Heroine’s Quest

So you want to be a hero(ine)?

Heroine’s Quest is a labour of love nodding rather enthusiastically to the glory days of ye olde Sierra adventure games, specifically Hero’s Quest/Quest for Glory. Like its inspiration, Heroine’s Quest offers us a classic point and click adventure with three character classes to choose from, allowing for different approaches to solving puzzles based on which class you play as. It’s a full fledged adventure, oh, and, it’s completely free.

HQ_1

Heorine’s Quest is rooted in Nordic mythology, where the last of the Frost Giants has sworn to turn the world to ice, and trigger the Ragnarok. Why? Well, because that’s the kind of thing you do if you’re an Evil Brooding Frost Giant(tm). You, as a strapping young heroine lass, is faced with the task of defeating him, battling and puzzling your way through the northern realm in the process.

ice, ice, baby

ice, ice, baby

Being inspired by the Quest For Glory series, Heroine’s Quest builds upon the classic adventure game format by introducing more RPG elements, and perhaps takes the character class concept even a bit further. When beginning the game, you have the three classes to pick from as well as some RPG mainstays to deal with such as strength, dexterity and willpower and a range of skills. Unlike in some old adventure games that never fulfilled the developer’s vision (I’m looking at you, Escape from Hell, which offered so many side quests and subplots which then led nowhere), your class, stats and skills really can alter the course of your adventure. Whether you have a certain skill can potentially open up a different solution – and from what I could see, the developer’s have pretty much managed to avoid any unwinnable dead ends that only rear their ugly head five hours later (although you should definitely eat the fish to see what happens…)

As mentioned before, like its progenitor, you can choose from three classes in Heroine; a warrior, sorceress, or rogue. You have a limited bit of freedom in selecting skills – which means you can have a rogue with magic or a warrior with stealth if you want. The class determines your character’s general approach to tasks – as a fictional example: warriors would go for the most straightforward approach, such as bashing down a door with brute force, or fighting the guard to get a key, while rogues will be more likely to pick the lock or pickpocket the key. The sorceress meanwhile has a range of spells, so they may use an unlocking spell – or if magic isn’t up to the task the sorceress tends to rely on her intelligence – such as using diplomacy to get someone to unlock the door, perhaps. In addition to how puzzles are solved, some of the side-quests and subplots offered will depend on your class. Although in the end all characters will go to the same place, the differences along the way and this attention to detail really does a lot to acknowledge that yes, even if the guard can theoretically be beaten in combat you are a rogue, and, yes, of course you are going to steal the key, rather than simply doing essentially the same things in a different costume.

Escher during his dark elve phase

Escher during his dark elf phase

The sheer effort put into its production and attention to detail is certainly a strong point, and if the game has to have a weak point, then, I suppose the story does fall a little flat. It’s not terrible by any means, but I couldn’t say that I was really that devastated when the Jarl went missing. As for the quest itself, while suitably epic, is happy to stick to the well trodden paths of its ancestors – don’t expect any morally ambiguous conspiracy to unravel. The voice acting,meanwhile, is generally serviceable, if not a little mixed (the mixture of British and American accents is a little odd I suppose). These things however, aren’t really show stoppers, and I never really felt them obstructing the fun I was having exploring the world, trying out different things and training my skills, thanks to the game’s overall superb polish and gameplay. If I was to pick one thing I would consider (at least slightly) disappointing, was that – for all the flexibility of the skill system – some are certainly more useful than others and some skills really could have been given more to do.

All-in-all, Heroine’s Quest succeeds because, well, it’s pretty dam fun for an adventure game. It still succeeds in blending RPG and traditional adventure game elements better than perhaps any game I’ve played before – which in part shows how unexplored such a concept is. If you’re waiting for the upcoming kickstarted Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption by the original Quest for Glory creators, Heroine’s Quest is a pretty good way to prepare.

Download: crystalshard.net

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About J.C

I grew up in the dark dingy arcades of the 1980s, blasting heads with Robocop 2, but grew up in an era that spanned the introduction of the x86 home computer, through to the 16-bit revolution, into the polygon age and beyond. I write about food, travel and of course, New Retro Games. I started newretrogames.wordpress.com and contribute to www.thecitylane.com. I am also a freelance business researcher, writer, and editor having published academic and corporate articles on innovation and intellectual property.

Posted on June 15, 2015, in Adventure, RPG and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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