iPhone (and Android) RPG Done Right: Venan Entertainment Inc and “Book of Heroes”

Venan Entertainment Inc, with its MMORPG "Book of Heroes," clearly understands the iPhone (and Android) gaming platform in a way that has been sorely missing from most mobile titles.

Venan Entertainment Inc, with its MMORPG "Book of Heroes," clearly understands the iPhone (and Android) gaming platform in a way that has been sorely missing from most mobile titles.
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Book of Heroes Is a Mobile Gamer’s Dream: an MMORPG that Understands What an iPhone (or Android) Is… and What It Isn’t

Finally! An MMORPG that understands the iPhone (and Android) platform! Hats off to Venan Entertainment, Inc. for its MMORPG “Book of Heroes,” a fast, experience-rich iPhone-friendly MMORPG you really can play with that extra five minutes, whether you’re in between meetings, in between classes, or standing in line at the grocery store.

I’ve had the worst time finding an MMORPG that I could really get into on my iPhone. Too many gaming companies are trying to turn the iPhone into something it isn’t. It isn’t a full-size computer. It isn’t an X-Box. (Sorry to mention the competition there, Apple, but an iPhone isn’t an X-Box. It just isn’t.)

An iPhone is, first and foremost, well, a phone. Gaming advantages: fits in your pocket, always with you, pretty dang powerful for such a small machine, and thanks to the nation-wide proliferation of cell phone towers it’s just about always connected to the internet. Gaming disadvantages: very small screen, those cell towers can be limited as to bandwidth (and even if they aren’t, your plan probably is), and your game time could be interrupted at any moment by your boss, by a text, by a phone call…

Book of Heroes is Tremendously Satisfying while Meeting the Natural Limitations (and Advantages) of a Mobile Gaming Platform

Because of the nature of a mobile phone, what you don’t want in a mobile MMORPG is a game in which minor interruptions can cost you your quest, in which significant streaming bandwidth is required for a decent play experience, in which you have to set aside a solid hour or two in order to feel that you have accomplished anything worth doing.

Enter “Book of Heroes”! The game play is quick and easy to learn. If you’re geared enough to be there you can finish a single-player “dungeon” in five minutes or less, and believe it or not you’ll still feel like it was worth doing. If you have the time to take on a more challenging solo, or the time to quest for a while, you can make that free energy bar last a good twenty or thirty minutes if you’re smart about it. 

The music and sound effects are worthy of a PC-based MMORPG title. The visual effects are immersive without being bandwidth-heavy. The game accomplishes this through a turn-based card-game type of action, with cast bars that move in real time once you’ve chosen your action, but in which a solo-player fight can sit happily on pause for a full day and a half if that’s what it takes to get back to it.

When you do swing that axe, bloody swipes erupt on the screen with a satisfying swish of steel, evoking a sense of action and power that comes across astoundingly well on the iPhone 4 screen size. You also get to choose your character’s look and view your own character card at any time, continually changing your look with gear upgrades (and optionally with the local barber in the game’s main “town”).

Despite Its iPhone-Friendly Simplicity, “Book of Heroes” Is a Genuine MMORPG with Guilds, Full-Featured Chat, and Group Raids on Demand

If you decide you want to get into the more interactive side of the game, guilds are shockingly easy to find and join, and equally easy to leave, which is perfect for a mobile gaming platform in which you might be ready for a raid in the middle of the afternoon or at two in the morning. You’re not stuck to any particular raiding schedule unless you choose to be, and you can pretty much raid on demand.

Guilds can be made up of a group of real life friends but they can just as easily be a loosely-knit structure of total strangers who just want to get some raiding points. You don’t have to have a posse of gaming friends to enjoy the game on either a casual or a more immersive level. You can chat with random players or you can just quietly raid and log out while still enjoying the same raid rewards as everyone else, which again is a huge plus on a mobile gaming platform.

Best of all, you really can enjoy the game and reap the rewards without spending any real life cash unless you want to. The spending prompts are subtle enough to meet my personal requirements, and I’m pretty tough on that standard. Nothing bugs me more than an intrusive “free” game that hounds you to spend money every two minutes. This one strikes a reasonable balance between giving the player a solid free experience if they choose and still having enough money-making avenues to stay in business.

And I certainly hope they do stay in business. It is rare in my opinion to see a mobile gaming developer that really understands the advantages and disadvantages of the mobile gaming platform and knows how to play to its strengths. Rarer still to find a gaming company that knows how to do that for a mobile MMORPG. Venan Entertainment Inc. is getting added to my short list of A+ iPhone developers and will definitely be a company to watch.

Venan Entertainment Inc, with its MMORPG "Book of Heroes," clearly understands the iPhone (and Android) gaming platform in a way that has been sorely missing from most mobile titles.
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iPhone (and Android) RPG Done Right: Venan Entertainment Inc and “Book of Heroes”

Venan Entertainment Inc, with its MMORPG "Book of Heroes," clearly understands the iPhone (and Android) gaming platform in a way that has been sorely missing from most mobile titles.

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app developer, author, rancher, gamer, (and occasional lawyer)