88 Heroes is a fast-paced 2D platformer featuring 88 different heroes, 88 different levels, and 88 seconds per level. It is bursting with personality and humor. There is no doubt this game stands out from the crowds of platformers on Steam at the moment. However, what it brings in character and personality it lacks in environment and level design and this prevents the game from being one of the greats.
Each character is dramatically unique, both through their style and gameplay. Most can move, jump and attack in their own way. Their movements and attacks can be wildly different, for example Cupid can only move while jumping, while Deiter Nate has to always be clutching to his precious bomb or it’ll end badly. Glass Girl can’t survive a long fall because, as you guessed it, she’s made entirely of glass, making her pretty fragile. Some characters are fairly difficult to play and require extra attention to succeed. These differences can make game play pretty interesting, as it can open up lots of avenues to complete the level.
Playing through the four worlds, the characters are randomly chosen after death or level completion, which is a stressful yet fun. Most of the game’s charm stems from its comical list of playable characters, from Laser Kitty…
To Retro Reptile…
And my favourite character, El Delayo… “Uno momento por favor!”
You’ll be scurrying through levels to find the exit within 88 seconds with enumerate enemies and traps in the way. At the end of each world, you face a boss fight before you can progress further. The boss fights can leave much to be desired, as they are incredibly simple. The goal is to dodge a hand full of projectiles whilst jumping on a set of buttons to launch missiles at the boss. However, the boss fights are not what you come here for (this isn’t Dark Souls). This is for gamers who enjoy speedrunner-type games, as there’s a plethora of ways to get to the end.
The game itself has three modes- 88 Heroes, Magnificent 8, and Solo. I found myself having a ton of fun initially in the 88 Heroes mode. Magnificent 8 and Solo are retakes on the game where you get to choose your favourite eight characters (Magnificent 8) or individual character (Solo) to complete the game with. This lets you filter out all the characters you’re not fond of, or give yourself an immense challenge and pick the eight toughest characters to play.
For over a handful of hours, the gameplay was enjoyable enough to see me pushing further, but the repetitiveness of the level design and simply unmemorable environments lessened me to return. The humor was truly the highlight of the game, as there were moments where I had to stop playing due to excessive fits of laughter. Although the lack of unique level design hinders the game’s potential, the hilarious cast of characters may be worth your time.
The game is now available on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Exclusive to the PlayStation 4 physical retail version of 88 Heroes are two additional heroes, Cath Letics and The Mime, as well as the exclusive new H8 Mode, which features eight brand new levels offering a super-charged hardcore challenge.