EA to Shut Down Rock Band for iOS

Any fans of the Rock Band Mobile edition are in for a nasty surprise on launching the app on their iOS devices:

That’s right; without so much as an apology or an offer of reimbursement or compensation, all iOS copies of Rock Band will cease to function at the end of May. This is a shocking move, considering the game’s modest success upon its release in 2009 and the wide range of music add-ons that players could purchase from the App Store. While shutting down multiplayer game servers is nothing new, it’s surprising to see EA take it to the next level and completely shut down an entire game, especially considering the option to simply discontinue DLC content for the app. It’s more than likely they want to shift attention to their newer “Rock Band Reloaded” app, even if it’s by force. We’ve tried reaching out to EA Mobile for commentary, but have yet to hear a response. Stay tuned for updates to the story as it develops.

UPDATE: In a statement released to CNet this morning, it would appear that EA is not, in fact, shutting down Rock Band and that the message was sent out in error. One has to wonder how a message that specific can be a mistake, but at least rockers will get to keep playing on their iOS devices.

Battleheart Review (iOS/Android)

Gamers looking for strong titles on their iOS or Android devices really have a mixed bag. With casual gaming so prevalent, it’s hard to find really solid games that can keep a player hooked for hours. That’s why it’s especially nice to find games such as Battleheart, an Action RPG developed by Mika Mobile. Battleheart lets you create a party of up to 4 adventurers, and through battling monsters level up and acquire loot. The centerpiece of the game lies in its control scheme: while in battle, you can move your characters around the screen by tapping and dragging from the character to where you want them to go. Attacking is just as easy, by dragging a line from your character to the enemy you want him or her to attack. While the game does reward strong micro-management skills, it’s approachable enough to be picked up and played by just about anyone. The game features a broad cast of characters as well, spread out between 10 unique character classes, each with its own unique skill tree which you can progress in as the character levels up. Using each character’s skills is easy as well – just tap on the character and their skills will appear in the top-left corner of the screen, which you can tap on to activate.

The sheer amount of classes available allows you to build a party of adventurers to suit your own personal preferences. Knights, Paladins, and Monks can act as tanks to take damage that might kill your weaker party members. Damage dealers such as Rogues, Barbarians, Rangers, Wizards, and Witches can kill off enemies and support your party in surprising ways. Meanwhile, support characters like the Priest and Bard can keep your party alive and make them stronger. You’re given free reign to construct your party however you want, and the game rewards experimentation. Battles consist of moving your characters around the screen to attack enemies and avoid their attacks. Most battles last about 5 minutes on average, and consist of waves of enemies you’ll need to defeat. Some battles have you fighting special boss enemies, which will require special tactics to defeat. Winning a battle rewards your (living) party members with experience, gold, and loot, which you can equip them with to make them tougher and deadlier. And if you’re feeling lucky, you can take your party to one of the game’s Arenas, where you’ll find endless waves of monsters to earn rare loot, depending on how many enemies you slay. Between battles, you can hire new party members at the Tavern, assign skills at the Academy, outfit your party in the Armory, buy and sell loot at the Merchant, and swap active party members at the Keep.

As far as the game’s presentation, the art style is cute and clean, which suits the game’s whimsical charm. Being a fantasy game, the musical score is appropriate, and while you won’t necessarily be listening to it out-of-game, it helps with immersion.

Mika Mobile has created a rare treat on the mobile platform, an action game that appeals to casual and hardcore gamers alike. Battleheart is available on the iOS App Store and the Android Marketplace for $2.99. Although there is no trial version of the game, it’s hard not to recommend, especially at such a low price for all the entertainment you’ll get out of it.

Verdict: Buy It!