In theory, SpellForce: Heroes & Magic is a pleasant sight. A mobile version of a renowned strategy RPG series that isn’t a Free-to-play Clash of Clans clone or a gacha RPG? What’s not to like?

And the game does deliver, for the most part. It indeed is a premium single player SRPG experience with virtually no microtransaction or IAP to speak of.

The thing is, it isn’t SpellForce, and so how much you enjoy this game depends entirely on how serious you take that fact.

SpellForce: Heroes & Magic Trailer

What SpellForce: Heroes & Magic is, is basically a mobile copy of Heroes of Might & Magic. Here’s how things work: You start out with a hero unit and a base. Nearby, you’ll find several mines, farms, treasures, fortresses, enemies, and more. To expand your influence, you have to move the hero around and try to take control of those points of interest by defeating the opposing forces guarding them.

This isn’t SpellForce, it’s Heroes of Might & Magic

Battles are set on a field divided into hexagons. In the beginning, both you and your opponent will have a chance to put units into position, and once the fight begins, the two sides will take turns to direct their troops to carry out several actions. Naturally, this means you’ll have to anticipate the enemy’s intention and try to make counter moves.

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Turn-based battles on a field divided into hexagons

Characters can perform basic attacks as well as unleash different skills, but the most important key to victory is positioning. In fact, the battlefield even has some locations marked with special icons that presumably give a buff to any unit that stands there.

We say “presumably” because at no point does the game explain this to you, and tapping on these icons doesn’t give any information either.

In any case, if you manage to defeat the enemies, your hero and his/her troops will gain experience and eventually level up. Doing so will earn you skill points that you can spend on various perks to develop the power of your units.

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Customize your hero with a wide variety of skills and equipment

Areas that you conquer will also net you different rewards such as treasures, resources, and peasants who will work for you. Places such as mines and the like, as long as they are still under your control, will also grant you a certain amount of resources every turn. The exact amount will depend on how many peasants you have stationed at them.

Travel the map, combat enemies, and gather resources

You can then use these resources to build new structures at your base, which will unlock new types of units and upgrades. As you recruit new troops, you can choose to either place them at any building you control to guard it or send them to join your hero’s army. Units can even form their own army without the need to have a hero to lead them, allowing you to explore more of the map. There are many options. It’s entirely up to you to decide.

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Explore the map and take control of various points of interest

And that’s just the Adventure mode. The game has another one called Battle for you to entertain yourself with. As its name suggests, this is simply a series of endless turn-based battles with no map-exploring or base-building in between. Your heroes are still able to level up after each victory, though, and they can also obtain new equipment to gradually become more powerful.

Unfortunately, there’s no multiplayer in SpellForce: Heroes & Magic at the moment, but since the game already offers a ton of content compared to its price, this is just a very minor complaint.

All in all, if you’re a fan of the strategy genre, then SpellForce: Heroes & Magic is unquestionably worth your time. There’s a lot of strategizing and plenty of content to satisfy you. The lack of explanation for many mechanics will make the game a bit confusing at first, though. And, as mentioned, there’s not a lot of SpellForce here, so if that’s what you expected, then you probably will find yourself disappointed.