Jun 6, 2011
Given the calculated, step-by-step nature of turn based strategy games, they fit nicely on mobile devices. You can pick up a turn based strategy game, play a couple of turns real quick, and then save your progress and move on with your day. Highborn brings some robust features to turn based strategy gaming on Android devices, but those features come at a fairly high cost, and we’re not talking about money here.
Highborn offers some strong gameplay. First you select your unit, tell them where to go, and finally tell them what to do. You repeat that process until all your units have done all they can, and then the turn ends. There are basic units like knights and archers, as well as hero units who have special abilities, and special units like monks who can only heal other units. Each unit deals either physical or magical damage, and each enemy has its own set of strengths and weaknesses.
In addition to fighting enemy units, you’ll also want to capture buildings and towns. Each time you capture a structure, you’ll get a bonus of some sort, including an extra spell, or a new special unit. Beating a mission require the player to balance capturing and defending buildings with fighting off enemy units.
Highborn is a lot of fun, and the game looks just as good as it plays. On the world map, the units all have unique looks to them, and combat sequences are rendered in full 3D. The soundtrack provides the perfect punctuation to the visuals, and the presentation and gameplay work well together to provide a solid gameplay experience.
Unfortunately, the great presentation and gameplay come at a price. Highborn takes a long time to load, and it often crashes during the loading process. Once the game’s up and running, you’ll move seamlessly from mission to mission, but getting to that point can be a very frustrating process.
Highborn is a lot of fun, and it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re into turn based strategy games, just be warned that the technical issues can be taxing. When loading up the game, we found that we got the best results immediately after rebooting the phone. Between the time spent rebooting the phone, waiting for Highborn to load, you’re probably going to want to wait until you have at least ten minutes to devote to this game before firing it up. If you’re OK with the wait, Highborn won’t disappoint you.