Terminal Gamer Review – Hero of Sparta

Is Hero of Sparta a God of War Substitute on the iPhone?

If any proof was needed that Apple have officially entered the realm of video games, and that the iPhone is capable of replacing your other portable gaming devices, Hero of Sparta is it. Or is it?

The AppStore is already crammed with unique games with questionable quality, very few games can manage to separate themselves ahead of the pack. Hero of Sparta, thankfully is one of those few games that manage to stand out with impressive 3D graphics, an outstanding soundtrack, and fun gameplay. But is it reason enough to leave Sony and Nintendo shaking in their boots?

There is no doubt that Hero of Sparta is a complete, unashamed rip-off of God of War. And the similarities go much deeper than just the setting – both games take place in ancient Greece. From an artistic design to big, ugly enemies that you stab in the eyes, to over-sized boss battles, to quicktime events during particular fights, the game takes no shame in outing its lack of originality.

Hero of Sparta sports excellent graphics and a God of War-like storyline

Hero of Sparta sports excellent graphics and a God of War-like storyline

For the record, it is not as good as God of War, and in some ways not even in the same league. With that being said, Hero of Sparta does manage to feel like a fully fleshed out gaming experience. The controls can be difficult and they are the biggest downside to Hero of Sparta. They are not as responsive as you would like them to be, and will often leave you shouting out curse words on the bus. Don’t do that, people will look at you. You move your character by using the implemented virtual analog stick on the left of the screen, while the the buttons on the right handle your sword and shield. Often, while engaging in battle, reflex minigames will appear, having you touch certain points on the screen to preform complicated moves that deal some serious damage.

The graphics are surprisingly solid, keeping in mind you are playing this on your cell phone. But where Hero of Sparta loses some points is in the framerate that struggles to keep up when the actions gets intense. The framerate is never one hundred percent smooth, and at certain points the game grinds to a halt. It’s not that the game is unplayable, but it’s not up to the standards that gamers expect in today’s action titles. The length is another issue, and depending on your skills, the game will last you anywhere from 3 to 5 hours, which is disappointing. There is some replayability in that it offers multiple difficulty levels, but I cannot imagine gamers coming back to ancient Greece once the game is finished.

The Final Word

Hero of Sparta, although a faulty experience manages to prove that the iPhone is a capable gaming device, and that 3D action games on it are possible. It is a step in the right direction, and for just under ten dollars, is priced reasonably well. Do not go into it expecting God of War quality, and as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.

The Scorecard


+ Great looking graphics

+ Is basically God of War on the iPhone, which is a good thing

– Short length

– Infuriating controls

– Bad framerate