You don’t reach download figures orbiting the 100 million mark without earning the attention of a few envious eyes. Siege Hero makes no attempt to conceal the fact that it’s embracing the Angry Bird’s blueprint but then, developer Anton Fedoruk was knocking down castles with catapults long before a rabble of pigs decided to thieve some eggs and in turn some birds decided to die earning retribution.
Each of Siege Hero’s 63 levels is home to a horde of addlepated giant moustaches with legs jutting out from below and helmets above, and other Viking-esque baddies. Perched inside shoddily built fortresses, the player hurls bombs and boulders to kill these invaders by toppling the fortresses and entombing them beneath rubble.
Assaulting strongholds is a simple matter of tapping precisely where you want the boulder or bomb to impact, meaning unlike Angry Birds – a game predicated on serendipity – Siege Hero actually demands a touch of skill.
By explicitly choosing a target you’re not required to waste ammunition on an opening gambit, blindly guessing where to aim. The onus is therefore on the player to consider the weak points of each structure in advance and hone in on those.
Crucially then Siege Hero is rewarding to play. Logically deconstructing each of the forts, identifying weak spots and making efficient use of differing ammunition is essential. It’s like archaeology, but backward.
After a few rounds of tapping with limited accuracy the player’s granted access to the sniper scope, allowing you to zoom in and aim with pinpoint precision. The only rule is you can’t shoot directly at enemies because, obviously, that’s cheating.
Fortresses grow in size and become harder to haul down as the game progresses but breaking things is primordial – cathartic even – so the joy remains lodged in watching your tactical decisions reach fruition, resulting in dead Vikings, tumbledown fortresses and, of course, high scores.
Siege Hero succeeds as a direct result of it affording you the feeling that you’re doing something beyond postulating and then adjusting based on your failings. It’s a game about logic, physics, contemplation and ultimately breaking shit. The comparisons to Angry Birds may seem like a disservice but are worth bringing to light because it surpasses that game on every count.