The Hero, Chillingo’s side-scrolling action game, has finally been released and is available from the app store. The ultra-smooth gameplay, great graphics, and varied game elements create a chaotic experience that delights at first, but eventually plummets into frustration.
The Hero Pros:
- Excellent smooth graphics in high FPS mode
- Various game elements create fun-at-first chaos experience
- Superhero replay value with Crystal leaderboards and achievement system
The Hero Cons:
- Chaotic gameplay eventually plummets into frustration
Campaign mode presents you with 15 increasingly larger cities to protect from zombies, rogue militia members, raging fires, huge spiders, killer bees, time bombs, and several other threats to the well-being of the taxpaying citizens. Eradicating these pesky party crashers is as simple as flying into them. Of course, you’ll need to hit them with some force, lest you simply bump them to another part of a building where they’ll continue to wreak havoc. Flying around the board, you follow tiny arrows that indicate the presence of a threat. The size of the arrow indicates the significance of the threat. Blinking arrows are more urgent, and blue arrows indicate a frozen threat, which comes about by unlocking and activating new powers. A virtual d-pad controls the direction of flight, while a turbo button gives a speed boost and a special abilities button initiates abilities, like temporarily freezing all enemies. Of course, fighting crime isn’t always enough to satisfy a city’s inhabitants. They want a little face time, too. As such, you’ll notice several people hanging out of their high-rise windows. High fiving your fans will ensure that your fame bar, found across the top of the screen, remains high. So, too, will killing enemies and collecting tokens left behind. If your fame bar depletes, it’s game over. Each level becomes a delicate balance of attacking enemies and spending time with the citizens, which often resulted in losing levels over and over because our desire to wipe out crime outweighed our desire to bump fists with John Q. Public. It only took a few levels for us to hit the wall, not quite able to clear half of the board before our fame ran dry. While repeated attempts and tweaking of our focus will likely result in eventual success, the initial elation disappointingly died much quicker than we expected.
The graphics are very nice, and enabling the high fps option results in a very smooth 60 fps that really enhances the gameplay. The soundtrack is pretty standard fare, appropriate for the game without getting too annoying. Controls worked very well, though The Hero requires an appropriate turning radius which often caused us to fly in circles around our target, which also became frustrating after a while. There is a tilt option for controlling your flight, though it only appears to work in top-down play. If there is a calibration option, we couldn’t find it. Tapping the buttons on the right side of the screen activates your special ability or a burst of speed. The buttons are large and easy to hit.
The Hero uses Chillingo’s Crystal networking system for global leaderboards and a decent achievement system, increasing the replay value of the game. Two difficulty settings allow you to tailor the game to your skill level, and a survival mode (with 4 additional levels) gives you the opportunity to continue fighting crime until you just can’t hack it anymore. At $1.99, The Hero is a good value and a 4-Dimple standout.The Hero: Chaotic Crime Fighting Will Thrill At First,