Based on the upcoming movie--by Ridley Scott, no less--Kingdom of Heaven depicts the events of the First Crusade, one of the goriest historical battles over the holy lands of Jerusalem. In Kingdom of Heaven, you control smaller, slightly less beautiful versions of Balian and Sybilla, the romantic leads of the movie played by Orlando Bloom and Eva Green, respectively. The goal is to rescue the people of Jerusalem as the city suffers under the attack of the Saracen army. On each of the 10 levels, you guide one of the two protagonists around the city ruins, finding citizens and safely leading them to a designated rescue point. While Kingdom of Heaven is both attractive and enjoyable while it lasts, the gameplay is limited in length and variety.
Your view is top-down isometric, and you must walk from screen to screen, looking for viable paths, citizens to rescue, and, ultimately, the rescue point, which is indicated by a persistent red arrow. Quite often, however, the path toward the rescue point is not always a direct one, so the red arrow serves as little more than a basic guide. There is a time limit and a minimum rescue requirement for each level, but you'll find meeting both of these is quite easy. If you would like a greater challenge, finding all the citizens and getting them safely to the end proves to be slightly more difficult, especially on levels where more hazards (such as fireballs that set whole sections of the path aflame) arrive over time. All the levels are virtually identical, with mere deviations in paths and in the pattern of the hazards. Some levels feature hidden paths, designated only by an open doorway, through which you must blindly walk under the buildings overhead. Through the use of these hidden paths, you can typically find all the citizens on a level, as well as sometimes finding a path that's safer than the obvious one. Since the level plays out the same way every time, it doesn't take more than a few runs through to figure out the patterns and the ideal way to complete each level.
Typically, to get someone to follow either Balian or Sybilla, you only need to walk near him or her, at which point he or she will begin to follow. Occasionally, citizens will get stuck on a section of the environment and will require further assistance. This requires you to walk a little more carefully around hazards, though doing so can also be a pain if it must be done too frequently. Your entourage is also subject to hazards flying in from the sky, such as arrows and fireballs, so you must walk swiftly and carefully, paying attention to the sky as well as the ground. Your people will not be able to walk around ground hazards, such as the flames that spew from fireballs and the arrows stuck in the ground, so you must dispel them (in the case of the fireballs) or find another route.
There are three pickups that will aid you in your quest to rescue all the people of Jerusalem and lead them safely from the city. Health pots can (and must) be used to revive sick or dying people, in addition to getting them to follow you. Water buckets are used to quench flames on the ground, and battering rams (with the aid of at least three citizens) can be used to break down doors. With these tools, and a bit of common sense, getting through each of the levels proves to be a fairly simple task. Therein lies the main problem with Kingdom of Heaven: It's quite easy to beat the game, both because of the nature of the gameplay and how few overall levels there are. Had there been a little more variety and a little more length, the gameplay would have been vastly improved.
The game looks and sounds excellent. The theme music is very well done, and you'll wish it was playing in more places than just the title screen and endgame. The sounds, which feature voices for both main characters, are also well done. The one criticism of the sound effects might be that you'll hear the digitized "Follow me!" a little too frequently throughout the course of the game. However, this is a small price to pay given how good the overall sound effects are. The general appearance is great on the LG VX7000, with movie stills throughout and nice in-game details, like detailed character outfits. The menu system is plentiful, offering both story and help options, in addition to a scoreboard where you can update your own scores against a list of all-time bests. Unfortunately, these cool details make the game's lack of depth all that much more disappointing.
If you find yourself enraptured by the summer blockbuster and are looking for a simple but fun mobile experience, Kingdom of Heaven will be the right game for you. Sadly, for general action enthusiasts, Kingdom of Heaven may not have enough gameplay to stand alone as a mobile action puzzle game.