INFOtainment

Gaming: Hero Defense – Haunted Island

This article is a follow up to the initial game play video I posted on YouTube:

So, let’s talk about tower defense (TD) games, in general,  and then let’s discuss the types of cool variation that Hero Defense – Haunted Island (HDHI) brings to the player.
Typically TD games go something like this
  1. The player has a series of maps
  2. The maps spawns creatures/enemies (bad stuff) off some sort in waves
    1. the spawning comes from 1 or more locations on the map
    2. the waves increase in difficulty on each map
    3. earlier maps have fewer creatures, less variety
    4. maps and creatures increases in complexity and variety respectively
  3. The bad stuff walks/runs/flies/glides or otherwise moves along that map to some destination
  4. The player wants to stop the bad stuff from getting to the destination (wait, why do i like these game so much?) as getting to the destination represents something bad for the player e.g. losing a life or life point or something of value
  5. Losing all the life points means the player loses the game and has to start the level over (or maybe  even the game)
  6. The maps progressively increase in difficulty
  7. Destroying bad stuff gives game currency to the player
    1. Tougher bad stuff leads to more currency upon destruction
  8. The player may place items (good stuff) on the map to eliminate the bad stuff
    1. Generally these are some kind of tower (thus the name, ‘tower defense’) notice how “Hero Defense” calls out, in the name that this is not a “Tower” game, but a hero game.
    2. Like the bad stuff, the good stuff starts simple and increases in complexity
    3. The good stuff generally costs something (currency) to place on the map
    4. Enabling more levels/abilities/features on the good stuff also costs currency (example, place an arrow tower for x currency.  upgrade arrow tower for faster firing, upgrade arrow tower for wider range, upgrade arrow tower for additional damage, — each upgrade being increasingly expensive)
    5. Generally there are specific locations where good stuff can be placed
  9. If player’s tower placements and upgrades are sufficient to destroy all bad stuff on a map, player rewarded with… another map/more currency/new type of good stuff/new possible levels for good stuff
    1. Countering these rewards are the items mentioned above. namely more enemies/tougher enemies/faster enemies/
  10. Each new map generally contains no towers and player has to start anew
  11. Generally player is presented with some storyline describing why the bad stuff is making it’s way to destination and how reaching destination is bad.  often this is secondary to the destruction of bad stuff
I’ve played quite a number of games that follow this basic pattern, some do a nice job with cool graphics and some are just so so.  Recognizing that not everyone has the same eye for beauty, I’ll just say that I personally like the graphics and the sound in this game.  Weighing the 2, I would say I’m more a fan of the visuals than the sounds as the character sayings become a bit repetitive over time. One my scale of big deal to doesn’t matter, the repetition is much closer to “doesn’t matter” since it has not detracted from the game play or my overall enjoyment of the game.
HDHI breaks from the norm in several ways (this is based on my own playing experience of several different tower defense games over the last 7-8 years).
Feature
The norm
Hero Defense
Maps
Yes
Yes
Maps increase in complexity
Yes
Yes
Bad stuff advances
yes
Yes
Good stuff on maps
Towers
sometimes limited movable items
player may choose types of upgrades in map (forked)* (thinking kingdom rush)
Heroes
Shrines
Good stuff off of maps
possible purchase of limited movable items
Runes
Slots for runes (upgraded weapons)
Player chooses upgrade levels along set paths
good stuff can move
generally no
Heroes move
Shrines are static
Game currency
depends, generally on maps creatures drop items and for completing maps you may receive ‘premium’ currency and use that to purchase upgrades
orbs dropped by creatures on maps,
coins dropped by creatures on maps
gems as the premium currency (can be obtained by trading coins for gems in town)
really like this last part
Upgrading good stuff
generally on the map, using currency
usually limited paths for each tower type
outside of map, in town, player can decide how to upgrade characters using runes;
On map, upgrades are enabled when collecting orbs after killing creatures
in town rune choices and progression are up to the player,
rune slots can be upgraded,
upgraded runes can be created by player by combining them;
shrines – these appear in certain places on maps or can be placed by player using gems, limited locations
heroes – using upgrade points in town, upgrade hero abilities as the heros gain experience based levels
Consumables  Temporary items for use on map  HDHI has 4 types of these PLUS you can use townspeople to clear a wave of creatures.
A few other features to note in HDHI –
  • You may replay levels to earn bonuses or coins on increasingly difficult settings
    • You may select not only difficulty in terms of creatures but also select options like only having a single ‘life’ or playing the level with only one of the characters.
  • Maps have several routes that creatures may take and as you replay levels the creatures will travel down these different paths
    • Multiple paths means the player has to move heroes rapidly around the map and/or strategically build shrines based on upcoming creature type
  • If you fail a map level, you still gain hero experience
  • hero defense townThe Town holds 4 different buildings that are related building skills, exchanging coins for gems, upgrading weapons/runes and information
    • Town Hall – info about the game, shrines, characters, bad guys, etc
    • Academy – upgrade skills
    • Forge – upgrade weapons
    • Bank – exchange gold for coins
  • Story line featuring 5 different character/heroes, each having their own back story.  Check out the game itself for more detail.

 

hero defense jackJack Sanders, Vampire Slayer – Main character, you start with this guy. shoots crossbow bolts, moves at moderate speed.  He’s a vampire hunter and.. his father is a vampire.  Pops is the main bad guy in the game.

 

 

 

hero defense barrows

 

Barrows, Gravedigger – boosts other hero abilities, slows down bad guys, runs slow.  seeking revenge for loss of his wife

 

 

 

 

hero defense samSamantha “Sam” Hain, Don’t call her “pumpkin” – blows stuff up, has area attacks, moderate speed, raised by the zombies who killed her parents.  crazy.

 

 

 

Jane Doe, Reanimated bride – also slows down bad guys, hero defense jane knocks them back, moves really fast.  Corpse creation of one of the minor bosses.

 

 

 

hero defense wyldeWylde Halfblood, Human/Werewolf hybrid – throws boomerang type projectile, moves fast.  Half man half wolf all aggro.

As mentioned in the video, it’s a lot of fun and the varying levels of difficulty on each map give a replay value over just the initial campaign.
Any fan of tower defense and role playing games should check out this game.
  • good value at $14.99, early access game on steam plays like a finished product
  • replay-ability – maps are replayable and as seen in the next bullet, you almost have to replay to gain gold, experience
  • good balance of difficulty. early maps are pretty easy to start but (obviously) the higher the difficulty level the harder the level and I would think most players have to replay levels in order to earn gold so they can upgrade various items.
Give it a shot and share your thoughts.
Updated: added line for consumables.
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Lance Gilliland

Consumer Electronics. Technology. Media. Comics. Football. Family. Health. Entertainment. Great, now my fingers are tired. Follow me on Twitter | Facebook Google+

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