Fire Emblem Heroes – Android, IOS – To Play or Not to Play?

Fire Emblem: Heroes (Android and iOS)  To Play or not to play?


Fire Emblem: Heroes is the mobilization of Nintendo’s amazing Tactical RPG series of the same name. The game is available on both Android and iOS and it is free to download and play.   Fire Emblem : Heroes provides nostalgia for long-term fans but is easily accessible to those new to the franchise.  As a long-term fan of the series I was excited to get my hand on this release – if for nostalgia only.  I’m a RPG fanboy so always get a bit giddy about a new release.   How about you?  Have you got your hand on this yet?


Fire emblem title screen


Brief Overview

  • Tactical JRPG – control an army on an chess like board, and fight to gain experience.
  • Console Games to check out :- Fire Emblem Fates, Fire Emblem Awakening, Fire Emblem Dragon (Nintendo DS) Fire Emblem Path of Radiance (GameCube) Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn
  • Similar to Disegea Series (Playstation4/Steam) , Valkyria Chronicles (Playstation4/Steam)
  • Mobile Gaming Platform
  • Easily Accessible to people who has never played the series before.
  • Fun, and easy play but lacking strategic challenges.
  • Needs updates to fix End Game play.
  • Board game style gameplay with turnbased battles
  • Limited gameplay as a mobile game compared to the more popular releases.
  • Basic PVP system

Story Overview

Just like other long-standing franchise JRPG titles (Tales Links of, Final Fantasy Record Keeper, and Final Fantasy) introduces the player as a summoner who can summon popular characters’ franchise wide.  This means you can recruit and play all your favorite characters.

The kingdom of  Askr is under attack by a mysterious enemy who has opened portals to other worlds.  These other worlds are the previous console versions of Fire Emblem.  Recruited by the besieged kingdom you are asked to go into battle to stop the pending invasion.

The story line is driven through dialogue that appears before and after each battle, like this:-


Battle System

The battle system in FE follows much of the Fire Emblem Games on the console – having the same triangular weapon system that features in most of the games, swords beating axes, axes beating lances and lances beating swords.  Flyer still remain vulnerable to archers, and armored knights to magic.  The partnered support system still features in the game, to a limited degree.  Support is no longer automatic and takes a turn to set up.

You move and attack enemies through a very basic touchscreen swiping movement.

The scale of the battles is also much reduced for the mobile platform limiting your battle teams to four members on each side, with a much-reduced grid.  The smaller armies and grid-size does leave the strategy and tactical side of the game a little lack-luster.

Here’s some video game play for an optional experience map known as the tower of trails:-



And yes, I was slightly over-leveled.

You also get special skills and powers when certain battle conditions are met – these special skills do various things, like special damage and healing powers.

PVP System

The PVP system follows the same system as the main game.  Instead of battling the set enemies on a campaign map you face off against enemies belonging to another player.   Winning these battles gives you access to feathers, which are an important item for leveling up your character’s star levels.  Like most games that amount of arena battles you can enter are limited to the amount of dueling blades you have.  You start with three which regenerate over time.

You win medals and point for wins on both defense and offense.


Leveling System

As with the console versions of the game you gain levels through defeating warriors on the tactical map.  With each attack, you gain a small amount of experience and with each kill you earn more experience points.  Once you gain enough experience points you level up.  The leveling system is exactly the same as the system in the previous games, where a RNG is used to allocate skill points.


There are added leveling customization with each character too through SP and skills, where you can unlock more powerful weapons and skills.



For a mobile game the graphics are fantastic.  The combat for each character comes with a customized battle action that put that character at the foremost.  These graphics are very fast and do not hamper play time in the slightest.

As you can see for the pictures, the sprites are very colorful.  The backgrounds are detailed and beautifully drawn.


What is really fantastic about these graphics is they start to change depending on the current health of the units involved.  When your unit has suffered an attack their clothes begin to get frayed and tattered.



So far, I have not needed to make a single purchase to play this game and roll through the levels.  The rewards given for winning the levels provides more than even in game currency to summon stronger and better heroes.   The issue comes are the earning of angel feathers.   The arena battle do not provide enough feathers to star level your characters, and this can leave a player feeling frustrated and slow down game play.


Overall I think Fire Emblem: Heroes does a fantastic job at replicating a faster, more accessible, and easier to play strategy game than its previous console incarnations.  However, this simplification can leave some of the hardcore fans wanting more of a challenge. (Anyone else missing permadeath?)   The graphics are fantastic and a joy to watch, especially for a mobile platform.  And the economy is easy on the pocket if you are not too focused on leveling up fast.

Gameplay: 7/10              Good, but leaves me hankering for a greater challenge.

PVP 6/10                           Run of the mill PvP system, effective but tired.

Graphics: 9/10                  Great Graphics.  Fantastic job.

Economy 7/10                  Not as pay to win as most mobile games.

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