Apr 10 2012

Review: Hero Academy iOS

Hero Academy is a turn-based fantasy battler by Robot Entertainment.

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hit the jump for the review. (Look out Dr. Seuss)

I really want to start of by saying this game is very easy to learn, how much time you take to think about your individual turns it really up to you. That being said, you will not have to sit there and read 20 slides on how to play, or go through a long a boring tutorial. Which for me is a huge plus for iOS games. Call me what you will, but I like an iOS game to be something I can pick up and play. Hero Academy is a game like that, but is also a lot fun. It mirrors some of my favorite portable games (shining Force, Final Fantasy Tactics), but in a fun and engaging PvP format.

The easiest way to explain this game is by saying that it is a combination of the Word’s with Friends¬†asynchronous formula, mixed in with a turn based fantasy battler on a 9×5 grid. Essentially the goal is to destroy the enemy crystals before they destroy yours. You complete your actions and submit it, your opponent will be alerted, they will see your turn and then do the same. This repeats until there is a winner.

Currently there are 4 factions to play as, however, this is where the micro transactions are added to the game. Something that must be expected as an iOS gamer downloading a free game. The 4 factions are Council (free) Dark Elves ($1.99), Dwarves ($1.99) and the Tribe/Orcs ($1.99). Each faction will give you a slightly different play style, but over all they are balanced, which is a huge relief.

the game plays quite simply, as i mentioned above. You get 5 actions per turn represented by the pie shapes on the bottom left of the screen. Each time you use an action you lose a slice of pie. When all are used you hit the check-mark and submit your move. Note: you do not have to use all your actions every turn, however they do not carry over. Add some items, random maps, teleportation tiles, and bonus tiles and your off to the races.

I really like this game, it very much excels at what it is trying to achieve, not something I can say for most of the games on the iOS platform. The asynchronous formula used in this game can both be a hindrance and an upside to the game. This formula of making a turn and then waiting for your opponent allows for prolonged game play from users without having to sit there in the app and wait. You can make your turn and go about your day, and you will be alerted when its time for you to make your next turn. The issue here is that I have yet to finish a full game with a ‘random opponent’. Usually we will do a few turns and then hours and sometimes days go by with nothing. After two weeks the game disappears. The saving grace to this is that you can have multiple games going at once, for those of you who are itching to get gaming more frequently.¬† As well you can invite your friends to play. For me this is where the game shines, competitive PvP with friends will keep me playing this game for as long as they do. Inviting a friend is easy, it can be done through facebook, twitter or by a username. Nothing on the iOS game library feels as good as your friend admitting defeat, and you taunting them in game (with your characters doing a pelvic thrusts) the turn before it’s over. It is definitely the best PvP strategy game on the iOS platform.

It wouldn’t be a review if I didn’t also talk about some of the things that bother me about the game. Hero Academy is riddled with microtransactions, from avatar photos, to the uniform colors of your units. Most of it can be disregarded and you can still enjoy the game as is. However, the game is relentless at stuffing in game ad’s in your face constantly, buying some of the ‘freemium’ content will fix this issue. I hope that the game producers do not let microtransaction take over this game, i.e. having people who pay get a bonus of some sort. The app is quite slow to start up which becomes a pain when you have multiple games going on and have to wait a little while to complete your turn every time.

Overall, I really like this game, and it really impressed me. A fantasy combat asynchronous iOS game done right! I hope for more content in the future.



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  1. Steve

    iPad support is so key.

  2. Gregory Bilderback

    Many thanks for this review

  1. Hero Academy Dream Team » That's Yo Garbage

    […] would be an understatement to say I am not addicted to Hero Academy. If you missed my review from a while back, check it out and see if this game is right for you. I am eagerly awaiting the […]

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