Release Date: 25/10/12
He-Man: The Most Powerful Game In The Universe Review
Back in the eighties, before Transformers and before Thundercats, there was a cartoon series that grabbed a whole generation. One of a hero with blond wavy hair and a physique that nowadays would be highly questioned. Millions would tune in each week to see this hero and his loyal friends take on the scourge of their planet Eternia. Each day in school playgrounds you could hear kids (including me) acting out their own adventures, and the familiar scream of “by the power of Grayskull!” He-Man was here to save the day. Now he returns to fight the evil maniacal Skeletor on iOS in his brand new game. But is this a little too late? Should he have been left as a fond memory?
As soon as the title screen appeared, a warm fuzzy feeling crept through my heart and soul. The characters were instantly recognizable and a smile crept across my face at the bold title of the game. He-Man: The Most Powerful Game in the Universe! I had a sense that GlitchSoft were having a little fun with the lore of the franchise.
The game is a simple side-scrolling hack-and-slasher, with a few platforming elements included for good measure. Controlling He-Man, you must traverse Eternia taking on Skeletor and his goons to make sure that his latest diabolical scheme fails!
As you fire it up past the main screen, the characters are instantly familiar. He-Man is here with his wavy surfers blonde hair, and an apparent misuse of steroids – bulging muscles that would put even Arnie to shame. The adventure begins with He-Man being captured and locked in the dungeons of Snake Mountain. After breaking free, you have to work your way through the dungeons and get to Castle Grayskull, beating up the goons as you go. I was pleasantly surprised with there being quite a few different locations to traverse though out the game. Areas such as Snake Mountain and the Fright Zone are wonderfully recreated in this 2D game.
The experience is complete with boss fights featuring many baddies from the franchise, such as Beast Man, Mer Man and Hordak. The controls are simple enough to handle; the left part of the screen is used to move around by touch, and you can also jump with a gesture upwards on the screen. In terms of combat, simply tap the right hand side of the screen to use the sword. These controls are fairly simple and I have to say that this system works exceptionally well.
You can purchase power-ups throughout the game by collecting Grayskull tokens. You can also purchase new moves and increase your players health, as well as improve your allies attacks. You heard me right- various allies pop up along the way to assist you with their own unique moves. Man At Arms arrives with a pulse cannon ready to take out enemies who on the other side of the screen. Orko is also about with a little mini game once you die, giving you the opportunity to earn extra continues or more tokens.
You can also say the immortal words “by the power of Grayskull” making you more powerful for a short amount of time. The combat itself is okay, but I would have liked a gesture for parrying/blocking blows. It can also seem a little repetitive at times doing the same thing over and over again.
Luckily there are quite a few collectibles to look for, and these can unlock character bios and artwork. This is a nice touch which adds a little extra to the game, giving you a reason to go back to a level and make sure that you’ve unlocked everything. Also, at the end of each level, you get a rating out of four stars based on your performance.
He-Man is a great nod to a big piece of my childhood. I loved the humor that’s been injected into the lore- not taking itself too seriously. The main characters and levels are well drawn, and for 69p its not a bad little game- especially for those quick five minute distractions on the bus or train. However it can get a little repetitive and the combat can seem a little too simple at times.
Plenty for fans of the series to enjoy.
Combat is basic.