First look: Valiant Hearts for iOS explores World War I's human side via puzzles, love letters, and cartoon visuals


"From the beginning, when we read all of those letters, we wanted to show the emotions and feelings of the characters instead of showing them killing people," explains Fanise. "It would be nonsense to allow you to kill people when we talk about the feeling of the fear of being killed, or even the fear of being forced to kill someone. In some letters, people were really scared of the moment they would encounter the enemy."

Opting not to pursue an intense action approach also makes Valiant Hearts a particularly great fit for touch devices, even though it launched on controller-based platforms first. You'll tap and hold to move your character, as well as swipe and tap to interact with onscreen items (such as turning a wheel or cutting barbed wire), which all proves very intuitive and easy to pick up.

At times, it comes off like a streamlined take on the point-and-click adventure genre, complete with multi-step puzzles to solve, and such games really thrive on touch devices.

Valiant Hearts began development on iOS devices at the same time as other platforms, so there was no need to reconfigure the console or PC experience for touch interfaces. However, on the App Store, it's not sold as a complete game with a larger upfront price tag. The initial $5 purchase includes the first chapter, with the other three sold within for $4 apiece, or $9 for the bundle.

The takeaway

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