Second Chance Heroes ($0.99) by Rocket City Studios is a hack-n-slash action game featuring historical figures and plenty of zombies and other ghoulish creatures. If you have ever wanted to see Abraham Lincoln hacking away at zombies with a chainsaw, well, now you can.
Whenever I need to let off some steam, hack-n-slash games are definitely the way to go. Nothing seems to relieve my anger or stress better than just hacking away with ridiculous weapons, even if I may die by being overwhelmed just a minute later. No matter, it’s the thought that counts, right? So when I saw that Second Chance Heroes was a free hack-n-slash, I had to give it a spin for myself.
The game features rich, detailed visuals that you would probably expect from a console game, not a free mobile game. This works in the game’s favor, because what else is better than a thorough, chaotic world that looks incredibly opulent on your Retina screen, and doesn’t cost a cent to download? The environments and settings are rendered in full 3-D, without any jagged edges. Character models and animation are also fantastic, featuring smooth movement without much lag. Interacting with the environment is easy, and the game features an action-packed soundtrack to fuel your adrenaline, and some awesome sound effects.
The game starts out with a high school history teacher telling the story of how the world fell into disorder with zombies, werewolves, sentient cheeseburgers, and other weird creatures. It starts out with some well-drawn comic book style cutscenes, and then you’ll find yourself in the middle of the action with your first two historical figure clones: Abraham Lincoln and Cleopatra. It’s up to these unique and powerful clones to help save the world.
The controls in the game follow your typical dungeon crawler or hack-n-slash game format. On the left will be the joystick for movement, and the one on the right will be for aiming and attacking. But to go along with these joysticks are several action buttons around them, which are used for switching out characters, activating super moves, accessing items to help you in battle, the dash attack, as well as interacting with objects and the environment.
The controls work, for the most part. I found it easy to quickly access the action buttons during play, but it was aiming the attacks that had me a bit frustrated. It may just take more time to get used to, but it seemed in the beginning I kept attacking in one direction, and it was a bit hard to aim the attack in another direction. Again, it may just take a bit of time to get used to, so I’m sure that my frustration will go away in due time. But the rest of the controls work quite well. There is currently no support for iOS 7 controllers, but I hope that this changes in the future. This is the perfect kind of game to play with a good physical controller, after all.
The game will start out in the mall, as most of these story lines start out there, right? However, you’ll find other areas over time, including a kingdom of Hobos and a secret government bunker (guess it’s not a secret anymore). Each level will have their own unique set of objectives for you to complete, which will earn you some gold coins as a reward. You’ll also have to just hack your way through the hordes of enemies and figure out some simple puzzles to complete the level, advance the story, and move on to the next stage.
The coins that you will earn throughout the game in the beginning can be used to purchase new characters, such as Nikola Tesla, Leonardo da Vinci, Joan of Arc, and more. Each hero can also get more abilities and be upgraded for maximum fighting prowess in the monster-filled abyss. While you can actually complete the game with just Abraham Lincoln and Cleopatra, having the option for more characters really adds some variety to the game, since each has their own special abilities and traits.
I haven’t gotten too far in the game myself, but I have read that the coins in the game are actually the “premium” currency. While you will earn some in the beginning, the amount you earn will teeter off after a while, and unless you do major grinding, you may be tempted to buy more coins via in-app purchase.
I’m not a big fan of freemium games, but I think that Second Chance Heroes does it better than most. There is actually a lot of content available for free, and you can technically just stick with the two characters from the start. It’s just if you want some variety, that’s when you’ll have to pay up.
Still, the game is pretty fun for a freemium title, and there is a lot that comes with the initial download. The visuals are impressive, and the controls are fairly decent, considering that there are quite a lot of buttons on the screen at once. The gameplay itself is fun, as you’d expect from a hack-n-slash action game, and there is even multiplayer (up to three players) available so you can play with friends.
If you’re interested in a hack-n-slash game to check out this week, give Second Chance Heroes a try. It’s available in the App Store as a universal download for free with in-app purchases.