If your current bathroom book is a bit lackluster, try killing time with Heroes Charge, a fast-paced RPG sidescroller by Ucool. Don’t get me wrong, Heroes Charge boasts a diverse selection of unlockable characters, battle arenas, and gear but like any freemium mobile game, the rich content comes either at a price or a really long wait.
In the world of Kron, you are in command of a group of chibi heroes on a grand journey toward… something? It isn’t clear at any point of the game who or what these heroes are searching for. Other than vague stage descriptions and cookie cutter one-liners exchanged between your heroes and bosses, the game leaves much of the story to the player’s imagination. From a design aspect, the game is set in your conventional, run-of-the-mill fantasy world, the graphics and animation are clean but don’t exactly scream original. The heroes encounter a variety of enemies from treants and elves to nagas and sahagins. Battle campaigns are separated into chapters with each chapter containing several instances. Each instance has three waves of enemies and one tougher boss so there’s some strategy involved when it comes to using your heroes’ charged special powers.
Your heroes have conventional roles such as healer, tank, and caster, and they all have their own special moves and “ultimate abilities” which can range from a healing spell to an AoE attack. Drops found in instances are used to ultimately upgrade or “promote” your hero’s stats by collecting/crafting a combination of gear. There isn’t too much room for customization in the beginning of the game, you can pick and choose which abilities your hero should level but you have to progress further into the game, you can unlock more heroes and eventually enchant your gear.
I hesitate to call Heroes Charge an action RPG as the player remains relatively passive during battles. The characters are on auto-attack, so your only responsibility is to deploy charged up ultimate abilities at the right time. This makes the game a rather casual grind experience. If that weren’t easy enough, you can also earn “raid tickets” to instantly farm gear or experience points from previous stages.
Outside of campaigns, you can buy items to better equip your team; evolve your teammates; summon new heroes; rise the ranks in PVP; join a guild, and earn experience points and money through additional arenas. At the center of these activities is the ultimate freemium trifecta: stamina, gems, and gold. Campaigns and extra arena battles require stamina which replenishes once every six minutes. Shops aside, gold is also used to craft equipment and more aggravating still, level your abilities. In addition to spending a skill point (which regenerates overtime), you also have to pay a fee parallel to the levelof your ability. Of course, you can’t earn gold without the stamina to fight. Therein lies the problem. The more invested you become in the game and the stronger your team becomes, the heavier your reliance on stamina and gold, both of which come and go extremely quickly. This is where gems come in. Gems are bought with real money and can be spent on obtaining better heroes, or exchanged into money or stamina ONCE per day.
Heroes Charge has a lot of potential to be a great, absorbing game. Despite the passive battle system and lack of customization early on, the promise of unlockable content just out of reach is seductive. What kept me playing was the sheer amount of things you could (eventually) do in the game, but the freemium aspect of this game eventually stops any progress from happening. Unless they really want to pay for few extra battles, players will find themselves sitting on their hands instead of enjoying the game. For a quick and casual gaming experience where one can put down the game at will, Heroes Charge is a perfect fit. For a hardcore gamer who wants an immersive experience, the game isn’t really worth the time.
Is it Hardcore?
Freemium game elements interrupt and limit what could be an enjoyable and addictive experience.