A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Strong anti-corporate themes run throughout the story, which focuses on an RPG(role-playing game)-themed amusement park that takes advantage of its workers for profit.
Positive Role Models
The hero, Lucky, is silent, but we know he's working to try to help his family and that he takes the responsibilities of his job seriously. He doesn't actively engage in combat, but rather advises customers on how to conduct themselves on their adventures.
Ease of Play
Text and pictorial tutorials provide players with all the information needed to play. Combat's easy to start, but grows more strategic and more challenging as the game progresses.
Violence & Scariness
Highly pixelated two-dimensional characters use weapons such as swords, hammers, and tablets to slash at and bash monsters (skeletons, goblins, slimes, etc.) in turn-based combat. Enemies flash red when wounded and then fall to the ground, where they disappear.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters occasionally make sexually charged remarks, using words such as "busty" and "hot," as well as obvious double entendres.
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Text dialogue contains mild to moderate language, including the words "damn," "ass," and "d--k," as well as acronyms such as "BS" and "SOB."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Heroland is a role-playing game (RPG) for the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs. The game's about a young man named Lucky who works at an RPG-themed amusement park in hopes of helping his poor family. He's a tour guide responsible for leading patrons through the park's monster-infested dungeons. Lucky doesn't fight himself, but instead provides advice and assistance to the park's guests on their adventures. The guests automatically attack monsters with weapons such as swords and hammers, but the turn-based combat is fairly mild, due largely to the game's highly pixelated, two-dimensional aesthetic. There's no blood or gore; enemies simply flash red, fall to the ground, and disappear once defeated. This is a story-driven game with an anti-corporate message, with lengthy stretches of text dialogue that show how the theme park takes advantage of its workers. Mild to moderate profanity -- words like "damn" and "d--k" -- pops up infrequently, and some characters are prone to sexually charged language, using words like "busty" as well as some clear double entendres.
Is It Any Good?
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.
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