Everyone has a favourite RPG. Whether it’s the four disc epic of Final Fantasy VII or the high stakes tension of Fire Emblem (where if a character dies they’re gone FOR GOOD), the RPG genre is much beloved by gaming fans, bundled up in equal parts sweet nostalgia and emotion-wrenching storytelling. Which is great. There was however, one major drag when it came to those classic RPGs. The constant level grinding. Endless hours fighting pointless monsters you could beat with one hit. All for that precious smattering of exp to help you tackle the next big boss. If the repetition factor got you down, fear not – Clicker Heroes, the original idle RPG, is here to make your life easier, and it’s out now for iOS and Android.
If you’ve never come across the term ‘idle RPG’ before, it’s not a stretch to imagine what it might be. That’s right; it’s an RPG where you only need involve yourself with the exciting bits, leaving the tiresome grinding to an enthusiastic CPU. The idle RPG is a new form of RPG, geared exclusively towards today’s attention span-challeneged youth. Which makes a lot of sense if you think about it – smartphones are an immediate and transitory technology. What better way to introduce the RPG genre to the medium than via a game which takes the boring parts out? In this instance, you tap the screen repeatedly to kill enemies, and hire comrades to help you on your journey (which constitutes the automatic part – those boys and girls will go straight in for the kill without you having to do anything).
The first thing you notice about Clicker Heroes is that it’s addictive. Extremely addictive. I’m actually still playing it as I type this, even though I only intended to give it the usual cursory run through. Part of its appeal might be in that it looks so damn good. The animation is gorgeous, the graphics feel smooth and sleek, and the creature designs and names are inventive, diverse and importantly, not as repetitive as you might think! There’s also a cool soundtrack blasting a long in the background, adding to the epic feel of the handheld game, which is quite a feat in itself.
The other major selling point with Clicker Heroes (even though, remarkably, it’s a free app!) is how deep it is. It’s simple to get to grips with, sure – but there’s a lot going on under its seemingly straightforward exterior. There’s over 1,000 zones to hack and slash your way through, all with a different boss at the end of them. The boss fights take the form of timed battles, where you have a certain amount of seconds to kill a prescribed beastie. These can get quite intense, and unless you’re extremely powerful, you’ll be tapping the screen like a man possessed, trying to fell the wild beast before the time runs out. The latest update also provides players with an intriguing multiplayer mode in the form of ‘Clans’, with new bosses lurking at the end – the disturbingly named ‘Immortals.
All in all, Clicker Heroes is the full package. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, but is smart enough to hit all the right notes for fans of the genre. The new modes also provide increased re-playability, which is always a plus with these type of games.