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Hero Academy review

Turn based games are the bread and butter of PC games and with hits like the Heroes of Might and Magic and Civilization constantly getting updated and making plenty of cash it is of no surprise that there are also plenty of budget versions, cutting out all of the full motion video eye candy and fancy graphics and sticking to the basics, leaving us with an addictive and fun strategy game.

Hero Academy is one of those games, small in scope but nails it on the finer points, making this one really addictive game where you live and die by your own skills and perception of the game map. Though it has been out for a while on iOS for a while the game has now been perfectly crafted to work on your home PC, allowing seamless interactivity between you iPhone and PC so you can own either version and play against a larger base of players. The turn based strategy action is perfectly suited, with iOS gamers able to pick up their turn whenever they have a spare few moments and the PC the game giving notifications on your menu bar whenever it is your turn, so you can get on with other tasks, like writing this review.

Played over a relatively small grid based map, Hero Academy is a beefed up version of chess where you and your adversary take it in turns to move and initiate attacks on each other. Each turn grants you five moves, leaving it up to you to whether bring in new characters to the game, try out special powers from your tray at the bottom of your screen or make do with what you have already on the playfield. Once your five moves are up you have two options, submit your turn if you are happy, sending your moves to your opponent which will give them a quick video replay of your move and then let them react or you can reset the moves, taking you back to the start of your turn and trying out another tactic. This is extremely helpful, especially for new players as it will quickly allow you to get to grips with all of the extra powers available to use.

It is not just the characters and specials that appear in the tray that you can utilise as the game map is littered with powerup tiles that grant extra powers like armour boost or stronger attacks so moving your characters to these areas will be crucial to winning. The main aim of the game is to defeat the enemy which can be done in two ways, taking out all of their units or destroying the crystals on the map that correspond to their team. Though the crystals do take a battering, a well organised opponent will easily tear through defences and defeat you if you are not careful.

There are five teams to choose from, each offering their own characters, team bonuses and special powers. For starters you have the balanced Council, a medieval group of Archers, Wizards and Knights that are boosted by extra powerful alchemy. The Dark Elves consist of Wraiths, Necromancers and Priestesses and have a rather nasty life leech team bonus that will grant them a piece of health with every successful attack. Dwarves are full of Paladins and Grenadiers, The Tribe are a bit more feral than the other teams and host Axe Throwers and Witches and finally, what sort of Steam game would be without connection to Valve's own Team Fortress 2 characters, well Hero Academy is no different with a whole group devoted to TF2 with Medics, Pyros, Heavies, Engineers and Snipers all making an appearance.

Though you have plenty of teams to choose from, each with a decent variety of characters to move around the map, they all boil down to two specific powers and attacks, physical and magical attacks which are both ranged or hand to hand. Each character will have their own specific characteristics so it is not just the looks that are different but every aspect of the characters, from movement to range of attacks, making choices of teams being more specific to how you strategize.

Online games allow you to connect to Steam friends or via Twitter and Facebook plus you can take on a random, with the general idea to queue up a host of games as it can take time to finish off a game. Away from the online mode there are also a few challenges for each of the teams to try your skills against with them mostly requiring taking out a specific unit or crystal in only so many moves. These puzzle strategy challenges really put your grey matter under strain whilst you figure out the best way to solve each one, but they will also teach you some decent tricks to try out online.

With simple but effective graphics that look great both on the PC and smaller screen of the iOS version this is a must have for strategy gamers, allowing you to play at home on relatively low spec PCs and also take outside with you to continue the fight.

Review Policy (Version tested: PC)

Edited On 05 Sep, 2012

( 2 )
visa's avatar
visa 4 years ago
Hero Academy is AMAZING! Buy it!
Ash Buchanan's avatar
Forgot to mention in the review but this is FREE on iOS.
Ash Buchanan 4 years ago

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