10tons Ltd has started the crossover to publishing! With dozens of iOS titles already in their development library, 10tons worked with Dicework Games, a Finnish developer, in order to release Trouserheart, the ultimate quest to regain one's pants! Dicework Games is known for their stellar debut with the Rimelands: Hammer of Thor iOS title. Like Rimelands, Trouserheart draws direct inspiration from the likes Diablo, Torchlight and Dungeon Siege. This hack and slash title will have you tearing through all of the silly enemies in King Trouserheart's kingdom. Is this pantless adventure worth its $2.99 price tag, or are there better things to do with your pants off and three dollars in your hand?

Trouserheart's premise, and its gameplay, are rather simple. King Trouserheart's favorite leather pants are missing, so he decides to tear throughout the forests and caves of his kingdom until he gets it back. Starting off with only sleepwear and a wooden sword, I found myself loving just about everything Trouserheart had to offer. From its barebone control scheme (just a directional pad and an attack button) to the cleverness and wording of its in-game achievements, Trouserheart appears to be bland and easy-to-master, at first. But it surprisingly has a lot of replay value and the ability to cater to the most hardcore of dungeon crawlers.

Trouserheart's aesthetics are great for an iOS title. While there are only about five or six enemy models, Dicework did an efficient job in trying to hide it. Palatte swaps were utilized but the recolored enemies' actions were changed in order to keep the gameplay exciting. Many of the enemies come back with shields, weapons, spells, etc. in order to keep things interesting. So instead of simply reusing the same models, Dicework tries to circumvent the limitations of the iOS format and creatively does so by keeping things funny, challenging and entertaining, even if they're enemies and concepts we have already seen before.

As stated previously, Trouserheart controls consist of a directional pad and an attack button. The attack button swings, that's all. There are no hidden Symphony of the Night attacks, dodges, spin moves or any of the sort. Instead, Dicework wants you to get accustomed to King Trouserheart's limited mobility and standard swing. I have found that repeatedly tapping the attack button seems to be a bit slower than doing a constant mini-swipe motion, which led to the pantsless king swinging a substantially faster. Due to his large size, Trouserheart moves rather slow. As a result, you are forced to remember the attack animations and patterns of the enemy types unless you want to die in your heart-spotted boxers.

King Trouserheart starts off with nothing but his crown, underwear and wooden sword. But through the game's upgrade system, you are able to arm him with a shield, armor. Furthermore, you can upgrade your health (which is displayed with an obvious nod to The Legend of Zelda franchise) and equipment by using the gold you find throughout your adventures. Trouserheart allows you to allocate your gold however you see fit in terms of upgrading. But the higher level improvements are so expensive, if you focus on one area, (your sword for example), you will eventually need to go back and upgrade everything else due to how expensive the later upgrades get. I wholly recommend upgrading your sword first, in order to down enemies at a faster rate and then the crown, for the sake of gaining more gold. This forced me into perfecting Trouserheart's slow movement and helped put an emphasis on learning the enemies' attacks.

Trouserheart was extremely easy on its casual difficulty; I finished the entire game in about two hours and did not even come close to dying. But once I switched over to the higher difficulty, with perma-death activated, I found myself playing in a concentrated state of playing that I have not experienced since Dark Souls or Diablo 3. It was a complete 180 when I changed over to Trouserheart's higher difficulty. This gave me an even greater sense of appreciation for such a splendid title. I would recommend this title to anyone who is a fan of Torchlight or Diablo, looking for an appropriate, portable version to play on the go.

On the surface, Trouserheart is simple and charming. But at its core, this title offers a distinct sense of challenge atop a fun-inspiring backdrop. He might look like the dad of Sir Arthur from Ghouls 'N Ghosts (they even have the same underwear!), but I assure you, Trouserheart is all heart and no pants.

App Store Link: Trouserheart for iPhone & iPad | By 10tons Ltd | Price: $2.99 | Version: 1.0.0 | 147 MB | Rating: 12+

9.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating