I’ve been seeing strange-looking Ads for collectable hero cell-phone games. Not TV ads — mobile or uTube. You can collect cowboys, knights, sexy ice wizards — hundreds of heroes according to some Ads. I could never tell what you do in these games. I figure heroes do things like defend towns, explore dangerous lands and loot dungeons. With 100 heroes I can imagine you’re a Duke sending them on jobs, or maybe a rebel leader building an army. The thing is, the Ads mostly show a lot of menus. Just what are these games?
After a few minutes you’re fighting a small group of monsters with a team of 4 heroes. After another week, same thing. That’s the entire playable part of the game. You’d assume there’s a need for multiple teams — nope, just one team for everything. So what’s with the collecting? Well, your starting heroes have a gray border. Better heroes use green, then blue, purple and finally yellow. Oh, no, it’s about replacing your old weak heroes with better ones. I feel so bad for the artists who drew the gray-bordered heroes — players think “what garbage” every time they see that perfectly nice picture.
But what’s with all of the menus in the Ads? It turns out the heroes can be upgraded — levels, enchantments, ascensions, equipment, bonuses for all space heroes, rebirths, and more. It takes lots of lots of buttons for all of that. It also takes battling the same monsters over and over to get enough orange upgrade dust and the rest. To speed that up there’s an auto-win button (you get it after winning a battle once). We’ll be pressing that a lot. After about 2 weeks your time in the game is pressing upgrade buttons, which take you to the battles where you can get upgrade crystals, which you auto-win until you get enough, or run out of daily energy.
So, it turns out the Ads were correct. The game is menus. Sometimes your heroes are tough enough to beat the next set of monsters, but that happens less and less as you go on, letting you go back to your menus. Really, the game is about transcending. Little people focus on the heroes doing stuff. Making the Total Team Power number get bigger is what grown-ups do.