Heroes Never Lose: Professor Puzzler's Perplexing Ploy (PC) Preview

By Ofisil 23.01.2016 1

Review for Heroes Never Lose: Professor Puzzler

While the gaming industry is certainly not short of puzzlers, the sub-genre of fighting/competitive ones isn't exactly the most productive, with the last popular name being Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo from 1996 (which got an HD remaster in 2007). Luckily, the Early Access of Heroes Never Lose: Professor Puzzler's Perplexing Ploy, which is Canada-based Magic Pants' debut creation and also coming to Wii U eventually thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, will certainly put a big, Dorito-coloured grin on the faces of genre fans.

While not really complex, innovative, or different from the rest, Heroes Never Lose: Professor Puzzler's Perplexing Ploy (also known as the competitor for this year's longest name) is not just another tile-matching puzzle videogame similar to the millions available out there, like the one-that-should-not-be-named *cough*Candy Crush*cough* Yes, the concept is still all about creating chains of a certain colour, destroying them, and overfilling the screen of the enemy with more tiles while doing so… but that's not all.

For starters, destroying tiles needs more than combining three or more, since the one doing all the destroying will be the "breaker" item, and, as expected, creating large blocks of a certain colour to blow, or even better, creating chain-reactions, adds more tiles to the enemy's grid; tiles that can only be destroyed once their turn-based timer reaches zero - but this can go both ways, and, therefore, decisions must be made without hesitation, and placements be done as accurate as possible.

Screenshot for Heroes Never Lose: Professor Puzzler's Perplexing Ploy on PC

An additional mechanic is bringing in Special and Super moves, with both using the energy that gets accumulated when scoring combos, with the much stronger Supers completely depleting it. All characters have a unique set of such attacks, but all are slightly similar - not that they are carbon copies, though. It's just that, apart from Professor Puzzler's Super, which scrabbles the enemy grid, forcing an alternative way of thinking, most just fill the opponent's panel with some harder-to-destroy obstacles - then again, this is a work in progress, and there are currently only six out of the 16 characters available.

Heroes Never Lose has a certain nostalgic vibe without relying too much on retro aesthetics, which is certainly a good thing. The hand-drawn, animated backgrounds are quite detailed and varied, and the OST, although - currently - limited, manages to capture the mood of each stage. Finally, the wacky assortment of characters adds a nice Super-Hero-Rejects kind of touch, but using such a heavily-pixelated version of themselves while playing was a bad idea, since it doesn't let their, otherwise fantastic, animation shine - not to mention that they look somewhat out of place on top of the smooth backdrops.

This looks like a very decent (and surprisingly bug-free) Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo clone so far, with tight controls, a simple, yet helpful UI, with one notable feature being the ability to see where the moving blocks will fall (great for insta-dropping). The only flaws so far? #1: All three difficulty settings feel completely identical, making the game a piece of cake; #2: The multiplayer geographic range is somewhat small, and, #3: a lack of additional content, like some more game modes, unlockables, and so on; things that will, hopefully, be added in the full release.

Screenshot for Heroes Never Lose: Professor Puzzler's Perplexing Ploy on PC

Final Thoughts

Apart from the few expected rough edges that every single Early Access title is bound to have, Heroes Never Lose: Professor Puzzler's Perplexing Ploy is, without a single doubt, on the right track of reviving the competitive puzzle sub-genre, with the only major flaw being the lack of additional content. Be sure to keep an eye on this one because Magic Pants has done an exceptional job crafting it so far.

Developer

Magic Pants

Publisher

Spearhead

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

Comments

Wow! An old school game

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