More than a decade ago (it always stings a little every time I type that about a mobile game), Backflip Studios, fresh off their viral sensations Paper Toss and Ragdoll Blaster but just prior to dousing themselves in an endless waterfall of money with the soon-to-be-released DragonVale, released a quirky licensed castle defense game called Army of Darkness Defense on the App Store. The people working on the game were already big fans of the Evil Dead movies, and seeing how the third film in the series Army of Darkness literally featured an epic scene where they’re fending off a castle from all sorts of crazy dead creatures it seemed almost too perfect a fit for a castle defense video game. Army of Darkness Defense released in May of 2011 and featured solid castle defense gameplay, but what really made it stand out was how it was absolutely dripping with Army of Darkness fan service, and we enjoyed the game a lot in our review from back then.
Well, Backflip ended up being purchased by Hasbro in 2013, and sadly the studio was shut down in the fall of 2019. Army of Darkness Defense hasn’t been available on the App Store for a number of years now. However, several ex-Backflip developers, including original co-founder Julian Farrior, went on to form a new studio called Sunblink, and their debut title has just arrived on Apple Arcade. It’s called HEROish, and if you were a fan of Army of Darkness Defense back in the day, then some of this might look a bit familiar. Check out the trailer.
I was a big fan of Army of Darkness Defense and HEROish really looks like that general idea–a castle defense strategy game where you also control a main character directly in combat–but taken to the extreme. There are three different story-driven campaigns to play through in single player, or competitive 1v1 or 2v2 matches in multiplayer. I already thought HEROish looked cool just based on what I’d seen pre-release, but now knowing the pedigree of the people behind it makes me even more excited to check it out today.
Of course, as has become routine with Apple Arcade, alongside this week’s new release are a handful of nice updates to existing Apple Arcade titles. Warped Kart Racers has received a new track, a new campaign, and all sorts of bug fixes. Temple Run: Puzzle Adventure gets 60 new levels, new tournaments, and new Treasure Trove items. And finally Gear.Club: Stradale has received a new game mode called Smash, a new Custom Race feature, and a new virtual wheel control option. All of these new updates as well as new game HEROish are all available right now in the Apple Arcade tab in the App Store.