Hero Defense: Haunted Island (PC) Preview

By Athanasios 24.02.2016

Review for Hero Defense: Haunted Island on PC

The concept of the RTS sub-genre of tower defence is a hilariously simple one, therefore, any new title that comes forth must have something that separates it from the thousands of shoddy copy-paste jobs available. What does Happy Tuesday's first creation, Hero Defense: Haunted Island, do to stand out? It swaps stationary buildings with moveable hero units. Does this make things good? Err…

One thing that is very obvious from the moment the title screen appears is that this game, with the so-generic-that-it-hurts name, lacks character. The Victorian era heroes, as well as the few monsters, are well-designed, the - even fewer - locales are so colourful and cartoony that it gives the whole thing a strong Warcraft III vibe, and as for the sound effects, voice acting, and basic "haunted house" soundtrack, everything is just 'fine.' The thing is, though, that it all feels very (for a lack of a better term) "mobile."

In other words, nothing stands out. Of course, this is just nit-picking, since the only thing that matters here is the gameplay. Unfortunately, things are far from great in that department, too. Before explaining why, though, here's the basic idea: being a tower defence title, the purpose is to stop wave after wave of enemies from reaching their goal (in this case, a town full of villagers), but, instead of constructing and upgrading a variety of towers, the ones doing all the killing are actually heroes who can easily change their position on the battlefield.

Screenshot for Hero Defense: Haunted Island on PC

Sadly, other than being able to move from A to B in a matter of seconds, and each one being specialised in slaying one particular kind of enemy, this system is simplistic at best. Sure, they all have some minor differences, like the way Barrows slows down monsters, or how Sam's attacks have splash damage, and, yes, it's possible to add a couple of perks that enable some more things that can be done, like Jack having a chance to shoot one more projectile, or Jane throw back a foe, but, unfortunately, the fun factor remains the same.

The worse thing is that nothing really begs for a strategic way of playing. Unless on a higher difficulty setting, levels go something like this: enemies appear from Gate A, the party moves over there, they start pouring out from Gate B, they change their position; rinse, repeat, get sleepy. Each map has a couple of Shrines scattered around, which are stationary, single-seat stat boosters, but they don't really change things that much - in fact, apart from the occasional tough stage, these are pretty useless.

The only "strategy" here is choosing what runes to insert at weaponry, which in turn enable even more perks, and activate once a hero spends the energy gathered from slain enemies to level his or her weapon - the existence of some active skills, however, would still be 10 times better. There's another problem here, however, and that's the awful focus in grinding. It takes a lot of fighting in order to gather EXP, money, gems (specialised currency that is also needed for Shrines), and runes; fighting that was never that good to begin with.

Screenshot for Hero Defense: Haunted Island on PC

Final Thoughts

Hero Defense: Haunted Island provides generic tower defence gameplay, but with "towers" that can run around the arena. In its current state it requires more grinding than actual thinking, and the actual battles feel quite passive and monotonous. It should be noted that the final release will also have an online mode that will, supposedly, mix tower defence with MOBA, and, hopefully, it will be much better than what the campaign offers, but it will surely be affected by how flawed the core game currently is.


Happy Tuesday


Happy Tuesday





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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


Time flies when i play this game


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