Clash of Heroes Impressions
Might & Magic Clash of Heroes is an Ubisoft creation with something in it for both puzzle and strategy game fans. I stumbled across the demo in the Xbox Live Arcade, but the game is also available on PSN and Nintendo DS.
The basic premise is a match three puzzle game where army units are the things being matched. Match 3 vertically and they become an offensive attack. Match 3 horizontally and they form a defensive wall to block incoming enemy attacks. The player is limited by the number of moves in a turn before the opponent gets to respond in kind. Completely drain the opponent's HP with attacks and you win the battle.
It's a simple enough premise, but it quickly gets complex in a fun way. Experience points, leveling up, gear, new units, and new skills all show up in the course of the game. I've had a great time tweaking my army as I progress. Personally, deciding between using giant treants or acid dragons was especially difficult.
The main game is split between multiple characters who have different units in their armies. As such, they all play differently. I'm finding that as soon as I got a little too comfortable with a character or army composition I'm thrown to another character and immediately got hooked again. The pacing has been excellent so far.
The game isn't twitch based at all, which is a nice change of pace from what I've been playing lately. It's not hard to jump in and play a short session because battle length is fairly short. Overall, it's a good break from the shooters and real time strategy games that have occupied most of my time in recent months.
So, you want my recommendation? If you're a puzzle fan you can find enjoyment in this game. If you're a strategy fan you can find enjoyment in this game. If you're both a puzzle and strategy fan then you really can't go wrong here. Even though it's not too expensive, make sure to try out the free demo on XBLA or PSN before you buy.