To be blunt, Hellemental is a time waster and nothing more. The controls aren’t intuitive, the icons are confusing and the instructions are anything but clear.

The game looks polished, with more than acceptable 3D graphics and very fun, sparkly particle effects and a wide, well-realized diversity of creature designs.

The sound design is actually really nice. Music is suitably fantasy-like and the sound effects are appropriate and well designed, making good use of the speaker at all times, but that’s about it.

With all that said, developer Intersog seems to overreach on scope a little too much, way too much in fact. In a world that crosses Middle Earth with Azeroth with the Warhammer mythos, you control a wizard defending cities from elemental beasties.

By the way, they’re called hellementals because they’re, yes this is a quote from the intro-text, “hella mental.” This is the first of many, many moments that strain your belief in the game as entertainment.

Read on for more.

See. We weren't kidding. "Hella mental."

You defend cities in the country of Norlisk which the intro describes as “irritating” and “a bully” that leaves its shores unprotected when the Emperor “Luke the VII” goes off to conquer the new world. Norlisk’s neighbors, The Elementals decided to capitalize on this opportunity and attack.This is sort of weird. The phrasing makes us wonder why we should be defending the country at all? If Norlisk is ruled and populated by such annoying individuals, why do we want to defend it? You apparently play a wizard named Elija who shows up to defend the cities “if the price was right.” Why? It simply don’t make sense or make us care.

Isn’t Norlisk simply getting what’s coming to it? We simply couldn’t bring ourselves to CARE about the mission.

Not that it’s all that clear what the mission is. Standing on the ramparts you can choose spells and power ups to smite upcoming elementals as they literally ram themselves into the front door and plunge from the sky.

You cast spells by tapping on the area you want them to influence but nowhere in the instructions does it say this. The instructions are presented on the loading screen in screen caps that are scrunched to fit within the “scroll” theme the game uses all the time.

You can barely read the text and the controls are simply too busy.

Hellemental simply tries to be too much for an iPhone game, which is even more audacious for one without a pedigree. It’s all well and good to throw this sort of world building into a remake game like the ports of Final Fantasy I and II when people are already invested in the idea… But to start from scratch like this? On an iPhone? Brash at best.

Keep it simple! The best iPhone games are ones a 5 year old can play. This is not one of those games. The screen is too small for the amount of stuff on it and the controls are unintuitive. Maybe an iPad version will alleviate this.

Developer Intersog boast 50-plus Apps in the App store and 2,000-plus active users and 7,000-plus downloads per day. The majority of their apps are educational and reference material or tests and quizzes, so a game like this was way out of left field.

It shows.

The game is decent, but we simply can’t see anything that would make us recommend purchasing the App for full price (it’s currently on-sale in the US store for $2.99)

Hellemental’s free cousin, Hellemental Magic isn’t a full experience, but if a truly free version comes along, it’s worth wasting your time with, but certainly not $3.

[Rating: 3/5]

 

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