Title: Hero Generations
Platform: Windows, Mac, Steam

Reviewed on: Windows
Genre: RPG
Players: Single Player

Written by Bad Demoman 22nd May 2015

I'll be honest, I've never played a game in the Civilization series. This may seem pretty crazy to some, but I've never been one for strategy games with the sole exception of Fire Emblem. The reason I love Fire Emblem so much is how perfectly it blends the Strategy genre with RPG elements, permadeath and even an endearing yet simple system of pairing characters, resulting in playable offspring.

So you'd think, in spite of its comparisons to a ''mini Civilization'', that I'd take a shining to Hero Generation. It has RPG elements, permadeath and the idea of mating and creating new playable generations is extremely central to gameplay. So where does it all go wrong?

The objective of Hero Generation is to acquire as much fame in a single lifetime as you can. Fame can be generated in many ways, such as exploration or slaying monsters. Large amounts of Fame can be generated through quests, which usually involve slaying a big monster or building a certain building. It's unlikely the first Hero you ever play as will become the biggest thing in the world though. To this end, you are required to find a mate in order to, *ahem* create an heir to your goal. Your mates have requirements, of course. They won't fall in love with you for simply showing up at their doorstep! Some will want you to have lots of money, be particularly strong or be very famous. Mates will be ranked based on their traits, and higher ‘quality’ mates will be harder to get (People in this world are apparently fairly shallow. Ranking people on their traits and caring only about their riches!). Right before you get to play as your new hero, you're presented with a set of cards. You can flip a certain number of cards (bonus flips are given for having a Circus or having extra years on your previous heroes lifespan left). These cards will give your character bonuses, such as stats or special traits. It's a novel system, but it really sucks when you have to turn in your buff, powerful character that just destroyed the big boss of the area for a child that will lose to the weakest of monsters.

That's not to say a powerful hero is any safety from the terrors of Hero Generation. At one point, I had a character that was nearly slayed by a normal human after defeating a giant dragon. This is because of the combat system in Hero Generation, which is pretty much entirely RNG. When you attack an enemy, both of you roll a dice. Whoever rolls the highest, successfully attacks the enemy. Your strength will dictate the maximum dice roll possible, and the minimum is always zero. Your combat damage is how much damage you will deal to the enemy. Dealing damage will not decrease any HP, because HP is not a stat in Hero Generation. Instead, it will decrease your lifespan, giving you less time to do heroic things! While I do like the idea of losing time for taking damage, the system of combat is just way too random for me. Theoretically, a low strength character could beat any monster. Similarly, a god-like superhuman could be toppled by a goblin. There's little strategy beyond picking your battles depending on the enemy's strength.

So obviously, you're going to be needing to develop your stats. So how do you go about doing that? Well, theres a fair few ways. As previously mentioned, when a character is made you can flip cards for some stats. You also gain some stats when you hit certain milestones, which happen after a certain amount of years of life. You'll gain a bit of strength, and you can flip another card for some stats. However, as you grow old you will actually lose strength, as your character grows frail. There's also buildings that can generate potions to increase stats. This means that in order to increase your stats effectively, you're going to have to build towns for the sole purpose of buffing your character. This is where the Civilization-esque elements come in. It can be frustrating to spend an entire generation building a town, especially when buildings can crumble and disappear if not repaired with an item called a Wooden Hammer. You have to balance building and maintaining towns, travelling to new places and getting stronger with a mortal lifespan, it really makes you identify with the point of view of typical Elves in fantasy novels and movies – if only these mortal humans could live longer!

I didn't greatly enjoy Hero Generation, but I wonder how much of that preference is. While I genuinely believe the combat is horrible, with very little actual interaction, I'm sure that the town building would appeal more to someone with a preference for Strategy games and the generations are a pretty cool idea. But at the same time, I feel like so many other games do the same thing better. If you want to build up an empire and take on the world, there's Civ. If you want a strategy RPG, there's Fire Emblem. If you particularly adore the idea of this particular combination Hero Generation is far from a terrible game, but it seems to not be for me.

Novel generational concept,

Town Building may appeal to Strategy lovers.


RNG-based combat with little interaction,

Losing progress through crumbling buildings or new generation can be frustrating.

Final verdict,

Hero Generation gets a 6/10.

Written by,
Bad Demoman

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