Heroland (PS4, Switch, PC)

There is a theme park on an island where tourists can go and pretend to be RPG heroes.  It’s called Heroland, and visitors can explore dungeons, battle monsters in turn-based fashion, and nab treasure.  But they need a tour guide to help them.  That’s where you come in.  Play as “Lucky” who has come to Heroland for a job as a tour guide.  On his first day he breaks a priceless vase and will be working off debt for a long time.  But is this island more than it seems?  That’s what you’ll find out in Heroland, available for most consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

As Lucky, you’ll explore dungeons in board-game fashion along with a party of tourists.  You can’t fight, but you can assist in various ways.  You can give the tourists strategies like use special attacks, focus on one enemy, be on guard, etc.  You can also give healing items or provide advice to one person as to what move they should use.  But you can only do any of these things when a meter is full, so you must choose wisely.  Help the would-be heroes make it out of the dungeon and they’ll be happy and give you experience points, as well as earn their own kind of experience points as well.  Tourists who level up will gain typical attributes like attack and defense, but when you level up, your meter will recharge faster and you’ll be able to carry more items.

Aside from the dungeons, you can visit places on the island to help out.  Gift shops sell items you can use as well as furniture to decorate your room and other goodies.  Visit tourists on the island and talk to them and you might have a chance to befriend them if you give them treasures while on tour.  Befriended tourists might give you special sidequest dungeons to explore.  And if you attend the monster board meetings, you can learn the strategies the baddies might use in the next dungeon.

The different take on RPG tropes is interesting, and I liked the 16-bit style sprites that look like they’ve been cut out with a cookie cutter.  But the lack of interactivity in the battles and the mountain of text you have to wade through kept me from staying interested in it.  But if you want a unique take on a tried and true RPG genre, then you may want to visit Heroland.

Kid Factor:

Heroland is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Fantasy Violence, Language, and Suggestive Themes.  You can hit monsters with weapons and spells, but since everything looks like 16-bit cookie cut-outs, violence is pretty negated and defeated characters just fall over and disappear.  The language and suggestive themes are implied in the text only.  Strong reading skill is needed to play as well.

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