Have You Played… Might & Magic: Clash Of Heroes?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

The Heroes of Might and Magic games were among my favourites growing up, with their big operatic scores and lovely turn-based strategising. They’re very simple things but beautifully presented and much calmer than their genre stablemates. Clash of Heroes [Steam page] is similarly pretty and calm. It lacks the kingdom management of HOMM but has a much more interesting combat system.

It’s a good job the combat system is good because the entire game is about duffing up baddies. Maps are a series of points, some containing battles or NPCs to chat to, and others containing little encounters or shops. The fights take the form of a strange and, to my knowledge, unique game that involves creating offensive and defensive combinations of units, stacked up in lines and rows. Simple to play but increasingly complex to master, it’s a delight, and its beautifully and clearly presented.

Clash of Heroes doesn’t feel at all intimidating. It sells the central mechanic of the tactical combat system by wrapping it in a simple story, with just enough sidequests and basic exploration to avoid a sense of being pushed from one battle into the next. Underneath the friendly exterior there’s a tough nut to crack. It might not be quite as approachable as Puzzle Quest, but it deserved to have a similar level of success and is much more appealing to anyone who wants a little more depth in their fantasy scraps.

From this site

13 Comments

  1. c-Row says:

    Just reinstalled it this week. I love the combat/puzzle system but I fear any other game trying to implement a similar mechanic would be branded as copycat.

  2. internisus says:

    Excellent game. Nice to see evidence that it’s not as overlooked or forgotten as I think it is.

  3. RedViv says:

    I was quite delighted to see this article on my feed when looking up from my NDS playing, well, the game.

  4. Freud says:

    It’s one of those light puzzle/strategy games that are very relaxing to play. Much like Ironcast. I recommend it.

  5. OttoVonFoo says:

    I have this on my phone and it’s one of those games I’ll play for awhile, get tired of… and then go back to again in 6 months or a year. I would play for longer each time except the temporal cruft associated with each turn seems much longer than necessary. That is, the little “IT’S YOUR/THEIR TURN NOW!” pause + animation takes longer than to make most moves. I don’t need that. Just go. And after a few battles of 10+ turns each… it feels like it’s adding up. Meh. The older I get the grumpier I get about unnecessary UX shiznit.

    • Jeremy says:

      I completely agree. Why does everything have to be SO overdone? When unskippable animations take as long as each turn I take, it starts getting in the way of fun.

  6. ariston says:

    Nice game, but very unfriendly towards us colour-blind folk. Which is kind of crucial, as you’ll probably be picking the wrong units over and over and cursing your mistakes. It kept me from playing it.

  7. Clarksworth says:

    What a gem. Has a great feeling of increasing mastery to it, that never felt forced. Absolutely loved this on the GBA, have since repurchased it for my phone,

  8. Moral Panic says:

    I thought the questing portion of this game had some of the worst writing I’ve seen in a video game, but the puzzling is excellent! Would love to see a sequel.

  9. Sheepdog says:

    “The Heroes of Might and Magic games were among my favourites growing up”

    FYI: Might & Magic Heroes VII (after all the patches it got) is actually a pretty good HOMM game!

  10. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Lovely little game. It seems quite simple but there are quite a few rules and options to take into account.

  11. Konservenknilch says:

    Absolutely. Barely related to the M&M franchise, but really nice gameplay. A good example of interesting situations emerging from simple mechanics.

  12. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    I played it on PS3 but couldn’t get into it because of the huge amount of load times and the unskippable cut-scenes. Maybe it’s better on PC, I don’t know but it left a bad enough taste in my mouth I’m unlikely to find out.

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