Vertical Drop Heroes HD Steam Review
I had the wonderful privilege of reviewing Vertical Drop Heroes HD a few months ago, back when it was still being green lit for Steam. Now that Vertical Drop Heroes HD has been voted through and an official Steam release is upon us, the developer has added some additional features to the game’s already huge arsenal. I won’t go into too much detail, since, for the most part, this is the same game (you can read my detailed review of the original release here). However, there are some newly added features that are worthy of note, for better or worse.
For the uninitiated, I’ll give a brief rundown of what Vertical Drop Heroes HD is all about. You begin with a randomly-generated hero, with arbitrary stats, weapons, and abilities. You guide them through a vertically scrolling — as opposed to the standard side scrolling — dungeons, battling monsters, collecting coins, leveling up, and ultimately dying. Then, you begin again. Vertical Drop Heroes is less about guiding a single, powerful warrior, and more about the kinetic leap into a vertical world, trying to keep your randomly generated heroes and heroines alive as long as possible. You never know what build you’ll end up with, and it’s amazing.
There are 10 new enemy types added to the Steam release of Vertical Drop Heroes HD. There are giant scorpions, reapers, zombie archers, club-wielding goblins, wolf rats, mummies, and a bunch of other crazy creatures that just want to kill you. Every enemy has its own attack pattern, so you’ll need to approach each one differently.
Also new to this version is a little blue monster that floats above exits. It wasn’t in the original build, and I’m not really sure what it does, aside from show you the way out. I believe it serves as a way to clue the player in on important things like merchants, so you don’t lose track of them in the chaos.
There’s a bar that shows up at the beginning of every level now that tells you what stage you’re in, complete with a number and a title. I’m pretty sure it’s a new feature. When playing the original version of Vertical Drop Heroes HD, I was never sure how far I’d gotten, or how many levels were left! This is a welcome addition, since it gives you an idea of where you are, how far you need to go, and allows you to set a goal.
Along with new enemies, there are also new blocks that release bubbles to knock you upwards, blocks that fall and send you tumbling into enemies, and wooden blocks that break apart underneath you. The wooden ones that disintegrate over time are a god send! Seriously, anything that lets you pass from one floor to another without having to traverse through monsters is greatly appreciated.
Spikes and lava also seem to deal less damage. Before, these would cause instant death, which was frustrating. Now it seems like the difficulty’s been dialed back, allowing you to traverse the game with a little less fear. Enemies seem to die easier as well.
All of the special abilities have more of a balance. When I played Vertical Drop Heroes HD before, a large majority of the attacks were underpowered, and I spammed Ice Age and Sand Worms over and over again. Now, most every skill does a fair amount of damage to not only normal enemies, but can also kill bosses. It makes every random hero a bit more satisfying to use, and encourages the use of multiple builds.
It also looks like they adjusted the Ice Age attack, which is really disappointing. It’s a special ability that rains down giant shards of ice upon the unsuspecting foes below, and fills the entire screen. Before, you were able to use the massive attack more than a few times! In the Steam build of Vertical Drop Heroes HD, they’ve dropped the number of times you can use it to a mere 2. I agree, it was a bit overpowered, but it was the only thing that kept me from dying! I get that it ups the challenge, but I’d take power over a challenge any day. Ice Age, you will be missed.
That isn’t to say that Vertical Drop Heroes HD on Steam is easy. Because it isn’t, at all! You will be brutalized every step of the way, bombarded by an endless torrent of baddies… and you won’t be able to stop playing! It’s fun, challenging, and will keep you respawing as a new lineage of heroes. Add to this leader boards, achievements, statistics, and multiplayer, and you have a game that’ll give you many hours of exciting gameplay!