Capybara Games' delightful Might and Magic Clash of Heroes began its life on DS, then was adapted into an HD release for consoles and PC. Now, that HD version has been re-downsized for release on iPhone and Android. Clash of Heroes will bring its match-three-to-fight strategy puzzle combat to iOS on January 24 for $4.99, with an Android version to follow.
If you haven't played it, Clash of Heroes is a puzzle game in which you control an army with match-three puzzle mechanics. Line up three of the same type of fighter vertically, and you launch an attack. Line them up horizontally, and you defend. There's a lot of complexity beyond that, but that's the basic, endlessly addictive idea.
Having had the opportunity to experiment with Clash of Heroes on iPhone, I can confirm that it's definitely based on Clash of Heroes HD, and still looks great. The luxurious 2D character art and animations look fantastic on a retina screen, as you'd expect.
However, being based on the HD console game has a weird downside: the display is still horizontally oriented. That means that all of the actual puzzle gameplay – all of the battlefield – is relegated to the middle of the screen, with the sides padded with background imagery. On a TV, this is fine, but on a 4-inch iPhone screen, it makes no sense and makes precise touch controls more difficult (a zoom feature ameliorates this issue somewhat). This is especially frustrating because the original DS version was vertically oriented, in much the same aspect ratio as a vertical iPhone screen.
I should also note an unfortunate bug I've encountered, though it's one that will be fixed by the release date. My most recent attempt to play Clash of Heroes on iPhone has left me stuck at the start screen. "Tap the screen!" a caption reads, but tapping the screen has no result. Ubisoft informs me that the bug will be addressed by January 24, so you should be able to both buy and play the game.