Some games are focused on serious themes, they grab you with their dark stories, keep you going for hours and hours until the game reaches its climax, leaving the player with a sense of accomplishment after pouring hours into a game. This is not the case with 88 Heroes, a fun game full of pop culture references, and a game that’s best played in short bursts.
What do I mean by short bursts? Well, the game shows an obsession with the number 88, from the title all the way to the core of itself, everything revolves around 88, there’s 88 rooms to clear, 88 heroes to play as, 88 lives, 88 coins collected will revive a hero, an 88 second timer on every room, and the player has a total of 88 minutes to clear the game or it’s a game over.
There’s an overall tone of fun in 88 Heroes, it’s story is funny from the start screen, and it’s loaded with plenty of pop culture references, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Armadillos to a cat that shoots lasers, the variety of heroes included is plenty, some heroes reference other forms of entertainment, — cough, cough, armadillos — others reference games (like Rusty from the amazing SteamWorld DIG), and then there’s the heroes created by the developer, each with their own short backstory that usually make for a funny gag. Not every hero is laugh-out loud hilarious, but I personally think there’s more hits than blunders.
The game’s core is its campaign mode, which starts as an easy, run-of-the-mill platformer, but quickly turns into a more challenging experience, every level is full of secrets that can only be accessed by certain heroes, creating a system of wonder; “should I sacrifice this hero to get a smaller one and get that coin?.” It all is very fun at first, however it can get repetitive and dull quite easily, this would knock its quality down if I were playing on a PS4, but since the 98 Heroes edition is available on the Switch, the console compliments the game, since they both feel like they’re made for shorter bursts of gaming as compared to hours of gaming in one sitting.
Some heroes, while funny, make the game harder since they don’t have any abilities, this may feel a little cheap at times, while making sense for the game’s main “story,” I’ve found 88 Heroes to be infuriating at times, but I found myself always picking up my Switch again for one more go, the game has an addictive quality, and it masters the “I can do it on the next try” mentality.
While not being perfect, and feeling cheap because of some heroes at certain times, 88 Heroes is a fun, challenging experience that is best played in short bursts rather than hours at a time, which is why the game is such a great fit for everyone’s favorite handheld/console hybrid; the Nintendo Switch. If you’re interested in this game, I would wholeheartedly recommend you play this on the Switch, I would not have enjoyed this game as much as I did if I didn’t have the ability to put it down and pick it back up so easily.
DEVELOPER: RISING STAR GAMES
AVAILABLE ON: NINTENDO SWITCH
DISCLAIMER: THIS GAME WAS PROVIDED BY THE PUBLISHER FOR REVIEW PURPOSES