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After a long line of successful projects, Gamehouse has finally dipped its toes in the increasingly-crowded freemium pool. Heart’s Medicine: Doctor’s Oath follows Allison Heart’s journey at Queensburrow Bridge Hospital, on her path to graduating as a fully-fledged doctor. Unfortunately, things go haywire when a mysterious patient unleashed a mysterious contagious disease at the hospital and prompted the place to be quarantined. Allison needs to prove herself worthy of the doctor status and find the cure before more deaths occur!
The core gameplay mechanics of Heart’s Medicine: Doctor’s Oath are nothing groundbreaking, as the previous premium versions of Heart’s Medicine offer a similar style of gameplay. Nonetheless, Gamehouse and Blue Giraffe did a wonderful job converting the signature gameplay to the touchscreen format. Most tasks can be completed with a single touch, which is ideal for smaller screens.
As with any other Gamehouse Original Stories, Heart’s Medicine: Doctor’s Oath has an engaging storyline that consists of some humorous and entertaining moments, along with surprisingly poignant ones. That, combined with pleasant graphics and beautiful music, makes Heart’s Medicine: Doctor’s Oath incredibly addicting and enjoyable. The game does get a little repetitive after a while, even with new locations, but keep in mind that I also tried to maximize my plays within the span of a few days for the purpose of this review.
As the game progresses, Heart’s Medicine: Doctor’s Oath into more than just a single location. The game spends roughly ten main story-driven levels at a single location. These levels always feature side-tasks that are cleverly-integrated into the storyline that provides bonus points when completed. Points in this game are provided in the currency of Hearts, that can be used to purchase useful stations upgrades in the store.
What differentiates this free-to-play from the premium Heart’s Medicine games is the plethora of challenge levels. These challenge levels often ask the player to complete specific and challenging tasks and are spread out all over the game map. I like how flexible and non-linear the exploration of these challenge levels is. Think of the main story levels as the trunk of a tree and the challenge level as the tree branches. The game allows the player to choose their own route and play these levels at their own pace, while also unlocking even more paths upon finding the required items.
As with any freemium games, Heart’s Medicine: Doctor’s Oath features an energy system. The default energy bar stores up to 110 energy points and each level requires 20 energy points to play. This makes for roughly only five to six levels per full energy bar, which in my opinion is usually not enough to satisfy my craving. However, other than that I find the in-app purchases to be quite fair and reasonable. Moreover, Heart’s Medicine: Doctor’s Oath includes some other gameplay features such as the Diamond Patient, the Diamond currency, power-ups, and more cool features – they are mostly self-explanatory and add some sort of value to the game.
If there is one thing that Heart’s Medicine: Doctor’s Oath is missing, that would be some form of a social feature. The game does not even have the option to connect to Facebook, which denies the opportunity to compete with friends or send energy points to one another. In future updates, it would be great if the game creates a hub or a space that the player can build and decorate, as well as visit their friend’s.