Thanks to Picomy for the review code
System: Nintendo Switch (eShop)- Review
Release Date: 07/20/2018
When Levantia’s sacred treasure known as the Emerix is stolen by a being known as Dr. N. Forchin, it’s up to a young boy named Heroki to set out on a journey to fly after him and his accomplice in order to get the Emerix back and restore peace to his hometown!
A cartoony art style helps this game shine, sporting very vibrant colors and establishing a common trend among the inhabitants of Levantia, since everyone looks like they were fused with a football! This goofiness extends to the game’s environments as well, although the look can also come off as a bit excessive on the bloom, likely a side effect from the game’s mobile roots. The soundtrack sadly isn’t that varied, with the different worlds sticking to one track for each of them, and it can get irritating hearing the same song play for the seventh level in a row.
Heroki takes a more easygoing approach, acting like a mix of an adventure game with some very light puzzle elements, where the main goal is to simply guide the titular Heroki to the goal ring at the end of each stage. This is done by flying him around with the left stick, using Y to pick up and grab/throw objects and using B/A to have him use gravity to fall down. After clearing a world, you’ll gain a new ability that helps Heroki in the next world, the first of which is a wind ability which can knock down or blow around objects that are stuck.
Once you’ve learned these mechanics, going through the levels without focusing on any of the collectibles is ridiculously easy, almost insultingly so, since you could clear the levels in no time at all if you rush through and open a path up to the goal ring. However, you can’t just speed to the end and ignore everything, for there are several collectibles hidden in every stage, and the set of five blue shields are the most important, for a certain amount of them are required in order to advance to the next world.
Besides the blue shields, you have six letters to collect, spelling out Heroki’s name, and a hidden box, usually hiding a secret such as an extra life or even something to take back to Heroki’s home and use as decoration. When playing each level with 100% completion in mind, the difficulty becomes a lot more reasonable, since you’ll have to avoid enemies if you’re unable to throw objects to kill them, and with only three health points Heroki can die if he gets hit too much. That being said, checkpoints are plentiful and save all that you’ve obtained prior to hitting one, and since you can go back and forth between multiple checkpoints in a stage, the game can still be incredibly easy once you get the hang of everything, and since this game makes it beyond easy to get as many extra lives as you can, it’s nearly impossible to get a game over (I had 40 by the end of the first world) Still, the fact that playing for 100% completion makes it not an insulting cakewalk (which does get trickier as the worlds progress) is a welcome design choice.
Throughout the stages, you’ll come across these floating yellow orbs, which appear literally everywhere in the stages due to being littered all over the place, while enemies won’t hesitate to drop even more upon death. These orbs are known as Orpis, and they’re used as currency to buy expensive upgrades for Heroki, or one-use items that range from giving him a defense boost to some extra health. While at first I felt these orbs were practically useless due to how you can easily get 200-300 in a single stage, the fact that the upgrades you unlock with them can be incredibly useful in finding secrets makes them actually worth hunting down, as well as timing the goal ring to give you more orpis at the end of a stage. The first upgrade you should go for right away is the one that helps you detect secret passageways in stages, since that’s usually where most of the secret items in a stage lay in wait.
In conclusion, Heroki is a fun adventure-puzzler, perfect as a relaxing game for any completionists out there. With simple controls, a cute look and easygoing gameplay, this is a game that I can safely recommend to those wanting a more relaxed, Kirby-esque experience on their Switch, or even as a game for kids to spend time with due to how it can be as easy as the player wants it to be. Don’t want everything to feel automated? Simply get the shields and exit the stages. Want to get the most enjoyment and explore every nook and cranny of the few worlds in the game? Go for that 100 point score in every stage. It’s not that complex of a game, but for the $10 price point Heroki is certainly worth checking out for fans of easy-going adventure games.
I give Heroki a 7 out of 10.