Ah yes, the mobile gaming revolution. It has brought us the likes of Angry Birds, Triple Town and Infinity Blade. This renaissance of videogames has spread the joys of gaming to the masses… and by masses I mean anybody with a smart phone. Now the influx of games is starting to reverse and we are starting to see some successful mobile plataform games being released for the PC. Hero Academy is one such game. Originally available for iOS mobile devices, Hero Academy is now branching out with this PC version available via steam. Read ahead and find out if Hero Academy is worth your time.
Hero Academy featured top-notch presentation when it was first released in for the iOS devices. Now on steam, the game holds remarkably well, this is part due to its strong art style. At this time, Hero Academy features 5 teams to choose from: The Council, The Dark Elves, The Dwarves, The Tribe and Team Fortress 2. While they are all different, each teams seems to fit in well within the Hero Academy aesthetic. Every character sprite is nicely detailed and features upgrades corresponding to that class, which also fits nicely with the team’s overall theme. All sprites are also animated and while the standard standing animation is nothing more than marionette-like waving and bobbing of body parts, it still looks nice. The more eye-catching animations take place during battle, which is the meat of this game. Overall very little was changed from the iOS version to this version. This also applies to the audio, which borders a bit on repetitive.
For anybody that didn’t play the original Hero Academy, the game’s progression centers on a squared grid with a crystal on opposite sides. The objective of the game is to destroy your opponent’s crystal. In order to do so, you need to employ the diverse tactics available to your team. The game essentially plays as a hybrid of chess and a turn based RPG. Each turn is represented by a pie chart with 5 sub sections; each subsection represents a player action. During your turn, you are able to move, attack, equip items or heal however you see fit. By defeating your opponent’s forces, you get a crack at the other player’s crystal. Overall the mix of turn based strategy and RPG elements is a pleasant one.
There is one major gripe that I have with Hero Academy: Communication. Because this version of Hero’s academy plays exactly as the mobile version, you are not able to see your opponent’s movements until they have executed them. This works well when you are playing on the go, as you can load up the game and see if it is your turn, play, execute your strategy and then go about your day. This does not work well when you are siting in front of a computer. Once you are in a match and have executed your turn, then you just wait. There is no way to know if your opponent is ready, away from keyboard, planning a strategy or has left his PC to make a sandwich. So you wait, and then you wait some more. There is a small space at the bottom left of the screen that any player can use to type messages; it is unfortunate that anybody hardly ever uses it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that Hero’s Academy features cross platform play and that I’m able to play with people who own the game on their phones or on their iPads. However, I dislike not knowing if they playing from such devices. If I knew, then I would be able to give them a reasonable amount of time to respond. The other option would be to run Hero’s Academy on the background while doing other things online, in order to allow other people enough time to respond; that is preposterous. I played a few matches of Hero Academy and there were times when some players would take 10 minutes for a turn. That means that I would have invested 30 minutes of my time for a measly 3 turns in this game. There are much more interesting and exciting games out there that can do much more in that short amount of time. This doesn’t make Hero Academy a bad game, it is a good mobile game… just not a great online game.
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- Same great gameplay, bigger screen
- Cute sprites with good animations
- You can make a sandwich while you wait for your turn
- More expensive than the iOS version
- You might as well read a book while playing this game