Why I Quit Hero Academy (and became an evil villain)

Hero Academy Hero Shot

Hero Academy is a fun un-timed turn based game that is played with another person. Remember Words With Friends? Same deal but with a chess style game board and pieces. Ya git multiple games running at the same time and you play at your leisure. I like the art style and the UI which apparently translates really well over to phones. The play mechanics in this game are fun and have enough depth to sink into. There were several unique teams to choose from. I fell in love with this game immediately and had a full roster of games running constantly. Then something terrible happened. I beat the game.

Hero Academy game board

But Doug, I thought you said it was a PvP game?

Yup, I Beat It.

The developers did a cross-mojonation multi-game brand integration mashup thing where they offered a free playable team based on characters from Team Fortress 2. Other teams of varied characters with varied functionalities and abilities could be acquired through purchase with real world money but if you had the TF2 team you didn’t need anything else.

The TF2 Team Grouped Together

Balance

…is a problem that a lot of games struggle with. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around how some Devs manage to get so much diversity in their character designs while still maintaining balance. The TF2 team has better mobility, AOE damage, single target ranged damage, you name it. The team was imba for sure but there was one aspect of the TF2 team that really broke the game.

Synergy

…was not totally missing from the other teams but there wasn’t a direct ramp to burst DPS. I discovered I could hook my Medic onto my Demo and completely zone out a portion of the board. Once the combo was in place it was just a matter of playing out the turns and collecting my win. My Spys and Scouts would sweep up and down the play field taking hits and terrorizing the middle of the board but most importantly wasting turns. Planning is vastly over weighted in Hero Academy because you can stall. In Chess you think several turns ahead. In Hero academy you can actually get several turns ahead. I’d make marginal seemingly harmless gains in positioning while waiting for the Uber combo to fall into place. My opponent would only have to get comfortable and waste one or two turns fooling around with the Scouts and Spys. After that no amount of per-unit damage or board presence, or healing could turn the tide. I was two turns ahead and the game was settled.

I got to a point where I would have the max number of games running and I would win every single one of them. I tried to challenge only people who play the pay to unlock teams. I tried using the same strategy on the same people over and over to see if they could stop me after seeing it play out. I tried playing only against other TF2 teams. I couldn’t lose.

How long can you play a game without losing…. interest?

 

TL;DR TF2 OP

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