Game: Vertical Drop Heroes HD
System: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Nerdook Productions
Age Rating: 7/E10+
Price: £8.99 |€9,99| $9.99
Release Date: 4th October 2018
Review code kindly provided by Digerati
Vertical Drop Heroes HD is a drop-down platformer title that challenges players to make their way through the Temple of Knowledge in order to find the Heavenly Sanctuary. The Temple is full of enemies, bosses, dangers, shrines, teleports and portals. What looks like a simple game visually, actually has a lot of depth and is proving to be quite addictive.
Prior to starting each game, the player can choose a character from a selection of three randomized heroes. Each wannabe hero differs in terms of looks, stats and abilities. Players can choose from one of each character traits such as a Knight, Thief, Ranger and Mage.
In typical rogue like fashion, each run allows players to collect coins and gain XP in order to improve future stats. The goal is to keep playing in order to strengthen character’s abilities which should better prepare the player for future runs. Coins and XP are gained by destroying enemies, completing side quests, breaking boxes and so on. Once a run is over, players can spend coins in order to up the weapon/damage and health stats of future heroes.
In terms of levelling up, a hero begins each game at level 1, but soon begins to level up as they progress through each stage. A teleportation shrine can be used to skip stages and up player levels depending on the number of teleportation crystals collected within game.
Thanks to each level being procedurally generated, the placement of platforms, objects, and enemies differ on every playthough, which helps extend overall game time.
How will you play?
Vertical Drop Heroes HD can be approached in different ways. I can imagine certain gamers attempting to run through it quite quickly by using shortcuts. I personally prefer to start each game from the beginning, hoping to fully progress through the game in one sitting. Another cool element is that by using keys, the player can release prisoners, who upon their release fight alongside them during the stage. There skills can also give you temporary benefits to aid you during battle. Will you choose to release prisoners or attempt to go it alone.
It’s possible to complete each stage in one of two ways. To access the portal for the next level, players can either use 5 keys to gain access to it, or defeat the final boss. Final bosses are easily spotted because they tend to be much bigger than your average enemy. Also be prepared, because at times I had to fight off more than one boss at a time.
For fans of local multiplayer, there’s a spilt screen mode that allows players to face the dangers of the temple together. I managed to play a multiplayer session with a member of my family and we had a great time.
Even though Vertical Drop Heroes HD can be enjoyed in short bursts, I’m spending up to 20-30 mins on each run. As soon as I start to play I’m hooked and I spend a while simply looking for ways that I can earn coins and XP for the next run.
Visuals and Sound
I really like the graphical style of Vertical Drop Heroes. Even though the visuals are not overly complicated, there’s still enough detail in the backdrops, monsters and characters, to make things interesting.
I also take great delight in listening to the game’s soundtrack as I play through each stage. Immediately the soundtrack for Goblins Forest caught my attention and I find the music itself helps me to spend more time with our heroes as they battle through the temple of knowledge.
I like Vertical Drop Heroes a lot. I must admit that I wasn’t sure what to make of the game simply by glancing at screenshots and videos, but once I started playing, I was hooked. This is without question one of my favourite Switch indie games of the year. I whole heartily recommend it to others that enjoy 2D platformers with simple RPG mechanics.