A tower defense game usually consists of the player placing a static, non moving tower on a map and waiting for enemies to enter the radius. While this is partially true for Hero Defense, the game opts for a slight twist.
Instead of placing a tower in one position, you control 5 hero’s and move them to different locations on a map to defeat waves of an undead horde.
The next wave of enemies and which buff they have is displayed at the top of the screen. Also on the top bar is how many lives you have left, and what wave you are on.
While playing, you unlock 5 controllable characters. The first hero you get is Jack Sanders, the son of Count Necrosis. The Count is the main villain of the game, once vampire hunter, now vampire lord. Barrows, Samantha Hain, Jane Doe and Wylde Halfblood join the fight later.
There is a hub world you can travel back to in the form of a town. The start to the game sees Count Necrosis assaulting and destroying the town, and leaving all the building in disrepair. At certain points during the game, you rebuild the bank, the forge, the academy and the town hall. These buildings allow you to spend skill points, upgrade weapons and socket runes into hero’s.
During gameplay levels, you can use a variety of items and boosts. You can use frost bombs to slow enemies, fire bombs to deal some extra damage, poison to stop enemies healing. The most useful I found was a push back consumable.
Hero shrines allow you to place the corresponding hero on said shrine and give them an extra 50% to range, damage and attack speed. Range, attack speed and damage shrines can be used by any hero. However, these shrines only gives the respective effect to the hero that is placed on that shrine. When a hero is placed on them, Orb and movement shrines will give all hero’s a buff.
Speaking of orbs, this is how you place hero’s on the map. At the start of every game, you have 100 orbs. It costs 100 orbs to place a hero, so try to place the hero that corresponds with the first wave. By defeating enemies, you earn more orbs.
Runes increase damage, range, attack speed and gold dropped by enemies as well as a handful of other useful abilities. You can socket runes into hero’s through the forge, up to a maximum of 10. Whilst in battle, you spend orbs to charge hero’s, which activates the runes in the order you slot them.
You can construct runes by using gold and gems through the forge in town. You can also unlock runes by completing missions.
There are three types of challenge, which offer different rewards, such as gold and gems. Try and complete the level with no consumables, one life or only one hero. You can also try to complete the mission on 4 varying difficulties.
I was pleasantly surprised at how good the game looked, and sounded. The levels are well thought out, the graphics look pretty good, I very much enjoyed the Kingdom for Keflings vibe, and I didn’t experience any visual issues. Music wise, Hero Defense manages to find the right style of music for the right situation without taking to much away from the gameplay. The game also feels good to control. I especially like how you can hold down the right trigger to speed up the gameplay, so you don’t watch a bunch of undead creatures slowly crawl over the map.
Overall, hero defense is a very good tower defense game in it’s own right. I would have liked to have seen the game a little lower priced, somewhere around £15.99, not £25. However, nice looking gameplay, fluid mechanics and sometimes funny character interaction all make for an enjoyable experience. The lack of co-op, repetitive voice lines and points where I didn’t need to interact with the gameplay, left me a little disappointed, but not enough to make me put the controller down.
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- Overall - 8/108/10
Being a person who doesn’t normally enjoy tower defense games, I enjoyed my time playing Hero Defense. The combat was fun, and not to repetitive. The variety of abilities and enemies kept me entertained and engaged, the only thing I would have liked to see is some inclusion of multiplayer, however the game was good to play regardless.