Version Reviewed: 1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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I’ve been a RPG fan for many years, so I can confidently say that the genre has gradually been getting easier in recent times. It makes sense, opening up titles to a more casual crowd, but it makes the hardened fan in me wish for more of an old school challenge. If you’re like me, Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic will scratch that itch well. It’s part roguelike, part old school RPG, and it’s often unforgiving. It’ll also remind you of just how great it feels to progress in a game that isn’t holding your hand the whole time.
You start out by picking a team of three heroes from the local tavern before taking them out to explore various dungeons and complete some quests. Tellingly, the ‘easiest’ path to take is still described as hard, which is about right, too.
Pixel Heroes isn’t a game where you can stumble along blindly and succeed. Instead, plenty of careful inventory management and stocking up on potions is imperative if you want to beat the various quests available.
Besides the turn based combat which is fairly self explanatory, there are also numerous moments where you have to make some decisions. These tend to correlate to whether you want to risk opening a chest or investigating a particular area, with a series of statistics guiding you through the chances of things turning out well for your team. Death is permanent, meaning you want to plan carefully and cautiously. Despite the threat involved, Pixel Heroes is often quite humorous too, throwing in some quirky references to keep you intrigued. You might die often, but you’ll want to come back.
That’s what works so well for Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic - it’s fairly satisfying to succeed, even if more inexperienced players might be slightly intimidated. A tutorial would have helped, perhaps, early on, but for the hardier player it’s a fairly small quibble in an otherwise gripping affair.