88 Heroes – Review

At 8 minutes past 8 on the 8th August 1988, the world teeters on the brink of total annihilation!
Dr. H8’s demands are simple. Pay 88 octillion dollars within 88 hours or 88 thermo-nuclear warheads pointed directly at earth will be launched.

The 88th president of earth calls for urgent crisis talks! 88 leaders from 88 countries around the world are summoned to the Octagon. With the planet bankrupt, paying the ransom is not an option.
Only one possible course of action is left to take. Infiltrate Dr. H8’s evil super lairs and retrieve the 8 digit coordinates to locate his space base and destroy it once and for all! Only a team of superheroes so daring, so heroic and so stupid could possibly pull this off. But who?

The “88 Heroes” – eighty-eight of the strangest and seemingly most pointless superheroes ever to grace the face of the earth.

“They called the best, but the best were busy!”

Usually we wouldn’t start a review with the entire introduction to a game but 88 Heroes is something different, sure people might label it as just another puzzle-platform title, but 88 Heroes is certainly different, strange, random while still a whole heap of fun.

When you start your journey through 88 thug infested, long jump littered and humour packed levels, you’ll get a brief intro of one of the 88 heroes, there’s no rhyme or reason, and every time you die, complete a level or restart the hero your tasked with controlling is completely random.
Take for instance Hammerstein, he might look like an MC Hammer clone, but one tap of the action button and he’d put a hole in the floor and fell to his doom, another was the retro snake that could move freely up the map, but soon failed after he caught his own tail, or maybe the crazed president with a gun who runs around shooting, but only every directly above him.

There’s certainly a bizarre cast on hand, but it’s the random selection that really set’s 88 Heroes apart from the vast array of puzzle-platform titles available.

At first glance, 88 Heroes doesn’t look too much, you view the game from within Doctor H8’s lair, and there’s regular narration from the evil psychopath as well as funny going-ons in the foreground while you’re trying to concentrate on the game-play behind which has a very familiar feel between levels. The accompanying sound helps to put across the level of humour that is at times pure genius, as you equally enjoy and struggle to come to terms with your random heroes.

Playing a few games is your only way to get used to the characters as you start to recognise their strengths and weaknesses, a robotic bat with similarities to Batman and Bat-think might tug on the retro heart-strings, but he’s pretty useful when the world freezes when he isn’t moving, but on another level, you might find it a quick, pointless and frustrating death.

One thing is for sure, and that’s how much fun it is to discover these heroes, regardless of how long they live, sure there’s a random element as to how you’ll do, get the wrong mix of heroes on the wrong levels and you’ll go through your cast quicker than Dr H8 can get through that Milkshake, but the next game, things might just fall into place and you’ll make quick work of consecutive levels.

It’s far from simple, and you’ll initially find you’re running out of heroes long before you run short of levels or time, a few more attempts and a lucky selection of heroes and you’ll do a lot better,  that’s not to say that the game becomes easy, because it’s unlikely you’ll find the perfect handful of heroes for any given situation in every situation.

There’s an air of repetition as levels soon start to mould into the same style, but with 88 different approaches to 88 different levels there’s a bucket load of minute details to keep you interested.

88 Heroes, isn’t the best platform game on the Xbox One, but it’s one of the most unique, and regardless of whether you play for 88 seconds or 88 minutes, you’re sure to find it great fun

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