88 Heroes Review

Clearly, the developers have some sort of a fetish towards the number 8, but hey I ain’t h8in. 88 Heroes is an extremely simple game in both its premise and gameplay execution. At the 8th minute of the 8th hour, on the August

At the 8th minute of the 8th hour, on the August 8th 1988, Dr. H8 (yeah, it’s a space octopus) is attacking earth. He’s pointing 88 warheads at us and the only thing that will stop these being fired is to hand him 88 octillion dollars, which is not going to happen. And with all the cool heroes busy doing hero stuff, the fate rests on the 88 Heroes, a collection of 88 pop-culture references characters ranging from totally useless to well, easy game.

It’s a side-scrolling platformer game where you have 88 minutes in total to clear 88 levels each with an 88 seconds time limit, with 88 heroes at your disposal. In each level, you have to reach the elevator in order to continue to the next. You cannot select your hero, so you are at the RNG god’s mercy. If you die during a level and you’ll die in one hit from everything, you’ll get another hero and so on till you complete the level. I mean, you get the idea, right?

Now while I like the game’s concept and nearly all the 88 heroes pixel art design and voice lines, the gameplay is quite lacking. Jumping doesn’t feel right, at all, and I think I know the main cause. Each one of the characters is unique, visually and mechanically. Some characters run faster, some hover, one teleports, some can fly, some can jump higher while some not high enough, one just rolls, one just stretch, one can’t jump etc. So a lot of traversing variables to keep in mind and well, platformers and variables do not go well with each other. Yes, you will fail multiple times and you might not be able to complete all 88 levels on the first attempt or second or third…

But maybe that is by design. The frustration of losing countless heroes to then complete the level was quite satisfying. Sure, the frustration continued as the levels became more and more difficult, but the game never failed to deliver that sense of achievement even if I just flew out of the borders and directly reached the elevator door with one of the “easy game” characters.

Yeah, the only draw here, at least for me, were the characters. Platforming sucked, the presentation even though it’s pixel art, it’s not the good pixel art, and the story well was just to “explain” why what’s happening is happening. It doesn’t make sense and it doesn’t have to. Again, the characters are the unique selling point for this game. 88 deliberately stupid characters referencing all sorts of pop culture from the mainstream like the Hulk and Arnie to the obscure ones like Michael Jordan from the old SNES game. There’s a lot of characters to see, hear and discover and that’s the main reason to get this game.

I can sum everything up again, but I would be saying the same things all over again. And talking more about the characters would spoil all the fun. Thanks for reading!

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