Nintendo's newest mobile smartphone game, Fire Emblem Heroes, is officially out on the iOS App Store in the U.S. [Direct Link], as well as in Japan, Australia, Europe, and over 30 other countries. Announced last spring, Fire Emblem on smartphones adopts the tactical role-playing gameplay of the popular franchise, with a few mobile-optimized tweaks. These changes mainly center around battle maps that have been designed to specifically fit smartphone screens.
To attack, players tap and drag their allies over the enemy forces, while paying attention to a rock-paper-scissors weapon types system that greatly affects attack power in the heat of battle. The main game lies in the "Story Maps," where players will fight through enemy defenses to complete objectives, eventually earning Orbs that summon classic Fire Emblem characters to fight for them in battle.
Orbs will be one of the monetization points of Fire Emblem Heroes, as players can also choose to skip earning them through Story Maps and pay for the booster item in the game's shop. Nintendo hasn't yet detailed what else will be available as an in-app purchase in the game, but it did confirm Fire Emblem Heroes will be free-to-download with IAPs as its main revenue model.
Also included in the game will be an Arena mode where players can fight against rivals around the world to earn high scores, increase rankings, and get exclusive rewards to increase the abilities of each hero. Additionally, Training Tower will let players hone their Fire Emblem skills with randomly generated maps, and Hero Battles will pit players against new Heroes during limited events -- winning will convince them to become an ally.
The official website for Fire Emblem Heroes has more information about gameplay, including its Home screen where players will check notifications, view their friend list, and peruse various other front-end features each time they log in. Fire Emblem Heroes is launching simultaneously on the iOS App Store and Google Play, similar to Miitomo but unlike Super Mario Run, which remains exclusive to Apple devices with a planned launch on Android in March.
For those keeping count, that makes Fire Emblem Heroes the third official release for Nintendo's original smartphone gaming plan it detailed back in 2015. We now know that Animal Crossing and the unknown fifth game won't launch before March, and Nintendo recently reported that its future on mobile devices won't end after the launch of the fifth game made through its partnership with DeNA. This week, the company confirmed its intention to release two to three smartphone games every year.
The game is available in over 30 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, and more. The full list of launch countries can be found within a link in the top right section on the official Fire Emblem Heroes website.
Fire Emblem Heroes is available as a free download on the iOS App Store. [Direct Link]