops and one mini-boss, but it’s still enough of a variety to keep things interesting. The grenadiers are the cowards of the bunch, as they hang back a few rows and just lob their ammunition at you. The rest of the troops run right up to the wall before attacking, though each style is different. Basic soldiers attack quickly and relentlessly, while the mobile shields have a slower but more powerful assault cycle. The bombers simply explode after a second causing one time damage to your wall. As you progress through the game you will learn which enemies to attack first, though you won’t always get the luxury of choosing. For example, if you have a wall of mobile shields coming at you then you’ll need to get rid of them before hitting the other troops out there.
Whether or not you destroy an entire wave of opponents, you’ll receive some money; but your bonus will be much greater with a victory. This money is used to upgrade several aspects of your offense like the power of your main gun and the ability to fire multiple shots. You’ll also be able to increase the amount of damage your wall can take. Some power ups require you to have sufficient levels of other power ups before you can increase them, and eventually some items get maxed out or cost an incredible amount of money to upgrade. You can certainly augment your stash of money via in-app purchases (IAP), but with no achievements or leaderboards, grinding towards that next power up is about the only thing to keep you going back. So far it’s worked for me though, as I’ve maxed out quite a few options without spending anything on IAP.
While I haven't played the games yet, the character designs in Beach Hero remind me of screen shots I’ve seen from the Field Runners series. The characters are well designed and nicely animated, and I like the way they fade out after losing all of their health. On the other hand, the solitary background image gets old rather quickly. The sound effects are pretty standard for this type of game and though most of them are easy to ignore after a few plays the rat-a-tat-tat of your main gun can get nerve wracking over time. There’s only one musical track, but at least it’s a decent one.
Beach Hero is somewhat of an anomaly for me. I normally wouldn’t really invest in this style of game because I wouldn’t find it very interesting, yet I keep finding myself loading this one up when I should be playing something else that needs reviewing. The mechanics are extremely simple and actually quite repetitive, but I think it’s the feeling of accomplishment when you earn enough money to take an enhancement to the next level that really gets me. Whatever the case might be, I’ve certainly put my share of time into this game and don’t regret a moment of it.
Overall Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars