Verticle Drop Heroes is a plat-forming RPG developed by Nerdook. If you haven’t heard of them, then you’re in the same company, it being an indie game that was originally developed on flash game websites it’s nice to see a game with humble roots breaking into areas more unknown to them and all though I suppose with steams greenlight it isn’t that rare an opportunity to see games being developed in this way it’s still great to see an inventive fresh idea coming to light that would have been snuffed by publishers. But, enough with rattling and on with the review.
As mentioned the game is an RPG plat former where you play as one of the many of the many heroes who fully believe they are the chosen one, horribly clichéd however there is only one chosen hero. How do we find this chosen one? Why by simple surviving with him. This may sound like a really basic and pretty poorly thought out story, but in its simplicity, it allows you- the player to create the story of each hero as when you die, on a level you have to pick a new hero to do what the previous could not. This creates nice little personal stories for each of the hero that is unique to them like Moonshadow, who after reaching the boss and the third stage got set on fire and burnt to death just at the reach of victory and Wraithslayer who accidentally lost footing and fell into a den of werewolfs and after killing many eventually fell to their sheer numbers and his already broken body. Although we do not get a massive amount a story fed to us and the characters are merely defined by their appearance and their names by placing it onto the player it really gives you a control of their fate and fully places the adventure as the story itself, embracing that randomness and adventure that a lot of games try to create.
Mechanically the game is pretty interesting, as mentioned you start the game with a selection of three characters with various stats and abilities, however when you die you have to pick from a brand new list of three. The abilities and stats vary upon the abilities that you have purchased with what you by in your previous journey in that you can upgrade so the stats are higher and you get a more varied character sets with abilities. One disappointing feature with this is that you cannot build your own character, admittedly with the sheer range of character design and the fact that you can pick out of three on each run through means there are plenty that were exactly what I was looking for but it would have still been nice. Also, as you descend the level you will heroes in cages which once freed will help you throughout the game in various ways, not quite sure how they got there unless the heroes you actually play as have been captured by the monsters and this is a cruel game created by them, in which you have to fight your way out by, erm killing them kind of like a gladiatorial coliseum where the field is where the audience is. The plat forming is a basic top down plat forming where you have to get to the bottom of the level and kill the boss ranging from a bigger version of the mobs you fought to a grab that divides each time you kill it. The Multiplayer also plays a lot like the single player- but with more of you and more stuff happening on the screen.
Aesthetically, it looks and feels like a flash game with the sound and flash aesthetic and, but not in the rubbishy way like a cheap Mario knock of clone, but in the good way like thing thing arena and Thomas was alone or Castle Crashers (although comparing those three feels a bit dis-analogous). The sheer amount of abilities looks great and very diverse and fits its flashy style perfectly.
Overall the game does a great job of combining two elements that I would never think of and putting an RPG’s in a light I would have never thought of and making a fantastic and fun experience. If you want to play a quick, interesting RPG and want to experience something a little simpler, but different than I recommend this fully. The only thing I can honestly say irks me a bit is the fact that there is no real active conscious customisability. This review hasn’t had a lot of jokes so I’ll just leave it with I’ve said “sheer” a lot and since being in wales we all know what happens with sheep… They make nice woolen jumpers.
Greenlight link – http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=205631999
GOG Product page link (active from 3am PST May 20th) http://www.gog.com/game/vertical_drop_heroes_hd
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.