Hero of Many in Review – Lack Of Action Doesn’t Mean Dull

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Hero of Many is an intriguing game.  I have as yet to encounter most of what is talked about in the iTunes description for the game, or at least in mass amounts, yet I find myself mesmerized every time I load it up and start playing.  This game is about exploration as much as anything else, and if you’re the kind of player that needs to blast something every five seconds you might have a hard time latching on to Hero Of Many.  On the other hand, if you prefer a relaxing experience that has a little bit of gameplay thrown into the mix as well, Hero Of Many will be both satisfying and unlike much of anything else you’ll play from the App Store.

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There is a story that from what I can gather so far involves oppression and trying to break free from the evil that binds… you know, your typical cliché background.  What’s interesting is that the tale is told via in-game cut scenes that have no text or dialog, so you pretty much take from it what you will.  The game itself involves collecting orbs to make yourself stronger and freeing your comrades in light who will follow you and help fight the darkness when you encounter it.  So far I have engaged in one or two “major” battles, and had one opportunity to flee for my life from a boss that was too powerful to take on directly, but most of the combat has been pretty benign.  Most of the “puzzle solving” so far has been relegated to pushing rocks and trying not to get lost, but based on some of the screenshots I’ve seen I’m guessing that picks up later on as well.

Hero of Many relies on your ability to be patient and content with swimming around your surroundings, building your own tension simply by anticipating what might come around the bend.  It’s kind of like the difference between the first two films in the venerable Alien franchise, Alien and Aliens.  The latter was an all out action fest similar to most FPS games, whereas the former kept you thinking “when is something going to pop out”; that’s the feeling Hero of Many invokes.  For me it actually works rather well, but there’s certainly a particular mindset required to fully enjoy this style of game play.  There is also no score to be found in this game or any sort of achievements, so if you’re in need of instant gratification when playing a game you won’t find that here.

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To control the orb (and consequently the followers) you just tap the screen.  The farther your finger is from the orb the faster it will travel in the direction you want.  Your followers automatically attack anything that’s fairly close which is good to pick off bad guys in small groups.  The only special move I’ve learned so far is a group attack where you swipe from your orb in the direction you wish to attack, and all of your current followers will attack what is in that direction.  The control seems responsive enough so far, but the ability to perform additional moves will help cement that belief.  The levels are huge, which is nice, but your only indication that you’ve been somewhere other than flat out recognizing your location are white circles that appear in the rock formations at certain points when you first pass them.  There are also specific save points, and any progress you make between them will be lost if you need to quit the game.  That’s a bit disappointing given how much ground there is to cover in each level.

The visuals are simple and breathtaking.  The creatures look like living symbols, and the background has just enough animation to give you the sense that this is an organic, breathing world.  I’m always impressed when designers can make something look so good with a limited selection of colors as well.  The sound has a unique flavor to it, and the music is often subtle or lacking until you get to key moments at which point it gets very energetic and helps to set a frantic tone.

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I know it’s true of just about any game, but Hero of Many will definitely not appeal to everyone.  If you’re a high octane, blast everything in sight kind of guy this might not work for you.  There’s also a chance you’ll struggle a bit if you’re the type to pull up a map over your display every five seconds to find out where to turn.  On the other hand, if you get how exploring without confrontation can be fun or just want to experience something that doesn’t feel like everything else you’ve played on the App Store, Hero of Many is a great choice for you.  Just don’t expect any updates in the foreseeable future to add a BFG to the mix.

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Hero of ManyDeveloper: Matous Jezek
Reviewed Ver:Min OS Req:6.0
Price:$3.99App Size:
  • Unique, relaxing game play
  • Large levels to explore
  • Great visuals
  • Complimentary sound and music
  • Easy to get turned around
  • Can’t just save anywhere
  • No immediate gratification via scores or achievements

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