Over the last few days, I have had the privilege of playing the Hero Defense Haunted Island Alpha on Steam.The game is developed by Happy Tuesday and is set to release in 2016. The game is currently only on PC.
The first question most people ask before buying a game is 'What do you do in it?' In Hero Defense, you play as five heroes as they battle their way through a variety of maps to defeat Count Necrosis, who is trying to destroy your home village with an army of undead. The game is a tower defense game that mixes in RPG elements.
The basic story is that five heroes are fighting together to take out Count Necrosis who is commanding an army of
undead while also following their own agendas. Count Necrosis used to be a monster slayer before he turned evil, and the first hero you get to control is the counts son.
The story of the game is basic and not much thought was put into it. While playing, it seemed like the arenas were made first and then the story was added as an afterthought as a way of linking the arenas together. If you are looking for a game set around a well thought out or in depth story then this is not the game for you.
When playing a game, gameplay is very important. If a game feels clunky and laggy then most players won't be interested in it.
In Hero Defense Haunted Island, you have five heroes that can be placed into the arena (you do not start with all the heroes unlocked). Each Hero has their own skills and perks and they do more damage against certain enemy types. To complete an arena you have to survive a set number of waves by not letting the enemy to your barricade. The game plays like a Tower Defense game with the enemies following a path to your barricade and you place your heroes around the edge of the path. You can move your heroes around to where the enemies are or to place them on shrines (shrines increase their stats).
At the start of each arena, you have one of each item which you can use throughout the battle. This includes, but is not limited to, Ice (as shown on the left of the screenshot below) and Fire. When you save enough villagers, you can call in an angry mob who run and fight enemies till they all die. This is useful when there are too many monsters nearly at your barricade.
The way the developers designed the gameplay is good and the system seems like it could work,
however using the mouse does not work properly and this needs to be fixed. When trying to select heroes quickly or move them using the mouse, often the mouse click isn't registered on the game. This makes the game seem laggy and the controls seem clunky. The unresponsive mouse click has been fixed by the developers and this is no longer an issue.
The developers want the game to mix RPG elements in with the tower defense. In the game, you can visit a town where you can upgrade your heroes. After each battle, your heroes gain experience which goes towards levelling them up. When one of your heroes levels up, you can put skill points into different attributes to make them stronger. This could include damage or range. By killing monsters you also earn money which goes towards building and upgrading buildings.
The game starts easy, with the first couple of battles being able to be completed without much effort or upgrades. However, after the first couple of battles, the difficulty starts increasing rapidly and the battles start becoming impossible unless you replay old battles to upgrade your heroes. Some players like a steep difficulty curve, but in my opinion, the game gets hard too fast. There is no difficulty settings so this difficulty is for all players, even those who are new to Tower Defense games.
The sound in the game is of high quality with no lag between action and the sound linked to the action. The problem arises with the voice acting. The characters voices seem repetitive and don't match how the character would be feeling. The voices seem like robots with no emotion showing in their voice. This takes away the overall mood and atmosphere that the game tries to create.
Optimizations / Graphics
The game is optimized for low-end builds, and budget PC's should be able to play on high graphics settings with no frame rate issues or lag. The graphics of the game are of decent quality for a mobile game but don't make use of the power of more high-end gaming PC's. While playing, I have come across some blurry textures but they are not noticeable unless you are looking for them. There is not enough difference between different graphics settings. The only noticeable thing that changes is the sky and whether or not clouds move (When on Low settings, the sky seems dull with no clouds and on Ultra settings, The sky is more detailed and the clouds move). It would be better to have more of a difference between different graphics settings.
In my time playing the game, I have not encountered any major bugs or glitches. The only problem I have come across is the unresponsive mouse clicks which I wrote about above.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with this game. I would recommend it to anyone who likes Tower Defense games and doesn't mind if there is no well thought out story with good voice acting. There is lots of hours of gameplay and the game can keep you entertained for hours even though the game gets hard too fast. I wouldn't recommend the game to new players of the genre as the difficulty curve is high.
The game is greenlit on Steam and cannot be bought yet but you can follow news there and even try to win the game key from developers.
• Good Gameplay • The story is basic and not thought out
• Lots of hours of gameplay • Voice acting has no emotion
• Game is optimized for low-end PC's •
Mouse click is often unresponsive
• No major bugs • Difficulty Curve is too steep