Your kingdom is cursed, causing black magic to rise and evil creatures to come forth from the ground to destroy what was once great.
Your quest is to defeat these evils and return you kingdom to its former glory. With a warband of various troops and heroes, you must venture through the lands, fighting orcs, the undead, and other sinister creatures.
Royal Heroes is a mixture of a real-time strategy with role playing elements mixed in. When you first begin you must head to the tavern where you will find your first heroes and troops. Choose wisely, because you have a limited amount of money to begin with. I found I liked a good balance with a couple knights upfront for tanking, while my archers fire and chip away at enemies from afar. Once you have your troops selected, you place them on a grid to determine their starting positions on the battle. From there, you are ready for battle.
The battling system is quite simple. Once the battle begins, your troops are set on auto attack, so all their actions are predetermined and run off a real-time battle system. The first few battles are exciting, yet dull. It’s enjoyable to watch your troops run into battle, but the fact that you just have to sit and watch while your troops do all the work, makes you wish there was a fast forward button to speed things up. Eventually, you unlock the mages guild which allows you to pick spells to assist your troops during battle. At the top of the screen you have the health bar for you and your opponent’s army and a timer. Every battle you win, you gain experience points for your troops, gold, and items used for crafting. The more quickly your complete a battle, the better your rewards are. You’ll want to try and 3-star every level you can. As you level up your hero, you gain ‘raid tickets’ which allow you to “raid” for items and money, but only on previous 3-starred levels.
Get ready to muscle down, because Royal Heroes quickly turns into a grind-fest.
As you gain experience you can begin to customize your troops with new abilities, upgrading their attack & vitality, and even increasing the number of troops in each individual party. You also begin to gain items that you can use to craft new weapons, armor, and attunement items to help advance your troops battle stats. The crafting is set up similar to the crafting system found in Minecraft. You have to assemble items on a 9x9 grid in accordance to what you want you want to create. Granted, crafting is really just a guessing combinations, until you unlock blueprints that show you how to craft various items.
Everything you do costs gold. Lots and lots of gold. This quickly turns Royal Heroes from a fairly fast-paced battlefront to a grind-fest. You’ll find yourself repeating the same battles over and over to hopefully gain enough items and gold to progress your team bit by bit. You can continue to grow your warband by recruiting new troops and heroes, but the more troops you add to your overall army, the more it seems to slow down your progression. You need to keep your troops leveled up and well geared, or you will fall quickly to your enemy. When you run into a battle that you can’t pass, you’ll have to put in a lot of time and effort to make your troops powerful enough to progress. You also have the option to progress your difficulty, selecting from a handful of heroes to keep and up to 4 items to retain when you progress. When you progress, the enemies become more challenging, but the rewards are better as well. I, unfortunately, made the mistake of progressing to soon out of curiosity, and now the grinding has intensified and slowed things down a lot.
The most annoying thing about Royal Heroes is definitely the tooltip errors that always occurs. You can actually see what you’re selecting without actually clicking the mouse and holding the button as you hover over items. You’ll quickly learn what the menus mean, but it’s still quite annoying. My first play through, I ran into a glitch where my mages guild disappeared after a battle and never returned. When I progressed, it came back and I haven’t ran into that issue since.
If you want a good time killer with a heavy grinding aspect, Royal Heroes is perfect for you. I feel like this game would be better suited on a mobile platform over the PC set up. It is fun growing an army from just a small band of troops to a huge, sizeable force, but it’s going to take some time to pull that off. Royal Heroes is available now on Steam for $2.99. That is an excellent price for a game that will still bring you a few hours of enjoyment.