App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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If the Civilization games decided they wanted to be more of a roguelike experience, Hero Generations would be pretty much exactly what those games would look like. Instead of ruling an entire civilization, Hero Generations has you controlling a long lineage of heroes that carry out quests, build up towns, find mates, and more. It's a novel concept but takes a little bit of patience and persistence to really get going.
Create a legacy
Hero Generations looks a lot like other mobile roguelikes in appearance, with your hero walking around a grid-based map in a turn-based fashion. On this map are towns, shops, forests, and -- of course -- enemies. The twist that this game puts on other roguelikes though, is that your goal is sort of left up to you.
Your hero starts with a standard lifespan of 70 years, with a year ticking down for every move you make. With that amount of time, there are several quests you can pursue, but you can also just go about exploring, earning money, or just about anything else. The only thing that you need to make sure you do is successfully find a mate before you die so you can continue playing and making progress using the next in your line as your playable character. Because most mates have specific gold or fame requirements, it is usually wise to spend at least some of your time completing quests to make sure you can meet these requirements.
The neat thing about Hero Generations is that -- since you play it over such a long span of years -- you feel like you can really make a lasting impact on your surrounding world. Buildings that you construct last several generations, for example, and even clearing out enemy lairs also lasts and turns them into warp points you can use to get around the map faster.
But with a game spanning multiple generations, time takes its toll on everything you do as well. Buildings will collapse if not maintained, cleared out enemy areas will eventually come back under their control, etc. With this in mind, you really need to focus on your goals, since not everything you create or do will last forever.
As neat as the idea behind Hero Generations is, it can be frustrating to play 70 turns before essentially resetting your character over and over again. A large part of this frustration comes from the fact that the early and late stages of life involve having really low combat abilities, forcing you to play a large portion of the game really safely.
There are some ways around this, like purchasing items that increase your strength or building multiple forts that give you strength potions, but finding a good item leaves things up to chance and building lots of forts is expensive and requires a lot of maintenance. There's certainly something to this form of challenge and how it demands players to really consider all of their actions carefully, but it can also be feel annoying, particularly if you'd prefer to working toward some other goal.
The bottom line
Hero Generations is a cool little game that can feel pretty rote at times. Despite that particular issue -- and some pretty funky aesthetics -- this game manages to be a solidly fun and unique roguelike.