The first thing I thought when I saw this game was, “This is going to be just like God of War, isn’t it?” And it pretty much is, but this isn’t a bad thing. From the main character being a lone Spartan warrior fighting mythical monsters to the quick-time button presses required to defeat the bosses, this game is pretty much a stripped-down clone of the aforementioned quest for vengeance, only without all the extra gore and sexual imagery.
The storyline is pretty derivative and not really worth mentioning, but the game play overall is pretty excellent considering the limitations of the devices. The touchscreen controls, though a little hard to get used to at first, are extremely responsive. The movement is controlled by a ‘joystick’ that is dragged in the direction you wish to move, and attacking is controlled by combinations of taps and dragging an icon with the currently equipped weapon. Like I said, a little hard to get used to, but once you get the hang of keeping your thumbs in the correct positions you’ll be running and slashing with the best of them. There is also a decent variety of weapons to use, all of which can be upgraded to improve damage and change their looks, which helps keep the combat from becoming a chore (or at least helps it be an interesting chore). The only complaint I had with the actual controls was that it is sometimes hard to stop a combo once you begin it, which can leave you swinging your blades through thin air as enemies attack from behind.
Graphically, Hero of Sparta isn’t anything spectacular. The character models are roughly rendered, though it’s not that bad considering that you’re probably going to playing it on a phone. The level designs are pretty, though the linear nature of the game play means you won’t get much of a chance to admire them. The linear game play also means that this fairly short adventure won’t take you that long to finish. A casual player might take as long as 3 hours of total playtime to complete the story, where a dedicated one might be able to finish in half that. The weapons are all upgradeable and there is an option to start a ‘New Game +’ with all of your acquired weapons and items exactly as they were when you defeated the final boss. But by your second (or third at the outside) play-through, you’ll have seen all there is to see.
Overall, Hero of Sparta is a pretty good action/adventure game, especially for the $1.99 price tag. The different weapons, upgrade options, and interesting enemies will keep you occupied for at least an hour or two, a good way to kill time by killing mythical monsters.