One Way Heroics is a great little game, I really had tons of fun with it. It’s not perfect and I wish it was easier - as I do most roguelikes - but my issues I have with it are mostly of personal taste and nothing really ruins the game for me. I would recommend this game to anyone that likes RPGs with weird mechanics, especially roguelikes. I played about 10 different characters, more or less close to the big boss fight the game was warning me of, but I never saw it actually happen, sadly.

The first thing you do is create a character with perks (bonus stats) and each class has special skills that you’ll use during the run. These abilities range from a higher chance to block, longer bow attack range, aa berserker stance, and much more. You can unlock these classes by spending points you get after completing the game or by doing certain things in the game. At first, it might seem overwhelming, but the default character the game presents you with is fine for your few first runs. That being said, even after playing for a while, I never was sure what starting perks I should pick, so I mostly went with agility bonuses. Then you select the kind of world you want to play in and there are way too many choices for beginners, but basically, I wish you’d get a random world each time instead of having the ‘same’ world as the default option, doing so made me use the same world with the same dungeons and towns in most of my runs instead of the fun changing nature of random generation.

During your run, you have to manage HP, ST and Energy gauges by eating food, using healing items - a convenient healing plant will supply you with herbs - and the fact that the map is always moving. You need to move to the right at almost all times because a wall of darkness is chasing you. Enemies on the map roam randomly and you can find dungeons with powerful foes. I liked the Archer with his ability to see enemies and their life totals on the map. Sometimes you also find towns with some villagers that will sell you things and let you save your game. Although there’s an item that reveals the location of towns on your minimap, I wish there was a ‘real’ map, showing you where things would be far in the distance and see what the world looks like in front of you. You have a special ‘awakening’ ability to survive hard situations - it basically stops time and allows you to take actions without your enemies doing so. You have to remember using it, otherwise you die.

Although the screen that shows you your ‘heroics level’ after you die is a bit confusing (what’s the heroics level, exactly?) the game is pretty good about giving you tips. If you didn’t use awakening, it’ll remind you. If you died in a dungeon, the game will suggest steering clear of these powerful foes in the future. You also get points to spend on new perks, classes and upgrading a dimensional cache that you can use to send items to your next run. Powerful weapons with enchantments and other things can be carried over to make the next run a bit easier. I like that system, it allows you to get stronger as you play and unlock upgrades slowly but surely.

Of course, I’m not a fan of equipment with durability or limited ammo for ranged weapons but I’ll let that slide since you mostly see the remaining uses of all your gear. Except if it’s unidentified, then you need to die for it to reveal it’s stats to you. There are a variety of items and types of weapons and there are a bunch of different enemies too. The range of classes and their skills offer differnt gameplay between each session. It’s a tough game, swimming and going up mountains takes a bunch of turns and energy, you stop regenerating ST (to use your special skills) and regenerate less HP when you’re low. There are a bunch of towns here and there, but they don’t always sell what you need - arrows, things to repair my awesome weapon that’s going to break, etc. - but it’s no big deal. You’ll have a better luck next time.

AuthorJérémie Tessier
Categories4/5, RPG