Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Overlooked Games: Random Heroes Series

Why has "app game" become a derogatory term? Why is everyone in the gaming world so afraid of games for phones regardless of content? Maybe it's due to the skinnerboxes, bland clones, broken ports, and dadaist slop that often haunt the truly vast App Store, blending in with and crowding out what is actually good there, giving the impression that all apps are evil. And with the ease of milking casuals through skinnerboxes, this is becoming horrifyingly common. 

Today on Overlooked Games, I will be writing an article on a certain series of iOS games which are my go-to apps for killing time: the Random Heroes series. Random Heroes is a series of 16-bit styled side scrolling action platformers focused on taking out alien enemies.

Developed by Ravenous Games, Random Heroes began life as an online flash game on Armor Games. You could play as a number of "heroes", whom were mostly the same, on a retro shooting adventure to gun down green aliens. Killed aliens would explode into coins, which could be spent on guns. Later, an iOS game was released, and the series truly began to pick up steam. Now, the number of heroes and weapons had expanded greatly, and each had different stats.

Overall the game was mostly the same as the browser original: a nice little diversion with a sweet 16-bit look and feel. The game apparently did well enough for a sequel to be greenlit, and that sequel was Random Heroes 2. This game here convinced me that Ravenous may be the best unsung developer out there.

Unlike the original where they only had different stats (and were referred to as mere costumes for Bandit), the heroes had different abilities from one another. The princess is my favorite: she can float in an obvious nod to another, more famous princess. While it's one different ability each, this combined with the stats is just enough to spark some replay value.

I haven't played the third yet, but all three seem to be worth your time.