Parents' Guide to


By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Clever theme park tale has mature themes and dialogue.

Heroland Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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There's a whole lot of tongue in cheek references going on in this adventure. Heroland is deeply referential of the conventions of the RPG genre, having transformed them into a theme park that relies on players' understanding and love of such games. Anyone who has played and appreciated retro role-playing games with pixelated characters, turn-based dungeon battles, level grinding, and hammy text dialogue will find a lot of clever bits to enjoy. Seeing these games deconstructed, analyzed, and gently poked fun of is a blast. The writing is sharp and funny and the cute 2D characters are charming and memorable. Anyone who has ever had to work a customer service job for a soulless corporation is bound to find themselves sympathizing or perhaps even empathizing with the park's put-upon staff. So long as you're the type of player who enjoys spending at least as much time in dialogue as you do in combat, you're bound to enjoy the story.

But what might trip up some players are the dungeons. The concept of guiding a dungeon raiding party rather than playing an active role as a party member is undeniably novel, but being one step removed from the action can make combat a bit underwhelming and unexciting. Using Lucky's power to influence and guide the party is fun at first, and as the game goes on, strategy becomes more important -- you'll want to be careful in instructing your customers to use more powerful moves, lest they end up breaking their weapons -- but being a guide just isn't as satisfying as being the hero. What's more, there's not really any exploration, since dungeons are simply a series of selectable events and fights on a timeline. Once you finish one, you move on to the next. All of this said, Heroland does make for a nice change of pace from standard dungeon crawling fare, and has some wonderfully funny and unexpected narrative moments. RPG fans looking for something a bit different ought to have a pretty good time.

Game Details

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