Available on PC and Mobile, reviewed on PC
Hero Academy 2 is a chess-like strategy card game by BonusXP. I’m not a huge fan of mobile games in general and a PC port for a mobile game just makes me like it even less. Games like this tend to seem fine but then you open the in-game store and if you’re like me; you let out an audible groan as you see the microtransactions and the premium currency. I’m afraid Hero Academy 2, while generous, isn’t much different from other strategy mobile games.
A typical game of Hero Academy 2 plays like this: You summon your creature with a finite mana pool to attack their summons and their crystals. The main objective is to destroy all the enemy’s crystals while protecting your own. This is done through attacking with your summons as well as using effect cards such as cards that buff heroes, abilities that heals heroes and using cards that deal direct damage to an area. It’s very simple, using creatures and cards mindlessly will be enough to get you through many of the solo missions. The challenge of the game seems to lie within the player vs player realm which usually entails facing someone who has more disposable income than you do and then proceeding to get smacked down by their deck.
One of the aspects I did like about Hero Academy 2 was the presentation. The cards are well drawn, and the art style is endearing. Everything feels light-hearted and cartoony I can’t help but love the game in that aspect. The card style is fairly unique and adds to the cartoony charm. The design of the boards is also fairly well done, and each type is thematic, in the case of the solo campaigns at least.
As most popular mobile game do, there are microtransactions and while you can buy some card packs with in-game currency through play you’ll quickly find yourself needing gems to get more cards at once. This is unfortunately necessary for the most part to compete against other players and you’ll have to hope that your opponent has less disposable income than you do. Based on how much I played I’d wager that Hero Academy 2 is generous but even so they need to make money off of this game and you can expect to at least buy gems a few times depending on how badly you want to compete with other players.
On the surface, a chess-like strategy card game sounds fun to me but I found myself incredibly bored. I played a few of the solo missions after the tutorial but I just couldn’t stomach it. It took me some time to consider why this was the case for me and I concluded that the fact it’s a mobile game. Even the most casual PC game requires a little more involvement and complexity than Hero Academy 2 has. This is of course to personal taste and if you’re fine with an incredibly simple time waster then, well, here you go.