Digital Distraction: Hero Academy Review

 Five actions are never enough. I’ve summoned my cleric, moved her into range of my unconscious wizard, healed him, and moved him into position, which means I only get one attack. Undo! What happens if I don’t move the wizard, or use that extra move to boost his power? These are the difficult decisions that will plague you if you play Hero Academy and I thoroughly recommend you do.

All you fantasy tropes, knights! wizards! Ninjas?
Not too long ago I lambasted Magic the Gathering Tactics for being an average game and a shallow attempt to force players to have to spend money to improve their game. Thankfully not all free-to-play games have taken this approach. Hero Academy is an iOS game that follows the free to play model. In this turn based, two player battle game, players take control of a team of units based on your standard fantasy tropes of dwarves, dark elves, humans and orcs. The game is played on a gridded arena with at least one crystal. The winner is the first player to destroy all the opposition’s crystals or eliminate all their opponents units.

The game is deliciously simple; each turn you get five actions with which to summon, move or attack with one of your units or equip spells or buffs. The great thing is you can see how these moves play out before hitting the submit button and waiting impatiently to see what fresh hell your opponent is about to unleash. Every unit is unique with their own advantages and disadvantages. However the game remains well balanced throughout even if certain combinations of equipment and buffs seem to be overpowered. There is a factor of luck as to what units you get each turn which can have an effect on your chances.

Orcs (sorry, the tribe) vs Dwarves, can't these guys just get along?
Graphically Hero Academy is simple yet beautiful. The interface is clean and crisp and everything is perfectly clear even on a tiny phone. Of particular note is the cartoony character design; it’s a unique look that adds plenty of character and charm.

Hero Academy’s free to play model is well implemented. The initial game has one complete team to play with, The Council, and for most players this is going to be enough. You can purchase extra teams for a reasonable fee and there is also the option buy extra taunts, avatars or team colours. The teams appear to be well balanced so even if you’re too tight to fork out for one of the extra teams you’re not going to be penalised. There are also no additions to the teams so each team is a self-contained package.

You can power up your units for super attacks.
Hero Academy’s only let down is that it doesn’t fully integrate with Game Centre. To start a game you need to create a Hero Academy account and there is no friends list built into the app. If you want to play with your friends you have to remember their Hero Academy username or challenge them via Facebook or Twitter. There is the option of playing a random opponent and if you choose this you’ll quickly be paired up and battling in no time.

Hero Academy is a well balanced team, based game that takes its cue form board gaming concepts. It is tactical and fun game that is exactly what asynchronous play was designed for. Hero Academy is available from the app store.

•    Great looking
•    Well balanced
•    Well implemented free-to play model
•    Solid turn based strategy
•    Some power combinations feel overpowered
•    Poor Game Centre integration Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
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