Humble Bundle: PC and Android 8 ReviewGuest_Jim_* - December 23, 2013
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Hero Academy (BTA) Review:
Looking for a new turn-based strategy game with cartoonish graphics? Well if you are then Hero Academy may interest you. Using your team of archetypal units, such as knights, wraiths, and even the Team Fortress 2 Heavy, depending on the team you chose to play as, you must either vanquish your enemies or destroy their crystal(s). Of course your opponent will be trying to do the same thing to you, and as every unit has its own special abilities, you will need to pay attention to everything on the board.
On the PC a simple right click will provide you with information about units, powers, and special floor tiles. In the Android version you get the information by double-tapping. Unfortunately if a unit is standing on a tile, you cannot get any information on the tile. Also at some points it appeared mechanics were in play that I had not seen explained before, which can be quite frustrating.
There are only two modes of gameplay for Hero Academy. One is online multiplayer and the other is completing single-player challenges. As I have no friends, I have stuck to the challenges. Ideally these challenges would be teaching you about the mechanics of the game. Sadly though, many of them come off as contrived with obvious solutions being incorrect and correct solutions being unobvious, which really hampers one's ability to learn from the game. Why would I think that placing an item on top of a fallen enemy would count as stomping them?
The potential complexity of gameplay made possible by the various abilities of the units and teams I suspect can be a blessing and a curse for the players of this game. For some it will offer deep gameplay as they discover new strategies utilizing multiple units. For others it will be a steep learning curve until they can remember what everything does, while potentially more experienced players trounce them. Of course that is just speculation on my part, but it is not without reason. It is also not a possibility unique to this game.
Is this a game worth purchasing the bundle for? Depends on if you can enjoy the multiplayer. If you have friends you can or will be able to play with, or do not mind playing with strangers, I could see this game being quite fun. If you would be playing this game alone though, then you may want to pass on it. The challenges are not interesting enough and there is no local multiplayer for potentially more interesting, human vs. human matches. Truly local multiplayer could help this game, especially on mobile devices that are easily passed between people. At least the online multiplayer is cross-platform, so there are no restrictions on who you can play against.