An Average Adventure
Developed by Hong Kong studio Woobest, Heroes of Crown was far from being the biggest release of the last few months. A gacha RPG in a crowded market needs to do a lot to make itself stand out. Unfortunately, Heroes of Crown fails to do so in a meaningful way.
Woobest’s fantasy RPG follows three aspiring adventures as they quest to prove themselves worthy of the title. However, the party has barely started their first adventure when they stumble across an ancient magical crown. This awakens a previously unknown power within one of our protagonists, briefly transforming her into a powerful goddess of destruction. Unfortunately, what follows is the most generic and least inspired gacha RPG I’ve played in quite a while. Heroes of Crown is challenging to talk about simply because it feels similar to other games.
As a gacha game, Heroes of Crown sees players recruiting various characters and leading them into battle. Players select up to five heroes and deploy them into formations on the battlefield. Each character has a class and element, the latter determining their strengths and weaknesses. For example, water beats fire, fire beats wind, wind beats water, and light and dark counter each other. There is a bit of nuance regarding the Auras, which are passive buffs that players get by mixing and matching different elements. Players can also change the shape of their formation, which affects which heroes’ enemies will target. However, I had trouble gauging how much that affected combat.
Once players are satisfied with their formation, they hit the start button and their heroes take care of the rest. I’m not a fan of this gameplay style in general, preferring to take a more active role in combat. Yet, many gacha games default to this, and Heroes of Crown does virtually nothing to spice up that standard format.
It’s not even a particularly good version of this style of gameplay. Some games try to compensate for passive gameplay by filling the screen with visual spectacle. Others have the battles play out quickly, so players don’t have time to get bored. Heroes of Crown does none of these things, resulting in a slow and fairly dull experience. You don’t technically have to sit there and watch the battles play out. However, it’s not like there is that much to do outside combat.
That’s not to say that Heroes of Crown is lacking side activities. The game features ranked PVP, a tower mode, and wave-based challenges. Players can also embark on Adventures, which string battles together through various gameplay gimmicks. The Mythic Adventure, for example, has the player exploring an island in search of hidden enemies and treasures. Meanwhile, Ruin Treasure Hunt resembles a board game where players collect treasure by rolling dice to advance across the board. Incidentally, I found both far more engaging than the primary campaign. However, neither did much to compensate for the sheer, mind-numbing grind dominating the rest of the game.
Heroes of Crown made me wish I had been nicer to Bloodlines: The Last Royal Vampire. While that game failed to impress me in several ways, it at least felt like it had a unique identity. My biggest complaint with Bloodlines was what I saw as wasted potential, particularly relating to the game’s main characters. Heroes of Crown, meanwhile, has comparably little going on in terms of apparent creative vision.
The game also hides its minimal story content behind mountains of dull and interchangeable combat. At least some gacha titles let you get through a few story chapters before you slam into the wall of level grinding. That at least gives players time to appreciate some of the plot and characters. Unfortunately, Heroes of Crown skips right over that first step.
Even the heroes’ character design felt underwhelming. Although the models and animations looked fine, none of the hero or monster designs jumped out as all that memorable. Frankly, there’s nothing interesting about the game’s art. It looks fine, but no more than that.
Really, there are so many similar games that I’m not sure I can recommend Heroes of Crown to anyone. While I had my criticisms of Bloodlines: The Last Royal Vampire, it’s mechanically a better version of the same game. Meanwhile, Counterside and Figure Fantasy have better gameplay and halfway decent stories. All three also offer a much more memorable experience. Compared to those and many other similar games on Google Play, Heroes of Crown can’t compete.
Is It Hardcore?
While functional, Heroes of Crown looks and plays like a grindy, less enjoyable and less creative version of every other RPG gacha game on Google play.