Madcap Action, Martial Arts, Monkey King and More!
Platforms: Windows, Switch, Xbox
Release Date: 23rd Jan 2019
Players: 1-4 (local multiplayer)
Genres: Adventure, Action, Puzzle-platformer
Developer: Magic Design Studios
Price: £17.99 (PC)
What’s it all about?
Unruly heroes is a clever and engaging Puzzle platformer game. It’s a wonderful mix of the artwork you can enjoy from Ori, the puzzle complexity of Limbo and the joyful and colourful combat from a Smash Bros title.
In essence, it’s kind of a mix between Trine (2) and Rayman Legends.
The approach taken to controlling the different heroes, although not unique, is done is a fantastic way. You have control over
Sanzang the wise, Wukong the fearless monkey, Kihong the greedy pig, and Sandmonk the sensitive brute. You can seamlessly switch between the heroes without it interrupting your gameplay.
In a lot of situations which hero you control is down to choice, especially when it comes to combat. The thing I do love though is how the levels are tailored so well to ensure you’re constantly switching between the characters to be able to complete certain puzzles. After a while I found myself swapping between a big chunky pig and an agile fearless Monkey mid-air just to get that extra double jump that Wukong gives you.
What is there to do?
The basis of it is between solving challenging puzzles and defeating bosses. You unlock new abilities as you level up and you progress through the story, unlocking various meta achievements on the way.
It slowly introduces new gameplay mechanics, and it the style of puzzles vary so much that it really keeps the game interesting. You’ve got about 10-15 hours of story mode to play through.
Look and feel
Unruly heroes is beautiful. We’re all guilty of skipping cutscenes despite the hours of hard work that go into them, but with Unruly I watched every one.
The general tone of the game is really accessible and everything feels very intuitive. I had a controller plugged in when I launched it, so all the prompts were for that but it felt like the most natural interface so I went with it.
The slide, jump, double jump, wall jump and all the combat controls felt really nice. All in all, as with any combat game my hero felt powerful but not overpowered. An all-round good balance.
So can I play with my friends?
I only spent time in the single player and I really enjoyed it. The story is certainly not a bolt-on of a natively multiplayer game and it’s worth the 17.99 just for that.
From what Magic Design have said, and the brief snoop around the menus I had for the multiplayer, it looks like you can’t do co-op story online, however it does have an arena mode that you can join with friends or enter a matchmaking system to play against random players.
I’ll definitely play some more if I can either I convince my friends to buy in (that’s the plan) or I spend some time trying to find some other players online. I was in the queue for 5 minutes or without it changing from ‘Looking for 3 more player(s)’ so I’m hoping that as more people hear about this game the bigger community it will have to beat up!
- Gorgeous artwork
- Intuitive controls
- Lots of fun to play on your own
- Combat is varied and super engaging
- Puzzles are challenging and make you think
- Sound design is very very well done
- Not yet enough of a community to do matchmaking
- Can’t do the story online (hopefully, I’m wrong about this, but I couldn’t see how)
- Menu controls are a little strange
- Voice acting is good, but a little bit cheesy
- Hitting enemies doesn’t interrupt their attacks
Unruly heroes is a beautiful game with varied, interesting and challenging game mechanics. It’s definitely an enjoyable one to play through on your own, but I can really see the local co-op being an entirely different (and I think better) experience.
I didn’t get a chance to do any local co-op on this one (yet), but if the devs were to add online adventure mode I would be all over that shit like a rash!
It’s an incredible game, clearly with a lot of thought put into the finer details and I hope they continue to build on the brilliant foundation they have on release.