By: Ted Chow
An unexpected gem within the veil of a plethora of indie titles, Hero Generations is one game that brings some interesting mechanics in the form of passing hereditable traits and character stats to your offspring. Much of the game revolves around this feature, and it definitely gives Hero Generations some novelty points for sure. With tile-based board movement and interesting buildings and card flipping stat mechanics, Hero Generations is one of those games that defies a particular genre and encourages the player to pursue a legacy.
Don’t expect anything glamorous with Hero Generations as the majority of the game can be played with just a mouse. Movement is a simple click fest as you move your character through highlighted tiles across a board-like world. Combat is also non-existent as it is as simple as clicking the attack button and letting random number generation (RNG) determine if you come out ahead or not. Regardless of the simplicity, the controls felt uninspired but functional enough to provide a standard experience.
While I can understand the Flash-like aesthetics for a game not necessarily focused on graphics, it can feel like it’s paying too much homage to web-based browser games. The sprites themselves are passable and the aging effect of your characters is a nice touch, but the budget was spent elsewhere for sure. The sound is also pretty generic with nothing really to captivate the audience.
Hero Generations’ strongest trait would be in the mechanics with the aging of characters and continuing the fight as your progeny. Hereditary traits can be passed down to help future generations get a head start in tackling the list of quests and objectives put upon you. These traits usually affect either your strength or life expectancy.
Strength is essentially your maximum roll potential when a battle commences and RNG determines who wins. Life expectancy, on the other hand, is not only your HP, but also the number of moves in that character’s lifespan before dying of old age. As evident from the game’s namesake, you’ll want to create a lasting legacy until you finally lose.
As you play, you’ll want to maximize the fame you accumulate and the gold that you get. Fame is more of an end-game final score, while gold is used to create buildings in towns for additional benefits such as increased starting life or more mating opportunities. Gold can also be used to buy items at in designated towns for additional stat bonuses. Some quest lines will require you to accumulate X number of gold or fame in order to unlock new quests.
With each passing move you’ll age and eventually die if you do not settle down with a partner and pass on your traits and items. This is a rather refreshing feature as it is essentially recreates a new hero with similar stats, but with the ability to acquire new stats as well.
Traits are handled in a random manner with a card flipping game to give your offspring starting advantages. While important, it is more advantageous to acquire the more unique traits and items to pass along as those are the ones that give significant bonuses for your characters. Again these are randomly discovered or acquired through adventuring and completing quests.
Hero Generations is more than staying in one place as there are more locations and missions to seek out. There is a risk/reward scenario, though, as traveling to new locations may spell the end for your character if you are ill equipped to face the challenges.
With only single-player available, Hero Generations is fun the first few playthroughs, but the novelty tends to wear off pretty quickly. While you can try to climb up the leaderboard, the climb doesn’t feel as rewarding as other games. That being said, Hero Generation does have some interesting mechanics that helps separate it from other indie titles.