Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption review for Nintendo Switch, PC

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: Silesia Games
Developer: Transolar Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

If you want to fully understand Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption — or even if you want an idea of whether you?re going to enjoy it — you need to know where it?s coming from.

It was created by Lori and Corey Cole, who rose to prominence about thirty years ago for creating the Quest for Glory games, a series of adventure games that hits back when those games were popular. Hero-U is their first game in more than twenty years, and it?s based on an idea they?ve been working on since 2003 — first as a book, then as a text adventure, then as a website, and, finally, as a proper game.

In other words, Hero-U may have come out this year, but everything about it — except, possibly, the graphics — feels like it?s come straight out of a game from a couple of decades ago.

I don?t say that with any kind of judgment. (Okay, maybe with a bit of judgment, which I?ll get to in a moment.) Rather, it?s a statement of fact. The constant wordplay and puns and fourth-wall-breaking seems like it?s come straight from the early ?90s, and brings to mind Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle and all kinds of other games of which I?m only vaguely aware.

On top of that, the gameplay feels not very far removed from the point and click adventures of a few decades ago. You click on almost literally every object, you exhaust all your options, and occasionally you come across something useful — and, of course, most of the time your actions are accompanied by more of those puns and wordplay.

Just about the only thing in Hero-U that wouldn?t have fit in thirty years ago is the graphics — though that?s not because the game is a graphical powerhouse or anything, but rather because it would?ve been challenging for computers to display 3D graphics like this.

Because Hero-U feels so heavily indebted to a particular moment in gaming history, it?s really hard to fully enjoy the game unless you lived in that particular moment (or, I guess, if you somehow developed an appreciation for the genre in the ensuing decades). If the idea of a point-and-click adventure that?s heavy on the puns and on the clicking sounds like heaven to you, then you?ll be in luck with Hero-U, but otherwise, you?ll probably want to skip this one.

Silesia Games provided us with a Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B