If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

The Good Lives: Hero Generations

Building a legacy

Ignore the screenshot. Yes, Hero Generations looks like yet another roguelite, or even a puzzle game along the lines of Triple Town, but the best description of the design concept is right at the top of the Kickstarter page - "The 5-Minute Civilization". Worlds are procedurally generated and heroes move across them, tile by tile. Each turn consumes a year of the player character's life so important decisions must be made - will you explore, gather fame by battling monsters and retrieving items, expand a settlement, or find a mate so that you can produce offspring and forge a millennia-long legacy? 4X strategy zoomed in to the individual and personal level. It's my favourite Kickstarter pitch since Meriwether.

The personal focus - on an individual rather than a tribe or civilisation - doesn't just change the feel of the game, it exaggerates the importance of every decision. I play strategy games so often that I spend a lot of time thinking about the 'end-turn cycle', the point(s) at which any specific campaign becomes a procession of clicks to skip forward, with nothing to do be done in between those clicks. How often does the end-game of Civ come to resemble a Vladimir and Estragon routine without the laughs?

Reduce the concepts and conceits of 4X gaming to the concerns of a single family and every decision becomes charged with meaning. That should be the case, at least. We'll have to wait a good while to see if it all works, with a release date of January 2015.

The developer is experienced, the concept is exciting and the project is well-mapped. The $32,000 target shouldn't be a problem and if I'm wrong and success looks unlikely three weeks from now, somebody forward the pitch video to Mark Zuckerberg.

Rock Paper Shotgun is the home of PC gaming

Sign in and join us on our journey to discover strange and compelling PC games.

Related topics
About the Author

Adam Smith

Former Deputy Editor

Adam wrote for Rock Paper Shotgun between 2011-2018, rising through the ranks to become its Deputy Editor. He now works at Larian Studios on Baldur's Gate 3.