Common thief Shawn O’Connor finds himself caught between a rock and a hard place: it’s either go to jail for that break-in he just committed or – gasp! – join the Hero University to turn his life around. And this is how Shawn ends up in rogue class to learn how to, uh, steal like a hero, presumably. Lots of pointing and clicking ensues.
Developers Lori and Corey Cole are certainly no strangers to the adventure genre. In fact, these are the very people behind Sierra’s Quest for Glory series. A while ago, they took to Kickstarter to fund a new adventure in the vein of their beloved classics. Fast forward a few years, and Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption finally sees the light of day, promising pointing, clicking, and – true to its illustrious predecessors – fighting.
Hidden beneath its point & click interface and its pun-filled dialogues (seriously, don’t buy this if you hate puns!), Hero-U offers a wealth of gameplay options and allows you to tackle its challenges pretty much however you want. Eschewing the different classes of the Quest for Glory series, you can fight or talk your way out of conflicts – or resort to other measures.
There are still a bunch of RPG-like stats which determine your success and can be improved by focusing on different activities during your lessons. Fights are isometric, turn-based affairs and offer more depth than Quest for Glory’s frantic real-time bouts.
Speaking of time: with every action you take in the game, time passes, so you will miss out on certain events – the perfect excuse to replay it when you’re done? Given the fact that situations can be resolved in multiple ways, it sure looks that way.
At the end of the day, Hero-U: Rogue To Redemption offers light-hearted ruminations on what it means to be a hero – are you a mean thief or a noble rogue? – wrapped in a delightful blend of adventuring and light RPG fare. It is both a fabulous reference to a beloved era of gaming and a meaty, accomplished game in its own right. Just remember: here be puns.