One Way Heroics is a side-scrolling RPG rogue-lite. It’s taken me awhile to appreciate games where failure is not only acceptable, but expected, and the reward for death is based on how much success you had before that point. Each time you die, you have to start over, but you’re given hero points, which can be used for perks and other unlockables to better your chances the next time around.
There’s a darkness coming from the left, and as the hero, you have to run from the darkness, hunting a demon lord in order to save the world. No pressure, really. However, the main game mode gives you a new random world each time, so no memorizing the location of the baddies and avoiding them whenever possible. You need to not only keep an eye on your health, but also your stamina and energy – you may find herbs that help with stamina, and food to give you energy, but you can bottom out these stats without immediately dying.
The combat style will be comfortable for fans of games like the Final Fantasy series, but as someone who hasn’t really played much from the JRPG genre, one button combat feels a little awkward. After my first game, the advice-fairy scolded me for not using my awakening power, and I didn’t even understand how to use it. It wasn’t until I fat-fingered the X key while frantically attacking something that I realized there were a whole bunch of menus hiding there. Then I promptly dropped a healing herb on the floor instead of eating it. Clearly, I still have some learning to do.
I didn’t dislike One Way Heroics, even though I don’t entirely understand the appeal given that both combat and story feel extremely light weight. I’m not sure what the reward is for the grind. Considering I also have Tales of Maj’Eyal in my library, I probably won’t be dumping too much time into this game, because for me, ToME does it better, and gives you the option to pass on perma-death. However, for people who really enjoy the JRPG experience, and are interested in dabbling in single character perma-death style games, this is certainly a good starting point.