I normally don’t play a lot of games on my phone. If I do, then they’re just puzzle games I can come back to every now and then. Playing Heroes & Legends. Conquerors of Kolhar is not game I would normally play. The game was initially released for the PC, Mac and Linux in August and is now also available on mobile devices.
The game mixes fast-paced, reaction-heavy, turn-based combat with the character progression of a role-playing game. This interesting combat mechanic and the well-written story don’t save it from being a mediocre game however. Bad balancing and the shortness of the story are its biggest problems.
However I did enjoy playing the game. It’s fun while it lasts, however short that may be.
• Developer: Cuve Games
• Publisher: Phoenix Online Publishing
• Reviewed on: iPhone
• Also Available On: PC, Mac, Linux, Android
• Release Date: Available Now
You start the game with a party of three, searching for a mystical artifact. You, of course, find it – then somebody takes it from you and subsequently, you have to save the world. The story advances through cutscenes, with the portraits of the characters shown on the screen. These dialogue scenes are well written but sadly don’t feature any kind of voice acting, so reading it is.
Initially, your party starts out with three members and gains two more during its journey. As fun as the combat and the story are, it’s also really short of a RPG. You can finish it in about three to four hours.
Besides story missions, you can do side missions, which are basically story missions without a narrative. The last type of quest you can do are events. These are little decisions you have to make, you pray at a temple and choose which bonus you like, or you get cursed by a witch and have to choose what gets cursed. These little decisions are random on your map and can either be good or bad for you.
After you finish the campaign, you are free to do every story mission again.
The most refreshing feature in the game is the combat system. Three of your heroes battle against up to three enemies. Each hero has his own lane like in the Plants vs. Zombies series. Once the first three enemies are defeated, you have to defeat more waves of three, finishing a whole battle takes about ten to fifteen minutes. At its core, the combat is completely automatic, you could win without doing a thing.
Every hero and enemy has a bar that indicates the time until the next attack. What makes the fighting interesting are the skills. Your heroes can use up to five skills, of ten available. These skills can either deal damage, heal, buff or debuff. After you use them, you have to wait for the cooldown which only runs down when the character is battling an enemy and not waiting idly. Solely through this mechanic, the game turns into a real-time strategy game, as you have to time when to use skills. Abilities like stun work best when they are timed well.
Something else to consider during combat are the three different types of attack: melee, ranged and magic. Melee and magic attacks work the same, they only affect the enemy opposite. Whereas ranged attacks can have effects outside their lane. These weapons are normally not as powerful as their melee counterparts to balance them.
Another mechanic that always needs your attention during combat is the loot system. Each time you defeat a wave of enemies you get an item. This can be a weapon, shield or a potion. For each skill point you invest in lock the chances for better loot get higher. You always have to swap your parties’ equipment during combat.
After finishing a fight you can recycle your spare equipment. This gets you resources which allow you to craft armour or stronger weapons. Crafting weapons isn’t really necessary, as you find enough good weapons, there are unique weapons that can only be crafted, but those aren’t needed due to the bad balancing, an issue I’ll address shortly.
Crafting armour on the other hand is a way to customize a character more to a specific role in your party. For each level of armour you can chose from three different ones, they each look different and have their own sets of bonuses.
This brings me to the other highlight of the game: character customization. Each time you level up you choose from one of three different stats, as they appear randomly leveling up a specific trait can be difficult. These include, but are not limited to more damage, resistance, speed or higher luck. Stats are also influenced by your armour and temporary potions. Through this high level of customization you are able to make a unique party for your own way of playing.
Utilizing this to make your party awesome in battle is great fun but rarely ever needed. In my opinion the game is too easy. This can be attributed mainly to the bad balancing of the game. Enemies are scaled to your level, which makes the combat not demanding. In addition to the two characters, you unlock later in the game, are too strong. They start out with higher stats than the first three members of the party. This may have been done so that they are viable members later in the game.
There is a challenge mode separate from the campaign, but it’s no fun due to the bad balancing, again. In this mode you battle groups of enemies with a predetermined party, all on level one. Coming from the end of the campaign the challenges are just incredible slow and boring.
The battles aren’t the most impressive to look at, as the animations are essentially non-existent. Enemies just move a bit forward and deal damage. Your heroes at least swing their weapons and deal damage. Strangely this gives the combat a kind of Pokémon feeling.
But this is just a small downside to an otherwise gorgeous game. The entirety of it is beautifully hand-drawn and features a high variety of different enemies.
I enjoyed playing this game, but as it is extremely short and badly balanced I can’t recommend it fully. Heroes & Legends: Conquerors of Kolhar probably benefits from longer pauses between playing.
If you just want a RPG with a fun combat mechanic and battles that’ll take you ten minutes and look great then give this game a go.