Now In Session: Hero Academy Lands On Steam

By Nathan Grayson on August 11th, 2012 at 9:04 am.

Everyone's so excited and happy! Well, except the old man. He's totally harshing their grooves or something.

According to the folklore of our culture – relayed by minstrels sweetly crooning out their dulcet tones in the backs of taverns and also, like, every Hollywood movie ever – heroes always arrive just in the nick of time. So it shouldn’t be a problem for an academy‘s worth of medieval-themed do-gooders, right? You’d think so, but then Hero Academy‘s planned release date of August 8th came and went with nary a peep – even from Heavy weapons guy. Thousands of lives were lost. Better (slightly) late than never, though, and Robot’s provided a TF2-tinged launch trailer to make it official. Because things aren’t real until they have trailers.

Speaking with Joystiq, Robot chalked the delay up to “an unexpected issue at the last minute” that affected “a small portion of players.” That, however, was still too large a number for Robot, so it took a couple extra days to fine-tune its bite-sized, asynchronous game of thrones. But hark, what’s that on the horizon? Definitely not Hero Academy, because it’s already right here.

As for the game proper, it’s kind of like chess, but with an array of different, well-balanced races and over-the-top, character-specific skills. Also, players can take their turns both when and – thanks to matches that span PC and iOS devices – wherever they please. It’s a pretty neat little game – and definitely well worth a look if you’re in the mood for something a bit less genocidal after killing all those orcs.

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23 Comments »

  1. rei says:

    [...] if you’re in the mood for something a bit less genocidal after killing all those orcs.

    Naw, genocide’s still working for me!

  2. Trithne says:

    As nice as TF2′s characters are, I do wish that they’d stop shoehorning them into everything that suddenly gets a steam release.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Usually that’s the opposite, they put items from any new big release into TF2.

      • Jupiah says:

        What Gnoupi said, and I actually like seeing the TF2 guys added to any game where it makes sense like this. I mean you’re getting a whole new team in this port, that’s pretty awesome! And I always want to encourage this kind of cross company teamwork, I wish more game developers would work together like this and create cool stuff for their customers.

  3. Thing says:

    The game has really silly pricing on steam.

  4. therealPH says:

    shame about the pricing for the PC, presumably the two versions are the same since you can play one another from each version. Yet the prices are a lot different, the “Hero Packs” on steam are currently £3.99, where as on iTunes (http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/hero-academy/id488156323?mt=8) they’re £1.49. Anyone able to confirm whether you get more bang for your buck with the Steam version?

    • Premium User Badge

      RedViv says:

      You do get the avatar packs with them. Quoting a developer’s words on the Steam forums, “On Steam, they are packs with more than just the teams. They include the team, 17 avatars, and a TF2 cosmetic item.”

      Now, even with the avatars it would amount to a mere £1.99 (or 2.39€ for the Euro zone with 1.59€ for the team) increase, and the TF2 item is mentioned as if it would hold value of its own, while the item description strictly handles it as a free bonus – just like other games handle their bonus TF2 items, because people might really just not care and most won’t pay extra for an item in a game they never play. Or for avatars that don’t matter, but which they HAVE to purchase with the teams on this platform.
      Euro countries have gotten the direct dollar to Euro conversion, making the packs even more ridiculous.

      €: Looked up the prices wrong. Corrected.

    • jplayer01 says:

      It’s a shame too. I’m not going to buy any of the extra teams until they’re on sale at some point in the future. I’m not about to pay the full price of the game three times over just for a little extra content.

      • Ergates_Antius says:

        When you say that, you are bearing in mind the base game is only £4?

  5. Robert says:

    Might be just me, but having a TF team in a game or swords & magic actually detracts from the game instead of being a ‘bonus’.

    It’s actually the reason I haven’t bought it yet, which might be going too far.

    • evil.faerytales says:

      no, bud, its not just you. Exactly why i havent bought it either.

  6. Malk_Content says:

    Couple things holding me back on this. Firstly the lack of a demo. The game looks fun but without being able to try the mechanics I’m just not sold. Secondly the DLC and cost. If I were to get the full game from the app store it would cost me £4.50, but for PC it’ll set me back £12. I understand I’m getting an extra TF2 themed team, but not sure if that is worth nearly tripling the price of the game.

    • Tei says:

      Demo? If I remember correctly, the game is free on phones. Get It there, play a few games, and If you like it, buy more on the phone, or buy the steam version.

      • Malk_Content says:

        You can get it free if you happen to have an Iphone, searching on the android app store shows it isn’t about yet. Even if it was and I could try it on Android, that wouldn’t tell me anything about the quality of the pc port, though I didn’t mention that in my op, and still wouldn’t tell me why I should buy something for £12 when I can get it else where for £4.50.

  7. pakoito says:

    After just the first game I was completely in love, it’s easy to pick up but has lots of depth. Plays like summoner wars, with matchmaking, and can be run on the background with no performance impact. For those being put off by the silly price, think it’s the same as LCG like Warhammer o AGoT, 5€ per faction. It’ll get cheaper but getting the faction you like is enough, and the basic teams are well balanced with each other.

    Also, I’m trying to start a league in the forums: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?5826-Hero-Academy-league-preparations

  8. bonerjams3000 says:

    It’s actually a great game, I’ve played it on iOS for months but the current pricing on Steam is silly. I was going to buy the Steam version for the TF2 team but not at £4, I’ll wait for a sale.

    For anyone wondering, teams bought are account bound and playable on both iOS & Steam versions.

  9. zeroskill says:

    Agreed the pricing is a bit silly. However, gonna pick up the base game and just wait for the inevitable % deals on the extra content.

  10. mwoody says:

    Hunh, no 2-pack all-dlc price point. Still, been hearing good things about this but have an Android phone, so happy to see it on something I can use. I’ll get the 2-pack now and wait for the dlc prices to go on a “get everything” sale (seems to be a popular choice).

  11. Jools says:

    Hero Academy is a bit of an odd duck and, at least among some of my friends, seems to be pretty polarizing. I love it, but I’ll admit up front that every game is an attrition-based slogfest. It’s just the way the game plays. There aren’t any long-term strategic decisions to make because the only valid strategy is to wear the other guy down while maybe getting a pot shot in on his crystals every now and then. There are a few basic maneuvers you can make, like attacking an undefended crystal to force your opponent to to stop pushing on one side of the board, but in general your strategic level decisions are pretty simple.

    What’s great about the game, and what a lot of people miss, is that there’s a ton of depth to the tactical side of things. There aren’t any random elements to damage or movement, so you can undo your actions an unlimited number of times before submitting a turn. Each turns ends up as this totally unique little tactical puzzle game where you’re trying to figure out how to maximize damage to your opponent’s units and minimize the risk to your own units, all while keeping enough pressure across the board so that the other guy doesn’t weasel himself into a better position for the next turn. Each turn feels almost like its own game, which works incredibly well with the asynchronous nature of the thing.

    Also, one thing that’s worth noting is that the balance, at least prior to the Steam version, actually favored the non-DLC team. I don’t know how the TF2 team affects things, but the Council (free on iOS and one of the two teams that come with the game on Steam) were generally considered the best team by a small margin. The DLC teams are all reasonably well balanced and fun to play, but nobody should feel like they need to buy them just to be competitive. They’re good for variety and as sidegrades, but none of them are pay-to-win at all.

    • Pani says:

      I’d partly agree with the balance comment you made, although I’d like to add that the Dwarves are up there too. The council and the dwarves are better than the dark elves and the horde.

      I haven’t read any forums on it or anything, that’s my own personal opinion after at least 10 games with each faction.

      I wont be buying the steam version, I have had my fill methinks.

  12. Lykurgos says:

    I don’t have any iOS devices, so have played this for the first time after purchase via Steam. I’ve played the tutorials, one set of challenges, and have 2 games in progress against random opponents.

    Its a real blast. Love it.

    Any RPS’ers want a game? I’m Lykurgos on Steam