88 Heroes is a unique adventure as it is a game obsessed with the number 8. Historically speaking, the number 8 has been shown to be a good omen, especially in Chinese culture, in regards to love and happiness. However, in 88 Heroes, it means the potential death of mankind. The alien overlord Doctor H8 is set to destroy the Earth in 88 minutes. It is up to you, the player, and 88 Heroes (technically 89 heroes with you the player) to take down Dr. H8.
With the premise down, I sat down at the Reverb Booth to play the game. 88 Heroes will challenge players to finish the game in 88 minutes with each of the 88 Heroes. Each and every hero is completely different, with their own offensive and defensive capabilities. The game plays like an action platformer filled with traps and enemies. Naturally, the beginning may be easy, but the game gets rapidly more challenging.
The hero you receive is random, and can be just about anything you can think of. Superstars, musicians, robots, Horses, anthropomorphic dodo, and even a human missile woman named Maid Missile. Each hero has their own capability to handle the situation. Some can fire bullets, lasers, or use physical force. Others have sheer speed and agility.
My demo took me through several levels. Some level were riddled with spike traps and required accurate platforming. Most levels had robots and rocket turrets to destroy, but they could only be destroyed if you utilize a hero that can attack.
The entire game plays from the main terminal of Dr. H8, aboard his spaceship. Dr. H8 is watching you, the player, navigate his maze of dastardly traps and opponents. He will actively comment on your progress, yelling taunts and frustrations to your success. In the foreground, there will be robots and such moving about. The main screen is where you’ll be playing.
My time with 88 Heroes was action-packed and hilarious! Each hero brought something completely new and different to the situation. There were plenty of heroes I went through, and a few took me by complete surprise.
For anyone familiar with internet history, chances are you have been “Rick Rolled” in your life. 88 Heroes actually has Mr. Rick Roll, imitating Rick Astley, in the game. I couldn’t help but laugh hard during gameplay. As I moved through the level, Rick’s trademark swinging dance was his animation to move through the level. He would fling hearts from his hips to attack. The hearts were essentially grenades that exploded on contact.
Another hero was a floating question mark, illustrated straight from the Windows 95 operating system. This character was inspired by the first Microsoft Office Assistant, the infamous annoying paperclip that would pop up when using Microsoft Word. In 88 Heroes, this Question Mark looked incredibly similar to that assistant. I was able to float around and dodge projectiles. However, when I died, it reminded me of the obvious in a hilarious statement. I had a good laugh.
As I progressed further, one hero was a horse made out of ASCII font, with limited animation. I couldn’t attack, but I could emit a shield for protection. Another hero was a fast-moving snail with machine guns and an American Flag for a shell. This hero was a little more suitable to meet the challenge, as I could attack enemy robots and soldiers, who will return fire.
Other characters, such as Shaken Not Stirred and Kendodo, were an absolute blast to play with at well. Their abilities were entertaining and changed the gameplay consistently. The presentation was solid, form the pixelated visuals to the sound and voice overs from Dr. H8.
While my time with 88 heroes was short, it is shaping to be an amazing platforming and action game, with a unique, imaginative twist. The gameplay was challenging but incredibly enjoyable, just like the cast of 88 heroes.
Look for 88 Heroes to land soon!