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iPhone  header logo

The Hero

For: iPhone

With great power comes tight lycra

Product: The Hero | Developer: Traplight Games | Publisher: Chillingo | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
 
The Hero iPhone, thumbnail 1
It’s hard work being a hero. Sure, you get perks like unbelievable strength, the ability to fly, and a nearly inexhaustible supply of lycra bodysuits, but the weight of expectation resting on your muscular shoulders is often overwhelming.

Nowhere is this more evident than in The Hero. Our titular lead character may be imbued with astonishing super powers but in the eyes of the general public he has a job to do: keep them safe from harm.

Controlling the man of the hour is done via a virtual D-pad to steer in eight different directions. You can also speed boost, which enables you to smash stubborn enemies out of the way.

Regardless of any misgivings you may have about virtual interfaces, there’s no denying that the one showcased here is especially good. It’s also possible to switch to an accelerometer-based setup, but it lacks the accuracy required for trickier missions, so you’re best sticking with the default configuration.

Everybody was crime fighting

Speaking of opponents, you face a menagerie of villains, monsters and other deadly enemies. These range from giant bugs to wall-hugging ninja assassins, which can be dispatched by simply making contact with any part of your hero’s body.

The aim of the game is rid each city of threats whilst keeping your all-important fame meter topped up. As you take damage, your fame decreases - if it reaches zero you lose the admiration of your fans and are forced to restart the level.

The cities themselves are fairly large in size but thankfully you have various on-screen guides that direct you toward your most urgent errands. These indicators show where nearby enemies reside, but they also detail other hazards - such as falling babies - and incoming dangers such as heat-seeking mines.

Is it a bird?

Naturally, being a fully paid-up member of the superhero club you have access to various super powers which can turn the tide of battle in your advantage. Such abilities require you to build up your level of fame, which can be achieved by performing heroic deeds and dishing out high-fives to the various people watching you from their apartment windows.

These dazzling displays of might highlight an overall impressive presentation outdone only by the hero's flexed bicep. The on-screen heroics are accompanied by some particularly catchy musical numbers and the amount of speech ensures that you’re never more than a few seconds away from an amusing sound bite.

In fact, the entire package is literally dripping with class, but sadly there repetition of the core gameplay ends up being our Hero’s one weakness.

Man of steel

Although the enemies change and the threats you have to deal with alter, the general gameplay is the same throughout. You have to dash around the city knocking out opponents, putting out fires or reaching bombs before they detonate, amongst other things. Although what you’re chasing is different, the same principle remains.

It’s certainly not a fatal flaw and the high score-friendly nature of the title - which is supported via social gaming portal Crystal - is bound to keep you coming back for more, especially when you’ve unlocked the challenging Survival mode.

While it’s not always a walk in the park having superhuman reserves of endurance and a chin so sharp you could cut diamond with it, The Hero proves to be yet another solid addition to the iPhone stable and one that action-loving gamers should try as soon as possible.
 
The Hero
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 18 March 2010
Mild repetition can be an issue but on the whole The Hero is a highly polished piece of gaming that is easy to pick up and contains plenty of heroic hilarity
 
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