Iron Man 3, Rio, and The Dark Knight are just few of the games that have tie-ins with movie releases. While the games themselves have rarely matched the magic of the movies, they continue to tease fans to take home a piece of the movie magic with them. Fox Entertainment and well renowned animators Blue Sky Studios have collaborated with Gameloft to release their magical fantasy adventure story Epic to gaming fans, just on the eve of its official release in movie theatres across the US. Can Epic transfer the magic of the movies on to mobile devices via a real-time strategy game or will it be another epic disappointment like Iron Man 3? Let’s find out.
The Fight Against Evil Was Never So Lame
Epic is set in an enchanting forest inhabited by Jinns and Leafmen, who led by their Queen Tara fight the evil Boggans and their commander Mandrake, who want to destroy the forest by spreading blight. You enter the magical kingdom to help the Jinns in their fight against the evil forces and are guided by a couple of slugs Mub and Grub, who show you around the kingdom and nudge you to complete tasks. You will also find movie characters Nod and Mary chipping in with their own tasks and tips. The game’s resources, seeds and nectar will help you construct and upgrade plants and feed the leafmen who train to defend the kingdom.
As with all simulation games, each task plays out in real time, so you will find yourself spending time on planting and harvesting seeds and nectar, building storage plants to hold these resources, and finding magical plants to aid the leafmen in the battlezones. You can always speed up the tasks by using up additional nectar, seeds, and aura, a special magical gift from Queen Tara. As as all good simulation games go, you will eventually run out of aura, earning them will be painfully slow, and you will be left contemplating giving up the game or buying stuff using real world currency. Epic also has its share of social gaming aspects integrated into the game. Facebook friends have their own enchanting kingdoms in the forest and you can visit them and exchange all sorts of gifts as well.
An interesting twist to Epic is that all the planting, harvesting and training eventually results in preparing for battles. There’s a whole big forest area mapped into a battle zone, and every now and again, you can step into the Campaign Map to fight the Boggans. Unfortunately the battles are staged so there’s not much you can do in terms of fighting except drag soldiers to predetermined spots and tap to move them forward or to use weapons.
Epic offers plenty of things to do, and moving up levels is quick and fast initially. However, the whole exercise of planting and harvesting and building doesn’t really lead to something spectacular. Instead it’s a mundane rinse and repeat of the staged battles, that eventually just bores you out. Another huge negative to the game is the frequent connection timeouts. Reloading the game every so often is just trying on the nerves, and for a game that simply fails to capture the intensity of the fight of good against evil, the frequent downtimes doesn’t bode well. The game’s musical score seems somewhat dramatic but the finely etched 3D graphics are easy on the eye and are the game’s highlight.
Epic the movie may be a gigantic success (or not), but it certainly seems to be more lively, entertaining and engaging compared to its Android counterpart. Epic’s eye pleasing graphics and cute character customizations are not enough to ensure that the game lives up to its action adventure hype. Rather, it’s a silly take on an insipid fight of good against evil. This is a game you may want to check out to make comparisons with what you see on the big screen, but it’s certainly not a game that’s going to enchant you. Epic may as well turn out to be another glaring example of a game that fails to match up to its big name association, and a movie tie-in link.