Hero’s Hour Review (PC)

Hero’s Hour Review: let them fight!

Hero's Hour

There’s something about RPGs that just finds a way to sink their claws into us — a captivating cast of characters, a colorful story full of intrigue and excitement, and — more often than not — hours upon hours of grinding the days away. But have you ever wondered what it would be like to take a step back from the typical role of hero and be something more along the lines of a hero’s manager or omnipotent god? I’m talking about a sort of top down view of it all, as if you’re perched on a cloud and watching your heroes scurry around from quest to quest as they fight, heal, explore, and more. You know what I mean, right?

If you do indeed know what I mean, then you’ll want to check out Hero’s Hour, a “fast turn-based strategy RPG with real-time combat” where you’ll “develop your cities and armies, level up your heroes to gain new, powerful spells and skills, and explore the wonders and dangers of the procedurally generated maps as you aim to conquer your enemies before they do the same to you.” Developed by Benjamin “ThingOnItsOwn” Hauer and published by Goblinz Publishing and Maple Whispering Limited, Hero’s Hour has been available on Steam for almost 4 months and already has over 2,200 (mostly positive) reviews — a testament to its enduring popularity gained from its earlier itch.io days. Drawing comparison to Heroes of Might and Magic but with a twist, Hero’s Hour will definitely sate that need for turn-based action with a little more casual flair.

hero's hour

Hero’s Hour is one of those easy to learn, hard to master type games. You start out with a simple hero with some units under their command ready for action. Right-clicking across the map will get you to and fro, collecting resources like gold, wood, and ore along the way. Where is our hero going, you might ask? Why, wherever you want, although I highly recommend stopping by some key points of interest before beginning your attack on baddies scattered across the map. By taking over mines, quarries, and towns, your hero will acquire much-needed supplies to further their questing abilities as they venture forth into the great unknown.

Where most RPGs have you taking on the role of your hero(s), Hero’s Hour is less an actual RPG and more a turn-based strategy game. This means you’ll be telling the heroes what to do and equipping them as best you can — they’ll take care of the rest. For example, fighting; in most turn-based RPGs, you tell your party who and how to attack, but in Hero’s Hour, you can sit back and relax because they got it from here. If you really want to, you can cast some helpful spells like doubling their army or slowing down enemy movement, but for the most part they do just fine on their own without interference.

Hero's Hour

Speaking of fighting — it’s not just the AI you can wage war against. Hero’s Hour has a local co-op mode that allows players to go head to head against a friend. I was immediately reminded of the rounds of Warcraft III played with friends, the catch being that Hero’s Hour is turn-based instead of real-time of course. And with procedurally generated maps, it’s safe to say that you and your hypothetical player 2 have the potential to be indefinitely occupied.

Hero’s Hour does a really good job of making the world feel alive in that minimal pixel art fashion, with little carts moving to and fro from the mines to the town, enemies dotting the landscape, etc. I also loved that the mini-map filled in from a black blank box to a fully fleshed map. And while the gameplay was extremely simple on the surface, you can tell there was a lot of depth in the strategy aspect on multiple levels. If you’re the kind of person that loves to play a repetitive strategy game and do a little better each time, Hero’s Hour is absolutely one you should check out.

Hero’s Hour may look like a simple game, and truthfully it can be if that’s what you want, but dig a little deeper and you’ll discover some surprising details. And while it definitely deserves the comparisons it receives to Heroes of Might and Magic, Hero’s Hour unfolds into something all on its own if you let it speak for itself. Whether you want a casual or complex experience, Hero’s Hour provides both — wrapped up in a glorious pixel art turn-based strategy RPG.

Final Verdict: 3.5/5

Available on: PC (Reviewed); Publisher: Goblinz Publishing, Maple Whispering Limited; Developer: Benjamin “ThingOnItsOwn” Hauer; Players: 1; Released: March 1, 2022; MSRP: $17.99

Full disclosure: This review is based on a copy of Hero’s Hour provided by the publisher.

Heather Johnson Yu
Born at a very young age; self-made thousandaire. Recommended by 4 out of 5 people that recommend things. Covered in cat hair. Probably the best sleeper in the world. Still haven't completed the civil war quest in Skyrim but I'm kind of okay with that. Too rad to be sad.

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