Sliding Heroes is a game that was made with the iPhone in mind. Players are tasked with commanding units to defeat monsters in each stage before the door to the next is unlocked. The catch is that there’s no direct way of controlling units.
Instead of your standard D-pad control scheme or even using a finger to direct units, players must think of the iPhone as a flat surface. Tilting the phone in different directions will cause units to walk into that direction, much like tilting a handful of marbles on a cutting board. Units which come within range of enemies will automatically start attacking them and vice versa.
Original Mode is the best point to start the game. It has quick tutorial stages which highlight the pros and cons of the different unit types. They’re all very standard: soldiers are well balanced and favor melee, mages have more range but are weak, clerics can walk over poison, etc. Each unit type can also level up, so it’s easy to tailor the units to your play style. The beginning stages in this mode are all very simple, which lets players get used to the quirky control scheme.
Endless Mode is more challenging with tougher enemies, maze-like terrains and road hazards like holes that units can fall into. This mode is ideal for more seasoned players, but I just found myself frustrated at how many units I was losing to holes.
The heroes in Sliding Heroes are pretty helpless by themselves in each stage. Spawning handfuls at a time and tilting the iPhone so that they all clump together makes them easier to control because they can roughly move as one when they’re close together. Otherwise, the lollygaggers get stuck on corners or end up falling into holes or just getting annihilated by enemies. Like Lemmings, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the cute little guys every time they fell into a pit or died.
Sliding Heroes is a decent game to have if you want to show off how the iPhone is different than the DS or PSP. The gameplay is incredibly simple, so it may not hold most people’s interests. I found I could only play for a few minutes at a time or else I’d get dizzy from all that sliding around. I definitely don’t recommend playing this in a moving vehicle because, it’s easy to get carsick this way.