It’s not the most powerful game in the universe, but He-Man still provides plenty of side-scrolling ’80s goodness.
Kids that grew up in the ’80s are a lucky bunch. Wherever we go, there’s our childhood. He-Man: The Most Powerful Game in the Universe for iOS is another example of modern media feeding our pangs of nostalgia—not only through its title character, but also its side-scrolling hack-and-slash gameplay. Like the original cartoon, He-Man: The Most Powerful Game in the Universe is simple, but kind of compelling. It won’t keep you engaged for hours, but neither will it make you sneer “Nyaaah!”
He-Man: The Most Powerful Game in the Universe takes itself less seriously than the cartoon, and that’s saying something. Skeletor lures his rock-muscled rival into a trap using his new iOS app (it’s complicated) and begins his conquest of Eternia. He-Man struggles out of his chains and rushes to stop Skeletor before Mr Bones can take over Castle Greyskull.
Chasing down Skeletor involves moving from left to right, swinging your sword, performing special moves, beating up enemies, and doing all the important stuff that He-Men are generally expected to do. Each level throws you against walls of Skeletor’s army, which is generously supplemented with soldiers from the Evil Horde (as it appears Skeletor and Hordak stop sniping at each other long enough to form yet another shaky alliance). There are also boss battles aplenty.
He-Man: The Most Powerful Game in the Universe is a whole lot of brainless sword-swinging, and sometimes that’s all you want out of a game. The levels are repetitive and the enemies have no AI to speak of, but slicing through the robot tide admittedly gives you a comforting sense of progression.
There are special moves you can learn and allies you can summon, but invoking them breaks up your rhythm so you probably won’t even want to bother. Besides, unlocking moves and power-ups requires you to purchase them with Crystals, and said Crystals accumulate slowly. Not surprisingly, you can buy more Crystals with in-app purchases (does anyone else hear Skeletor cackling in the background?)
You’ll probably do okay on your own, anyway. The controls for He-Man: The Most Powerful Game in the Universe are refreshingly responsive for an iOS action game, though it can be difficult to turn He-Man around quickly to kill off enemies that sneak up behind you. The graphics and animation are wonderful and will punch your right in your childhood memories, but the game lacks the cartoon’s opening theme. It’s a small complaint, but it makes the game’s otherwise heroic soundtrack sound, well, wrong.
He-Man: The Most Powerful Game in the Universe is shallow and straightforward, but it’s fun. In fact, it’s the most fun you can have with He-Man outside of re-watching your grainy VHS collection or engaging in grownup He-Man roleplay.