Vertical Drop Heroes is a roguelike game. Meaning you travel through randomly generated dungeons and try and last as long as you can. But the dungeons in this game are unique. You drop vertically down, like a well, fighting baddies and collecting items along the way. It kind of reminds me of Mr. Driller, except the gameplay is totally different (actually there is one game mode in the Japan only Drill Land game that is more like it). It’s available for download on PS4, Vita, Xbox One, and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.
You’ll start out with three random heroes to choose from. They’re all at level one, and will die pretty quickly, but when you play again, you can choose to play as their successor, who will have higher stats. You can use your sword or special skills like throwing daggers or higher jumping. You’ll traverse randomly generated dungeons, navigating mazes, fighting bad guys, collecting items, and avoiding traps along the way. When you die, you’ll have to start all over, but you’ll get to keep the coins you collected which you can spend on upgrades before you start out again. There are also places to spend coins for boosts in the dungeons as well. There’s even a co-op split screen mode.
While I did like the Behemoth style artwork, as a roguelike, progression is pretty slow and I got tired of it after a while. But what really ruined the game for me is that if you turn it off and start over again, the game won’t save all the hero successors you’ve amassed, and you’ll have to start over again. Also, the text is way too small. And you only get to keep your coins when you die, no keys or anything else comes along. But that is the nature of roguelikes. So if you like those punishing kinds of games, you might want to check this one out.
While you do hit enemies with swords and other weapons, enemies and yourself just disappear when defeated. There are red slashes on the screen when you hit bad guys. I wouldn’t count that as blood, but some might. Reading skill is needed for the text, and younger gamers may get frustrated at the high difficulty. Vertical Drop Heroes HD is rated E for Everyone.