Fun takes flight
There are just some games that take you back to your childhood. For me, my childhood was defined by two video game systems: the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis. Both saw a wide array of mascots, but since we're talking about a game published by Sega for this particular review, let's focus on the latter. The Sega Genesis saw many mascots, obviously Sonic the Hedgehog, but many others such as Ristar, Dynamite Headdy, Alex Kidd, and many more. It's why it's so amazing that Picomy's Heroki looks and plays just like a Sega game from the publisher's Genesis days, and that is very much high praise.
Heroki has you taking the titular character with a propeller on his head for a spin through 24 colorful and delightful levels spread out across three worlds. In each level, you'll have to defeat enemies, dodge obstacles, hit switches and buttons to open doors, and reach the goal ring at the conclusion of each level.
Levels are spread out affairs where there is some backtracking in them; usually when you hit one button to open a formerly sealed door in a portion of a level you've already visited. The backtracking didn't really annoy me, save for the underwater levels where Heroki's movements are slowed down just slightly. Otherwise, outside of water, Heroki moves a decent clip, making any need for backtracking not as tedious as it might sound.
|One of the 120 Emerils that Heroki can stumble upon. Can you collect them all?|
|This big blue croc stands/sits/rests between Heroki and this Emeril.|
|Ah, the golden 'H'! The first of many letters to find in this level!|
There are three touch control styles to Heroki, and my personal favorite of these options puts a virtual joystick on the screen wherever you touch in order to guide Heroki around. The virtual buttons also allowed me to use his special moves such as a dashing bash through walls and doors, a move that slows everything down, giving the player enough time to draw a path for a wind gust. This wind gust is great for turning on fans, removing sand piles, dissipating poisonous smoke, and moving certain objects.
|No worries-- Heroki is definitely pulling his weight on his adventure.|
A problem with all three of these control styles, however, is that you do not get an optimal amount of precision with any of them. Instead, there are moments where Heroki will move too far in one direction, perhaps even unintentionally run into an enemy, causing him damage. Thankfully, Heroki is such a beginner-friendly game, and there are plenty of checkpoints that death isn't too big of a punishment.
|Don't mind Heroki, Mr. Cactus and Mr. Condor. He's just passing through.|
Aside from being a pleasure to play, Heroki is also a pleasure to look at. The game is absolutely gorgeous, offering stunning characters models, colorful graphics, beautiful backgrounds, and everything running at a steady frame-rate for the most part. It's as if the artists got out a big fat crayon with the color name printed on its side being "awesome." The music of Heroki is suitably charming as well, bringing with it cheery themes that don't offend the ears by any stretch of the imagination.
|Movement is a bit more sluggish when Heroki is underwater.|
[SPC Says: B+]