App Reviewed on: iPad 3
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Controlling a single video game character can be tough at times, but things get even more complicated when that single protagonist becomes two, or five, or an entire swarm. Yeah, controlling a swarm of things seems like a daunting task. Hero of Many actually makes the process totally painless. It's also rather beautiful to boot.
The basic gist of Hero of Many is that a group of happy little fish-like creatures gets scattered and more-or-less wiped out by a far less happy group of little fish-like creatures. All that remains is a little glowing ball. That ball is what players will have to guide through hazardous caves, around schools of angry ocean dwellers, and more as they attempt to reunite with their fishy friends and find the exit to each level. Simply touching and holding the screen at various distances will start moving the little orb, and when it gets close enough to its buddies they'll automatically get in formation. There are also a number of smaller glowing things spread around the environment that will make the orb brighter and allow it to attract larger numbers of fish. Of course a lot of these items and extra buddies are hidden, so it's important to travel off the beaten path every now and then.
There's a fairly simple, yet incredibly beautiful and elegant visual style to Hero of Many that I haven't seen very often; which is a shame because I love it. The stark contrast of the graphics, as well as the smaller background details come together perfectly to create a landscape that's both surreal and familiar to anyone who knows what the ocean looks like underneath the surface. Since I'm a rather big fan of exploration in my games I also really enjoyed being able to scour each level for hidden fish and light-thingies.
Although due to the sheer size of the levels and their multiple winding paths, exploration can sometimes be rather difficult. Lights will activate at certain junctions so that players can tell where they've been, but when there are so many intersections to float down they aren't really much help. I also found the controls to be a little too loose at times; specifically when I had to wind my way through small tunnels quickly. When the action slows down it's not a problem in the slightest, but when speed and accuracy are important I ended up skidding into walls and getting stuck on corners for a few split seconds too many.
Hero of Many might be a tad unwieldy when the action ramps up, but that doesn't happen very often. Even when it does, the problem doesn't amount to much more than a minor annoyance. What's left is an absolutely gorgeous and somewhat surreal experience that's definitely worth a glance.