Jul 31, 2013
Upon launching, Hero of Many announces as clearly and distinctly as possible: it’s an â€œartâ€ game. Wildly-colored graphics, total absence of a single written or spoken word, and absolute confusion as to how in the heavens one is supposed play it. I don’t really want to talk about the gameplay of Hero of Many. Partly â€“ because I still don’t understand it completely, and partly â€“ because there’s quite a bit of joy in figuring out how to actually play the game. Anyway, it’s not like the game is really difficult to figure out, so here goes the explanation.
The player controls a small floating sphere, not unlike a cell, emanating a dim white light. The cell is controlled by tapping anywhere on the screen, moving it closer to that direction. When the cell comes in contact with other small white spheres, lying around the levels, it absorbs them and its light grows brighter. The goal of the game is to simply drive the cell around the level, reaching the end. This is quite tricky, however, since the levels are filled with small black sperm-like tail-wagglers that attack the cell on sight, slowly draining it of its light, and eventually killing it.
The cell itself is absolutely defenseless against them, but as it floats around the level, it reaches white tail-wagglers that start floating along with it, and attack the black ones, should they float too close. Naturally, the cell should evade the black things, letting the white tailheads do their job. These spermints can be controlled, to an extent, by swiping in any direction, making them dash there. Of course, the player’s floatingsters die just as easily as they kill, so they always need to be resupplied, searching for the stray ones across the vast, branching levels.
Although Hero of Many is ridiculously simple at the beginning, and I indeed wondered, if it’s just philosophical pondering and meditative resource, instead of a proper game, it gets difficult staggeringly fast. Just as I wanted to dismiss it as all beauty and no challenge, I found myself completely stuck, losing all of my tail-wagglers to the spikes that some levels are scattered with, as well as losing my cell’s health to the constant onslaught of dark-mattered bastards.
So, while it is indeed beautiful and has a majestic micro-universe design, I am personally a lot more amused by the fact that it’s quite a challenging and unconventional game. It’s half action, half strategy, and all exciting. Perhaps, it’s a little too unusual to be interesting to everyone, but Hero of Many is a game of great quality, as well as of great challenge, and I liked it quite a lot.