Sep 11, 2013
He-Man: The Most Powerful Game In The Universe is a cheeky side-scrolling ode to the popular 80s cartoon from Android gaming masters Chillingo.
Most of the action involves continual left to right movement in the running area. Using the preferred two-thumb control system, the left mostly controls lateral movement, and the right thumb controls the basic attacks and jumping.
The first level is an informal training tutorial. The general premise is to get through the tunnels and henchmen to get to Skeletor. He-Man has his trusty weapon, and it can be wielded and used by tapping the right side of the screen. There are boxes and structures that can be violently reduced to collectible coins, and the henchmen have damage infliction attributes of their own. One cool aspect is that you start with three lives; they can be refreshed by collecting the occasionally discarded heart from vanquished bad guys. Knowledge of how the henchmen attack also governs strategy, as it makes sense to hold back a little when dealing with groups of multiple guards.
As the game progresses, the level of difficulty rises; moving, spiked ceilings, bigger enemies and even physical obstacles that encourage speed of action start appearing. Thankfully, allies like renown weapons master Man-At-Arms and Orko the magician begin to show up. Additionally, it is possible to upgrade weapons and other attributes using collected gems or real cash. The weapons, for instance, are actually helpful, and almost necessary to advance and unlock future levels. Some specials can be invoked from the top right of the screen; The “GreySkull” power-up was quite worth using.
The graphics are cute without being silly; He-Man and most humanoid characters look like the same muscle-bound creatures BALCO customers would be jealous of. The color is great, animations are fluid, and the cutscenes were well done. As far as I went in the game, Prince Adam didn’t make an appearance, which borders on the criminal, but I’m still looking. The jump button was a bit wonky too.
This game does remind me why I had He-Man action figures as a kid, and really, that’s all that matters. Laugh all you want; I’m off to save Eternia!