Heroki Switch Review by SwitchWatch
Release Date: July 20th 2018
Price as of Article: $9.99 USD, £8.99 GBP
Game purchased for review
Above the clouds lays a beautiful village called Levantia. All of the inhabitants have propellers for heads, giving them the ability to fly freely. A young boy called Heroki lives a peaceful existence spending most of his days exploring. However after a day of training with his master Kundo, something happens that turns his world up-side down. A dark cloud appears over the village and they are attacked by Dr. N. Forchin and his right hand man Vapor. Together they steal one of the most precious items from the village: the legendary Emerix. The king decides to try a different tactic, and sends Heroki on a journey to bring back Emerix and restore peace to land.
Heroki is a wonderful little adventure game, where you travel through 4 islands: Levantia, Laguna Rocks, Hilly Lakes and Sandy Cliffs. Apart from Levantia, the other 3 areas hold 9 levels. The 9th level is where you can acquire one of 3 unique powers, but more on that later. Heroki is not your typical hero, he doesn’t run or jump, instead he has the power of flight with a wicked propeller on the top of his head which gives him the ability to fly around freely, using the left stick. He can also free-fall and descend quickly with a press of the B button and holding down on the left stick to control his fall. Falling quickly can be handy to break open cloud blocks which block your path and in most of the areas falling can also active pressure switches.
You can pick up boxes by pressing the Y button, and by holding Y (while holding a box) you can launch it in any direction you’re pressing the left stick. This is handy for destroying the different air and land enemies in each level and later on to destroy rock walls with TNT. You can also acquire 3 powers that each gives you a new way to progress in each level as well as to solve certain puzzles.
In order to unlock these powers you need to collect 5 special gems in each level; these are hidden well and one of biggest things in Heroki is the amount of things to collect and find as it’s stuffed with hidden collectibles. Not only will you be looking for gems, but there are also letters to find that spell out HEROKI and secret chests that have lives, money or presents inside. In each level if you collect all the stuff you’ll get 100% completions on that level which appears as little gold cloud on the main menu. The question is: what happens when you get 100% on all the levels?
You can buy items at a variety of shops that can be located in Levantia. There are 10 locations in total. Some you can buy stuff from, others may give you access to mini-games or side quests. For example there’s a item shop that you buy more lives and special items like colour trails from. You can buy healing items at the bakery and buy special items like slow down spell or a boomerang at lab. You only hold 3 items at time, but can stack the same item multiple times in your inventory. These can be accessed by pressing the Plus button also on the pause menu you can look through previous events in your logbook and at your current progress in the game.
Heroki uses round currency which can be found in every nook and cranny in levels so you will always have plenty to spend in the shops.
As you progress through each area new mechanics are added like timed switches, pressure switches as well as locked gates that need a key to open. An interesting level was a pitch black underwater section where you needed to hold on to a glowing oyster to navigate through a trench which was definitely a highlight. The game has replay value, as you need to gather all of the different collectibles you find. Some of them are out of your reach or hidden really well making exploring important.
If want to get 100% returning to these levels to get everything will be needed, which adds to the replay value. I’ve completed the main story which hasn’t taken too long, however returning to all the levels and finding all the secrets and collectables will take a lot longer, plus I’ve got a little feeling you unlock something extra if you complete all levels with 100%.
I loved all of the little touches such as how expressive the main hero is or when flying past a couple of trees they move in a natural way as you create a breeze with your propeller or how the music changes when go underwater, it’s little things like that that’s increased my enjoyment of the overall gameplay. It’s also a rather relaxing adventure that is not extremely hard but enjoyable nonetheless.
The audio is pleasant, It fits the overall presentation well. I love how the music changes when entering the water which is a little detail I love.
I’ve been playing now for about 4 hours and the game ran flawlessly, I experienced no issues. The game looks fantastic on a big screen as it runs at 60fps with full HD graphics and yet looks just as nice in handheld mode. Everything just pops with vibrant colours. This was released originally on mobile platforms, but I can see Heroki shining brightly on the Switch and hopefully find an even greater audience on the eShop. The game also features HD rumble, screenshot function as well as video capture. I’ve only got two issues with two of the abilities – Wind power being one as you have to stand still while you are using it, otherwise it cancels itself out and that can be annoying in certain areas. Also there’s no starting point for where the wind will appear from and I had trouble on a certain underwater ball rolling puzzles with it. Another issue I had was with the free-fall drop ability, it feels like I’m not really in total control, and it can cause accidental deaths.
At £8.99 its a sweet, relaxing adventure and sometimes we all need that – you can’t fault the value.
Loads of collectibles
Reminds me of SEGA/Nintendo titles
Wind power is sometimes difficult to use
Picking up boxes is sluggish
Free-fall move can get you killed sometimes by accident