Cute but Grindy
Blades fly and foes fall in Sample Games‘ new game Idle Hero Battle. Play as the last of your master’s warriors as the Lich King tries to take over the land. Collect gear and level up your skills as you get closer to the evil threat, or start over at the beginning and get relics to power up. Will you be able to defeat the Lich, or will you fall to his army in this action RPG idle game?
After being introduced to the main story, your dropped into the game’s world. At first, you are given a weapon and manual control of the character. As you travel from floor to floor, you unlock game features and the skills for your four weapons. I found the daggers and great sword to be a great combo together for autoplay once unlocked. Once all your skills and features are unlocked, the grind begins. Fighting waves of enemies till you go against the main boss, then rinse and repeat until you fight the main boss. The gap from boss to boss grows longer as you progress, leading to boredom since there are no other major game modes. The only outlier being AFK mode which gives you experience and gold when you are not playing.
Gear Up and Fight
Idle Hero Battle handles its gear system in a very minimalist manner. Weapons and gear can only be collected by random drops, premium currency, ad watching, or limited use gear dungeons. Your equipment can be upgraded with duplicates of the same rarity or leveled up with special scrolls obtained in dungeons. The other way to increase your damage and health is to use gold and purchase points in training which are only reset upon restarting your progression. The main problem with how the progression is designed is that the enemy power creep kicks in once you reach the higher floors, slowing your overall progression. Looking past the gear system, the idle combat is fluid and works even better when in autoplay. The games AI does handle encounters well with only minor hiccups with targeting during boss fights.
Another positive to Idle Hero is the game’s overall art direction. Going for a cute fantasy 2D style for both the characters and the enemies. This pushed me to continue to see what would come. As you pass through each world, you realize the enemy variety is similar and bosses get reused. With the art being a big focal point next to the combat, adding more creatures or varying floor designs would help push this game forward in the long run.
Gemstones for Gear
The need for gems isn’t that important early in the game because of the many achievements you unlock through play. These are used for buying random gear drops and resources and also costumes that have bonuses. Eventually, the achievements disappear, and the rate of gem collection slows drastically, only being collected through leveling up or gem dungeons. This game will get that pay to win feeling later on in your playthrough. Whether you want to purchase the highest rarity costumes or farming gear for upgrading, the push for purchasing goes up. Sadly this push to monetize for equipment and the expensive costumes spoil what could have been an excellent idle game.
Overall, I feel Idle Hero Battle was fun for a time. The combat and art were fluid and looked good. Once I got to higher floors, I felt the game’s monetization creep in. Compared to other games I have reviewed, I appreciate that the monetization wasn’t always in my face, but I realize it’s still needed, especially later, unless you grind. Although I’d like to recommend it, I’d say wait and see if the title’s balance and loot get revamped.
Is It Hardcore?
Idle Hero Battle is an action RPG idle game with a beautiful art style and fluid combat that can be switched between 2 weapons of your choice. But the repetition of the main game mode, the slow progression and the monetization keep me from whole-heartedly recommending the title.