There’s something to be said of a game that combines multiple gameplay styles into one package. Heroes of a Broken Land is a strategy/RPG hybrid that plays like a mix of Wizardy and Might and Magic.
In true RPG fashion, the world is in trouble and you must gather a party to save it. You first pick a wizard-deity that gives you a permanent bonus for your entire playthrough, such as increased HP for heroes, or a higher magic item drop rate. After this you are given four randomized heroes. Their stats can be re-rolled a limited number of times, but based on the result you can select from one of four classes for them.
When you’re finished creating your party, you will visit your town: A small plot of dirt where a crystal statue to your deity is erected. In this town you can recruit new heroes and construct various buildings that give you different effects; An alchemist will give you access to potions, a farm will give you income every turn, and so on. It’s all very easy to understand and not especially complex. It allows you to get on your feet very quickly and start getting your hands dirty dungeoneering.
Speaking of dungeons, this is where the bulk of your time in Heroes of a Broken Land will be spent. Adventuring is done in first-person similar to Wizardry or Etrian Odyssey. You have a grid-based dungeon that slowly reveals itself as you explore more. These dungeons are filled with monsters and traps that can be disarmed and fought with simple clicks. It’s very intuitive and wastes no time. An excellent addition is the auto-battle, which works just like you’d expect it to. Your battles will resolve themselves automatically–although you can interrupt at any time if you need more direct control.
I especially enjoyed the multi-party dungeons. In your towns you can create multiple parties of heroes. If these parties venture to the same dungeon, they may be able to spelunk together–this means that one party will explore an area and find switches allowing another party to advance in a separate portion of the dungeon. This gives you a different goal other than just “kill all monsters”, and is a nice change of pace. Eventually there are a few bosses that can be fought with multiple parties. They’re tough, but it is very satisfying to take them down.
After collecting enough loot and experience, you can travel further from your home village to reach harder dungeons. Eventually you’re even able to upgrade your heroes from their basic classes to more advanced ones like Assassin and Sorcerer. This keeps you motivated to level up and nurture your parties, as there are more abilities and options available to them.
This is definitely an instance of a game where its whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. The simple systems and graphics betray an unbelievably addicting and fun game. When I loaded it up to take screenshots for this review, I ended up accidentally spending two hours playing it again. If you are a fan of first-person RPG’s a light city-building, Heroes of a Broken Land is definitely worth a look.
[+Easy to learn] [+So addicting] [+Multi-party dungeons are a hoot] [-Buildings in your village can’t be replaced] [-Art direction is bland]