The Hero by Chillingo and Traplight Games flew into the app store this week. As the name suggests, you play as “The Hero,” charged with saving the city from all kinds of bad guys, putting out fires, exterminating insects, high fiving your fans, and just all in all being a great superhero. Oh yeah, you get to save a few parachuting babies in your travels.
Graphically The Hero is a work of spectacular piece of art. Lots of tiny details are included and even on the small screen readily apparent. From the fire escapes to the signs on the buildings, nothing is overlooked. Even your fans are visually sharp as they wave to you flying by, awaiting their high five. This Hero needs to be his own public relations agent you see, and in the hustle and bustle of saving the city, needs to find the time to high five his adoring fans to keep his fame points high. Doesn’t seem fair that after all the Hero does for the city he has to keep his reputation and fame high, but lose faith with the city residents and it’s mission over. So those fans are what keeps the Hero going.
Not only do the fans keep the Hero’s fame points high, they also provide the fuel for three special super powers that help the Hero in his quest to rid the city of the evil that lurks around every corner.
Lots of content abounds with Chillingo’s Crystal Integration jam packed with awards and online leaderboards. A campaign mode with 15 different quests to solve unlocks a survival mode along the way. But at it’s very core is a fun game that allows you to lose yourself in the fantasy world and if only for a few minutes at a time, you can be the Hero that saves the city.
Graphics: As mentioned, this game is a work of art. No detail is left unturned and it’s very evident that a lot of work and attention went into making this game a beautiful sight. The sounds from the residents and the flashing cars when the Hero accidentally crashes are a nice distraction.
Storyline: With 15 missions assigned by the Chief of Police and constant reminders from Ms Rose regarding your reputation and do’s and don’ts, there is a theme that carries from one mission to the next. Interspersed with humor, subtlety and cleverness is cute bantering that should not be skipped. The reminder, in the form of a reprimand, not to destroy the residents vehicles was especially funny.
Controls: You control the Hero with either a virtual joystick or by tilt control. The virtual joystick is very responsive and since I am not a fan of tilt control found the choice refreshing. Boost and power up buttons are located on the screen as well, and little indicators are visible showing you how close you are to activating these power ups. A nice touch. Directing you are colored arrows on the screen, each color a different threat level. These are very helpful to guide you to the most imminent places of danger in the city. My one wish would be that the Hero could turn a little quicker. Sometimes my turns felt like high wire aerial acrobatics moving from one place to another. A bit more precision would be welcomed in this area.
Mission Progress: While during each mission there is an update of the percent of the mission you have finished as you progress, some sort of steady progress bar would be helpful to indicate how close you are to fulfilling the mission requirements. Juggling your fame in the form of high fiving your fans, putting out fires, catching babies, and catching bad guys of one sort or another is pretty hard work, so it would be great to gauge how close you are to the end of each mission. A few times I completed the mission with merely one more high five, so some kind of clarification on that would be appreciated.
Overall, The Hero will have you clamoring for more as you will feel you need to save the city from more ill wills. Good thing this Hero is around for what appears to be the unluckiest city in the world, and he is prepared to fend off a variety of evils to keep its residents safe. Working to unlock all the achievements will lead you back to playing more and more and with that will come the satisfaction of a job well done. And heck, saving all the babies in their parachutes is reward in and of itself.
The Hero was developed by Chillingo and Traplight Games. Version 1.0 was reviewed on my 2g iPod Touch with OS 3.x. Its current selling price is $1.99.