Okay, so you’re a wizard or knight or something in some weird medieval US football universe. Your entire job is to move to the right and hit things. Once you’ve hit enough of those things you run into your enemy’s fortress, which you – prepare yourself – hit as well. Hit that thing enough times and boom, mission accomplished. You can collect your gold and go home.
I glossed over a few things for narrative purposes, but the above paragraph still goes a long way to describe Brave Heroes, a perfectly average tower assault game with light RPG elements available for free on the Play Store. It wasn’t a terrible experience… but it’s also not one I see myself playing again once this review’s done.
Go East, Young Man
After selecting from one of three starting characters (I chose a mage), you’re taken to a tutorial that reaches something like fifteen steps before releasing you to the main game. This is entirely unnecessary. Anyone who’s played a video game in the last ten years will have no trouble picking up the gameplay. If anything, being force-fed fifteen screens of information made me feel like I was cramming before a big exam or something, which is precisely how I don’t want to feel when I’m gaming.
But I digress. Whichever character you choose, you’re outfitted with a standard autoattack and two class-specific abilities. My mage, for instance, started with an attack buff and a powerful ranged thunderbolt spell. As with any other RPG-ish game ever made in the history of ever, every kill you net grants you currency and experience, which you use to further upgrade your band of forward-rushing warriors’ abilities. The system doesn’t bring anything earth-shattering to the table, but it works well enough to feel rewarding.
The More the Merrier
Your hero doesn’t have to storm the 2D battlefield all by his lonesome. Supporting units (AKA the game’s redshirts) are inexpensive and quick to summon, but tend to be weak and easy to kill – a terrible combo if there ever was one. Named units, which you unlock by completing challenges or spending gold in the in-game store, cost a ton more but bring powerful abilities to the battlefield. Either way, summoning your unit of choice is as easy as pressing their portrait during battle.
This brings me to my biggest complaint about Brave Heroes. Progressing past the third or fourth level is impossible without grinding through the previous three to gain the gold and experience required to win. The ability to switch between unlocked classes is nice, but at some point playing the same three or four levels over and over gets to be downright tiresome no matter what your abilities. If you want to progress that badly, an in-app purchase option is – of course – available… I’d advise waiting for a game that doesn’t dive for your pocketbook within a half hour of playtime.
A Solid Meh
For a free game, Brave Heroes isn’t too bad at first. If you like a medieval background with your RPG-style levelling you very well may enjoy it. I certainly do – but when I have to replay the same levels over and over just to advance things, I tend to get a little bored. Check it out if you’d like. Unless you’re a huge fan of the genre I suspect your opinion will be much the same.