When the village of Levantia is in peril, it is up to a friendly-faced, helicopter-headed hero to save the day. Heroki is an iOS platform game developed by SEGA and Picomy Games, and with over ten hours of gameplay, this game boasts a unique selling point that on the face of it, seems well worth the plunge. I fell in love with this title almost immediately, and if you read on, you will see the many reasons why I did.
Reviewed on: iPhone
(review code provided by publisher)
Whenever I see an premium game on the App Store, I’m usually intrigued as to what is on offer, and whether or not it is any different to games I’ve previously bought. Now, while the concept of platform games is certainly nothing new, Heroki’s gameplay and graphical design made it stand out. I love the simplicity, and the constant narrative flowing through the game kept it interesting, and gave me a reason to play it further. There are leaderboards and availability for Game Centre, which for me is always a welcome addition in a game.
The first thing that strikes you about this game is its compelling visuals. So sublime are they, that this game would not be out of place on a Nintendo GameCube, as its vibrancy and charm reminded me somewhat of Super Mario Sunshine. The 3-D world is absolutely delightful, full of colour and enchantment, and I loved it from the off. It took five years to make this game, and it certainly paid off. As I eluded to earlier with the aforementioned GameCube, you would be forgiven for thinking Heroki was a console game. This game oozes personality and dynamism, forced home even more so by the background motions and zany sound effects.
More detail about the sound and background animations now, and they are superb. The background animations filled me with joy, as I loved seeing how alive the game was. Gorgeous waterfalls and enchanting animals are just a small example of what to expect from Heroki. You could quite easily forget the objectives of the game, and just be encapsulated by the surrounding beauty. It is so aesthetically pleasing and it won me over. Also, the sound played a huge role in Heroki’s charm. The game couldn’t just rely on top notch visuals and a vivacious background animations, as it needed sounds that wouldn’t only accompany it, but elevate it to another level once more. It was all very eloquent, and it really helped take the game to greater heights.
Heroki’s objective is similar to many heroic protagonists, and in this case it is to save Levanti from the fiendish Dr. N. Forchin. Heroki has to clear levels one by one, similar in style to Crash Bandicoot with the idea of progression coming after reaching a designated point within a level. There are four lavish areas to pass through. Within each sector there are five pieces of collectibles, known as Emiral’s, that you should collect in order for Heroki to power-up further down the line. Each level ends when Heroki reaches a swirling portal. It won’t all be plain sailing though, or in this case flying, as you will have to traverse through a number of clever puzzles, defeat enemies with varying techniques and upgrade Heroki in order to pass through the latter stages. The game allows for exploration outside of the main story, as you can discover secret passages behind walls. You can even go inside a Whale, which was reminiscently similar to Super Mario going through a pipe. There are a number of puzzles, some of which are frustrating, but it is an essential tool to keep you engaged in the game, and give it some longevity.
The controls in the game are simple in once sense, but difficult in another. There are three ways to control Heroki; drag, push, or a floating D-Pad. I found dragging Heroki to be quite laborious, as you would often block the screen for yourself, and Heroki wouldn’t always be the easiest to control in this system. The push system was easier again, but for me personally, the D-Pad was a much easier method of control in this game. You will go through the basics of the controls upon starting the game, and you will learn moves like how to throw boxes and how to do a mid-air slam from above. free-fall drop when you tap underneath him, as well as stopping mid-fall by tapping above him. The game is very rewarding, and as such, you will garner more skills as you progress through the game.
I would highly recommend forgetting about the price tag, and purchasing this game. It is absolutely stunning, and almost faultless. The time and dedication put in to Heroki is abundantly clear in every level that you come across. I can’t speak highly enough of this game, and I firmly believe it is a showcase of the potential that iOS games of the future can aspire to be.
Heroki is available now for £5.99 via the App Store.