Review: No Heroes Allowed: No Puzzles Either!
Free to Play games are an interesting thing that seem to be making themselves more prevalent in the gaming market today. Some F2P games are amazing, giving the player a full set of content, and only making the player buy things if they want. An example of this is Adventure Bar Labyrinth, a game that I absolutely loved; and never payed a dime for. It seems that for other games, F2P is becoming a glorified demo for a game, something I believe No Heroes Allowed: No Puzzles Either! sadly is.
The game starts off on a title screen, where you can jump into any of the three options, Single or Multiplayer, and a training mode. I chose to start with the training, and there’s only one word I can use to describe it. Annoying. It shows you the basics of the game, which could easily be explained in a few lines of text and examples, but the game needs to feed you line after line of unfunny and most of all unnecessary dialogue. While it did give me a good understanding of how to play, it did it in about 20 minutes, which is way too long for a game like this. After completing all 6 tutorials, I was ready to jump into the main game.
NHA: NPE! is a match-3 game. You use a pick in a 5×7 grid to destroy and move blocks around to make chains. There are 5 levels of monster, with each successive monster being more powerful than the next. When you summon any of those monsters, they spawn into an area to the left of the grid and attack the incoming hero. Combos happen when you can chain together multiple matches. This creates more monsters to attack the hero, and if you can get enough, create a barrage that is too difficult to stop. This hero is moving his or her way down the dungeon, and attempting to capture Badman. The hero, to defend itself, summons grey blocks in your grid after you use your pick a set amount of times. The dragon which is level 5, clears out all blockage, such as plain dirt bricks and grey blocks created by the hero. All of this creates an interesting strategy, and some great gameplay.
So, upon entering the single player mode you’re given more tutorials. Great. Now it’s for the cave, and Badman’s Lair. Badman’s Lair is the place to upgrade and sort your monsters. You can use captured heroes and loot to upgrade your monsters, making them more effective on the heroes. The cave is another area where you can place 3 captured heroes, and have them mine for additional monsters and loot. This adds a cool depth to the game, but again, the tutorial dragged on and on.
Okay, game time! They finally lead you to the cave, where the UI is explained, and you learn that you have 8 picks; enough to get you through the first set of levels. There are 8 sets of 8 levels, so keep in mind that there is 64. I started the first level, and I was having a blast. I got through all 8, and saw I ran out. I checked the top of the screen, and there was a counter that read 8:00. That’s 8 hours. It takes 8 hours to regenerate 1 pick, and you can only hold 3. For a game with levels that last around 2 to 4 minutes, this is way too long. But there is a way to shorten it, and here is where the cons of the game start to come in.
When you start the first tutorial, the game makes it a running joke that they are going to take all of your money. “COLD HARD CASH!” is repeated every time there is something you can upgrade, shorten, etc. Everything in the game has to be improved with money. Need energy to craft more monsters? 2 dollars. Want an endless supply of picks? 8 dollars. That’s only the beginning. But, if you see this as a game you would like to spend money on, there is a complete pack for 10 dollars. But as Chris mentioned in the comments following Eric’s review for Yu-Nama: The Puzzle (This is basically the same game, but released on PlayStation Mobile), even 6 dollars is too much for this game. It all comes down to personal opinion, but I really don’t think it’s worth the COLD HARD CASH.
As for everything else, I liked most of it. The art style is really cool; a sort of pixelated design, but unique. The music is what I’m not a huge fan of. While it was fun and catchy in the beginning, it started to wear down on me. There is only one song for the main levels, and it started to get repetitive and annoying after playing for as long as I did.
So, in the end, No Heroes Allowed: No Puzzles Either! is a great game, plagued by micro-transactions. The gameplay was solid and fun, and the depth to the metagame was great for a match-3, but the fact that the game makes you buy everything is a definite turn-off. What I’d say to do is give the game a try, and if you like it enough, decide if it should warrant a purchase. But with all the other amazing games on Vita, I think this one should be a pass.
A copy of this game was [provided by the publisher]/[purchased] for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Gameplay overall is really fun.
- Art style is pretty cool.
- The metagame.
What I Dislike:
- WAY too many micro-transactions.
- The music can get annoying.