Celestials: Eternian Chronicle for iPhone is a rip-roaring tactical RPG that has layers of strategy coming out of its ears, and is one of the best original games of its type, that I have played on iOS. That is saying something as, believe you me, I have been through a lot of these games.
For hard core gamers, the best way to describe this would be as a ‘mini DotA for iPhone and iPad’, as it shares a lot of the basics with that famous PC game and, indeed, AoS. It has to be said, Celestials is far, far more accessible and nowhere near as punishing. Well, until you get to some of the later levels that is, when you may have to restrain your self from throwing your iOS device against the wall.
The story sees you leading the clans of Eternia against the bad guy of the piece, the Doom Caster. So far, so usual RPG fare, but it is the interactions between the characters that really brings the story to life, with a surprisingly witty and thoughtful script.
Here are some of the main features of the game:
* Stylish 3D graphics and environments
* Epic storyline told through 40 unique single-player missions
* Six heroes with unique appearance and abilities
* Two additional heroes unlocked through campaign mode and achievements
* 17 unique clans can be rallied in the struggle against the forces of evil
* Hundreds of items, upgrades and enhancements
* Excellent AI and thrilling game design
The graphics are superb, with images that are highly optimized for devices 4S upwards, and slightly cut back visuals for iPhone 4 that manage to keep the frame rate up. The monster design is good, but it is the stages themselves that are most impressive, with a wide variety of interesting and beautiful arenas to battle in. The music is suitably epic, and the whole soundtrack is well suited to the game.
The developers have obviously thought long and hard about how to get an AoS style game to work on a touchscreen, and they have pulled it off. On iPad, the game is incredibly intuitive, and even on the smaller screened iPhone, the game is still easy to use and never gave me a problem during my time with it.
The game is still new in the App Store, and currently gives you 20,000 in-game credits to get early adopters started, so if you are going to buy it, now is the time.
There is one small negative with the game, and that is that the initial tutorial is a bit fleeting and tells you too much in a short space of time. A more spaced out initial tutorial encounter would do wonders for new players, especially those with no experience of the sub-genre.
Aside from that small point, this is a superb game. Even the IAPs are not pushed too much, and are not needed to finish the game, and the overall quality is top-notch.
Looking for an alternative to DotA in your pocket? You just found it.