Last week we reviewed Pocket Heroes [$0.99] from F5 Games, and despite having a number of issues the overall package and premise behind the game meant that it was something that we still recommended checking out, warts and all. To quickly recap, Pocket Heroes lets you form a party of up to 4 players online and tasks you with working your way through a very brief RPG experience, with each player taking their turn asynchronously.
It’s such a great idea, especially for a mobile platform like the iPhone. Unfortunately, some of the execution was a bit off which brought the experience down somewhat. On the fortunate side of things, the fluid nature of the App Store and the ability to update games meant that there was hope for Pocket Heroes if the developers could tweak the formula and squash some of the problems in the initial version.
Today, the first update has hit for Pocket Heroes and it’s quite a doozy. The standout new feature is the ability to fill out your party with randomly matched players online. Previously, you were stuck using just specific Game Center usernames or emails of other players, but now you can simply hit “Random Player” on the party creation screen and have it search out somebody for you automatically.
However, it seems like there are some issues with this new feature. I’ve been having trouble finding anyone to connect with so far, getting an error message after forming my party about the game not being able to retrieve data from the server. It then leaves those games in limbo with a message that I’m “Waiting on Random Player” to take their turn but it never seems to actually fill out that player spot with a real person.
I’ve tried connecting with random players lots of times, but all I have now is a list full of games in limbo. The next scheduled update will feature the ability to quit games and change parties, which is sorely needed. The matchmaking issues might be related to not everyone downloading the update just yet, but it seems like people in our forums are having the same issue that I am.
Besides the seemingly bugged random player matching, this latest Pocket Heroes update also includes a bunch of new tweaks and features. You can now decline invites if you wish, there’s been a lot of improvement to the UI and chat features, and many tweaks to the character and item balancing.
It’s a bummer that the biggest feature in this Pocket Heroes update seems to have problems, but it does bring a lot of welcome changes in areas other than the matchmaking. There’s no question that F5 Games is dedicated to making Pocket Heroes be the best it can be though, so we’ll keep an eye out for future updates that can hopefully smooth out some of these rough issues.
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