C64 Review of Hero from Issue 26

ZzapTest Logo by Biggest Jim


Set in a mine's dank shafts and caverns, HERO follows the exploits of Roderick Hero, a member of the HERO team - Helicopter Emergency Rescue Operations.

Kitted out with a Heli-Pack, dynamite and a laser pistol, old Rodders descends into the dark depths to rescue a party of lost miners. The intrepid hero ignores subterranean hazards including large poisonous spiders, bats and snakes.

Hero's path is barred in many places by walls of rock - blasted aside by use of dynamite. However, when a charge has been dropped Roderick has to run clear lest he be caught in the blast!

Should Roderick run out of dynamite and subsequently encounter another wall, continuous blasting with his laser pistol clears an adequate path. This method's drawback is that it seriously depletes his power, displayed as a diminishing bar at the bottom of the screen. A life is lost when the power level reaches zero, and also when any contact is made with creepy crawlies or glowing red lava walls.

Points are amassed during the game for the destruction of creatures, removal of walls, and the eventual rescue of each miner. The amount of dynamite used in the operation and the remaining power level are also taken into account.

The mine is split into 17 levels, with a miner at the bottom of each. Later levels can be accessed from the title screen and played as normal, allowing you a taste of what's to come without having to play through the earlier stages.

This review was typed in/OCRed by Jianso

ZzapBack Logo by Biggest Jim
In the spirit of ZzapBack, you can have your say about how the game reviewed above, stands up in the cold light of today. Has it aged badly or is it still worth a few plays? Read other peoples thoughts and post your own.

The current ZzapBack rating is : 87%

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Conrad - 2 Apr 2011
Just one word...PLAYABILITY...It has spades of it and I just had to reach every miner.
Later levels got very challenging, but it was hardcore and very addictive. At today's standard one might get bored now, but it is still a classic.

Rating : 80%
Phil - 14 Jun 2009
Next to Paradroid, my favourite game on the C64, and probably in my top 5 of all time.

Beautifully atmospheric, puts you right in the role of a jetpack-packing mine rescuer. You really want to get that bit deeper each go to rescue some more miners!

Plays flawlessly, with just that bit of stratgey in how you use your dynamite. Keep it for when you need it, because if you have to blast through walls with your laser, your oxygen will run out in a hurry!

Rating : 93%
PaulEMoz - 17 May 2004
I remember buying this when it was re-released and being totally hooked. It's such a great concept for a game, and it's executed so well. Once you pick it up, there's a fair chance that you won't put it down for hours. Even now, I thoroughly enjoy a session with HERO, and I'd recommend it highly to anyone wanting something fun but different.

Rating : 87%
CraigGrannell - 4 Dec 2003
Under-rated at the time, this simple exploration game remains playable and addictive today. If only many of the copies hadn't of had that bug that made it impossible to get past one of the later levels...

Rating : 90%
Julian Rignall
HERO looks awful, sounds terrible but plays absolutely beautifully. What appeals most about this classic oldie is that it's simple in concept, but it remains incredibly challenging and addictive. While the gameplay is basic, finding the right route to the miners takes some doing. Some of the later levels are very tricky, and it's quite easy to take a wrong turn and end up screens away from the objective and out of power. At two quid this is a steal - it might be three years old, but it's still as fresh and exciting as ever.
Richard Eddy
Now, this is what I call a game, none of this poncing about with licensing deals - just pure and simple creativity. What particularly appeals to me is the way in which the game slowly unfolds the further you get. Each level presents new problems, and slowly but surely you begin to learn the way things work. It's a pity that the sound is scarce, as I can't stop thinking how brilliant it would be with a tune playing throughout. One of the best games to spend a couple of coins on this month.
Steve Jarratt
Even though HERO was first released around three years ago it still contains heaps of playability. It's nothing to shout about graphically, but it does have one or two neat effects and has enough addictiveness and depth (excuse the pun) to keep most people amused for some time. Possibly overpriced when first released, it really hits the mark now and shouldn't be missed.
Presentation 85%
Demo mode, restart facility and many useful options.

Graphics 59%
Generally bland, although occasionally effective.

Sound 45%
No music and sparse but adequate spot effects.

Hookability 91%
Endearing from the very first go.

Lastability 88%
Five levels of play and seventeen increasingly difficult mines give scope for months of play.

Value 96%
A cheap and exciting thrill.

Overall 86%
Not just a programming exercise, a fabulous exploration designed with the player in mind.