One Way Heroics takes the overland adventure RPG formula from its longstanding origin of grindy quest-driven hour munching, and transplants it into a smaller roguelike package, offering it in bite sized increments without removing the gravity of what your hero is trying to accomplish. What might that be, you ask? Why, saving the entirety of existence from a looming darkness that consumes all in it’s path, with a demon lord leading the way.
Players begin by creating a character from scratch. While this is often a difficult and potentially time-consuming element in other RPGs, here it is an easily approachable exercise that should take you the better part of a minute. Choose a class, choose 4 perks, name your hero, and send him on his way. While your initial choices may seem limited, fret not; more choices become available as you play.
With your character waiting in the wings, it is time to choose a world to adventure through. True to it’s roguelike aspirations, you will be given several randomly generated choices for beginning your adventuring career. You can create a new random world, revisit one of the worlds you have been to previously, manually input the dimension you wish to travel to, or choose from a set of specific dimensions, each with their own particular merits detailed in their description. Possible modifiers include such situations as: having a mercenary available in the starting area to help you, weapon and armors having a +50% better chance of bonuses, or providing a class trainer to up your starting power. This is just a handful of the possibilities. There is a shared world that you can play in as well, where you can see the ghosts of other players who have failed. Interacting with these ghosts gets you a stat boost, which is quite nifty. You will also pick a difficulty. You start with options including of “Walk in the Park” and “Afternoon Stroll,” with higher difficulties added as you complete playthroughs.
Alright, enough jabber about systems. Patience is a virtue, and you’d do well to remember that in your first several attempts, as you will almost assuredly die before completing your quest. Likely several times, in fact. Thankfully, One Way Heroics does a fabulous job of allowing these deaths to have meaning. You earn points for your performance game over game, which can be used to unlock classes and perks for future playthroughs, as well as allowing you to pack away gear for your future heroes to use. Players start with the Swordsman, Knight, and Force User (you know, the smartypants with the robe and mystical powers). Each class really has its own playstyle, including not only stat differences, but also skills that can be activated on your turn in lieu of moving or attacking. These skills vary quite a bit, and I am confident that there is a usable strategy for each type of player out there.