Are You Ready to Become a Hero?
ReadySet Heroes is a charming dungeon-crawler that adds its own dynamic twist to the formula by turning it into a party game. Yes, that’s right – a party game. In essence, you pick one of the delightful anthropomorphic animals from the character rooster, ranging from Tuck the Badger to characters such as Bartles the Frog, and crawl through a dungeon. Pretty simple, however, you’re racing through these dungeons against other players! There are a variety of modes to pick from that offer a range of unique experiences.
Starting each game with a mere wooden sword, either in teams or individually, you race through a randomly generated dungeon under different conditions and progress onto the next room via transporter. The player continues to do this until they reach a boss room. There are also secret rooms hidden all over the place as well, ready to be discovered.
This review has been conducted since the 1.11 patch, which now includes the survival mode that wasn’t available at launch for ReadySet Heroes. In light of this, we’ll be including the new mode in ReadySet Heroes for this review.
Ready Set Go!
Whilst battling in the dungeon, each enemy the player defeats, in turn, drops different colour shards that increase your character’s stats. Different shard colours, therefore, symbolise different stat changes. For example, green shards represent an increase in your health and purple in your defence stats.
After you’ve completed a dungeon room that can range from grassy terrain with bridges to ghoulish graveyards, you are awarded with a treasure chest that drops two pieces of equipment. The loot can vary from armour and weapons to spells and gear pieces. Be careful, not all the loot dropped by the treasure chest is necessarily better than the one you already have equipped.
Weapons are where the game’s unique mechanics strive and really stand out from the rest. Weapons come in the forms of axes, daggers, swords, staffs and lutes. Yes, the musical instrument. They come with a diverse range of stats modifications but with altered move sets. For example, whilst using the axe the player can do a secondary attack and do an almighty axe spin to hit a variety of enemies, or whilst using the lute the players can set their foes asleep and sneak in a cheeky attack.
In accumulation, this adds a sense of true progression to each game the player partakes in. As it’s almost impossible to exactly personalize your character or acquire the same amount of shards. It’s a different journey each time you battle through the dungeons, which adds to the game’s overall replay value.
After finishing a game, if the player fulfils certain conditions you will in turn complete “challenges” that will unlock different characters, skins, victory poses and most important of all – customizable hats, because who doesn’t need a neat hat?
Crawl N’Brawl mode is without a doubt the true party animal out of all the modes. Why? Because you can’t even start a game without at least one fellow player. Luckily, this can be online or local co-op and up to three other players can participate in a game with you. Either by defeating enemies or solving puzzles (sometimes both), you need to complete a dungeon room and progress onto the next room in the allotted time of 8 minutes.
After the timer reaches zero all players are sent into an all-out brawl in the form of a party game. Essentially, everything you’ve attained until this point is here to help take out your foes in this final battle. These final brawls come in form of one of the multiple-party games, including “Gold Rush”. Here, you attempt to obtain the most gold to be victorious or the hilarious Walrus Hockey. That is as wacky as it sounds – as you attempt to slide seafood into two big walrus mouths to accumulate the most points. This mode is the embodiment of having a good old giggle with friends or online competitors.
Unfortunately, Readyset Heroes doesn’t have a traditional story mode. However, this mode is the closest one reassembling a main story of sorts. By yourself or with one other player accompanying you locally, you can take on the challenge of crawling through dungeon rooms until you encounter the boss room, and continue this until you finish the mode in its entirety.
The dungeon rooms get progressively harder each time and the player only has a few lives within their arsenal. If the player loses all their lives it’s back to the drawing board and they’ll have to start from the beginning again. The mode is engaging enough and offers a challenging experience for the player but could have benefited from some sort of premise or motivation for towering the dungeons in the first place.
Survival mode is the new arrival but that fact doesn’t take anything anyway from this fresh addition. You progress through dungeon rooms, with each room getting progressively harder each time just like the previous mode. However, the captivating part of this mode is that each time you finish a survival run, the player accumulates experience that will level up your character for the next time you take on the mode. In turn, this helps with the overall stats and offers the option of equipping upgradeable perks, like having a proper sword from the start instead of a wooden sword.
You can partake in this mode by yourself or alongside other players locally or through multiplayer. However, it comes across as being primarily designed with multiplayer in mind, ss it’s much easier to take down the swarm of enemies with fellow players by your side. Case in point, if you faint whilst tackling a dungeon room, but your companion is able to finish the room, you’ll be revived and ready to take on the next room. So there’s more room for error. You can easily sink a lot of gameplay hours into this mode alone, but not only that, this mode enriches the game so much more. The developers knew what the game excelled at and really showcased it in this mode.
On surface value, this game is a light-hearted dungeon-crawler, with an enduring character rooster and aesthetics to match. With several modes to choose from that offer different experiences each time you play, which add to the overall replay value. ReadySet Heroes is an absolutely great start for the younger generation of players to experience their first game in the genre, but they’re certainly not its only audience.
Beneath the surface, it’s essentially a party game. Just like the majority of party games, it can be as simple or as complex as the player wishes. This game massively benefits from playing with friends, as the game can bring out the mischievous side in yourself or others. At times it felt very reminiscent of titles such as Fuzion Frenzy from the enjoyment of winning or frustration of losing. It bridges the gap between younger and older players alike and is catered to everyone who enjoys the genre – that is a very rare breed of game.
Release Date – 1st October 2019
Platforms – PS4 & PC
Developer – Robot Entertainment
Publishers – Sony Interactive Entertainment
Online and Local co-op Available