Supposedly beards are on their “way out” again, which means they’ll no longer be synonymous with fashion-conscious youths, and once again be the domain of the comic book-reading super-nerd. As it should be.
Here’s one guy who almost certainly won’t be shaving, lest he become simply Hero. I speak of The Bearded Hero, and you can play his debut app outing for £1.49 at the App Store.
What’s the deal? Well, The Bearded Hero is tasked with journeying across seven worlds, and collecting all rings in the 35+ levels therein in order to defeat the evil “evilings”.
As the player, you’re dragged along as The Bearded Hero’s “sidekick”, and there’s a slightly suspicious storyteller involved, too.
In terms of gameplay, you’re looking to draw various paths along a grid layout and tapping play to watch The Bearded Hero move. At various points you can change colour, taking into account the fact that you can’t move through squares of the same colour as the eponymous hero.
The aforementioned evilings throw a spanner in the works, appearing here and there with fixed numbers on their filthy chests. Wherever there’s a red eviling with a ‘5’ in play, for example, The Bearded Hero can’t be red and occupy a space within 5 units up, down, left or right of the eviling. Make sense? Good.
Mixing things up a little, we also have little teleport squares scattered around. If you jump into one from above, you’ll appear below the corresponding one; enter from the right, and you’ll exit from the left.
As such, it’s often necessary to ponder the teleporters for a good long while, lest you emerge in a colour-related no-go zone and have to start the level over.
And that’s it in a nutshell. Things to like about The Bearded Hero: it’s nice and bright, it’s pretty challenging, and the core gameplay is fairly interesting.
On the poop side, it does start to feel a little samey after a few dozen levels, it’s not particularly long or deep (that's what she said), and the attempts at humour are often wide of the mark, though – to be fair – the hero is pitched as being “charming but not-so-clever”.
On the whole, The Bearded Hero is fine – bordering on good. I definitely don’t dislike it, but I doubt I’ll remember it when it comes to compiling the obligatory Best smartphone games of 2014 countdown.
- Nice and bright
- Fairly interesting concept
- Pretty challenging
- Quite samey
- Not particularly long or deep
- The hit-and-miss attempts at humour
Summary: Again, far from the worst thing I’ve ever played, though far from the best, The Bearded Hero is entirely fine.
Price: £1.49 @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.