Review by Kieran Sutton
Over The Top Games bring us another Platformer/puzzle game with ties to ancient Greek lore; they brought us Nyx Quest and now deliver their exciting new 8 bit adventure Million to One Hero. This plays like any other platformer initially but is all wrapped up with a cute and often funny, light hearted theme; until you discover the heinous murder death machines you’ll have to navigate through. More and more features develop throughout even the basic tutorial and first few adventures until you are bouncing, shooting, smashing, floating or fleeing through each level.
We are swiftly introduced to our mentor (and god of time); Chronus and our mighty hero (the playable character); Epicurus. During the intro I quickly become concerned I’d be playing Braid again or see some kind of twisted future/past combination of a new Prince of Persia 2D with a rewind mechanic; instead after the first few levels I felt I was ready for what this new experience could offer in every puzzle and platforming piece of the adventure.
If I was to find a fault with the game – of course be advised it’s extremely early days – I’d like to have seen a few more adventures to choose from (as I apparently can’t best Quarob’s devious machinations. An arrow trap over a string of mines was just cruel). The adventures do however have room to cover a vast array of content be it tales of ancient Greek myth and legend, arena style combat, or just a speed running BUT AVOID THAT SATYR simulator.
Immediately after launching the game you’ll be greeted by a distinctive 8-bit audio track that’ll bring to you a state of old-school gaming euphoria and a visual style that really pulls ancient Greek style into the… 80s? It’s simple but each animation, sprite and level look distinctive. There’re enough back drops, block styles and enemies to hold your gaze for long stints of play.
The game is simple enough to learn to play; you’ve got a jump, dash and attack to start; start combining these and throw in some ancient powerful artefacts in the form of a magic bow, a shield that enables you to glide and an almost explosive and you’ve got just enough complexity to cause some destruction or crack cunning puzzles. Our hero can withstand a few hits from the baddies before dropping and earning extra lives is as simple as picking up the shiny golden coins lying around.
Million to One Hero became much trickier than I expected and within a couple of hours, I found myself struggling to progress through some of the more challenging chokeholds of spinning blades, moving platforms and bouncing blocks. Throw in the charge of a perfectly timed centaur and those lives will begin to drop through my many trials I never felt like the game was unfair, or unbalanced. I simply wasn’t quick enough or keen enough to best some of the beasts or bottomless pits. With each
One of the highlights of Million to One Hero without out a doubt the level editor. I have a sneaking suspicion that’s going to be a major part of the experience; with constant community content I can prophesize some incredibly tough and innovative level levels. While I did think some of the buttons could be slighter clearer in the UI within a few minutes I had found enough to place down a path, create some traps, hide some secrets and play through my own little level. Which I then accidently spent way more time on; it’s called “Broken Tower” if you want to check it out. It’s so easy to get lost in the level design and I can’t wait to create my own adventure. Each level must be completed by the creator before uploading and then anyone can play it! You’re asked to tag each level with “combat”, “Easy”, “skill” or a few other tags to help other players find the most fun for them.
Million to one Hero is an extremely refreshing modernised 8 bit platformer, with some super fun weapons to use, enemies to fight and puzzles to solve but the level editor steals the show. That’s not a bad thing at all, I can’t wait to see what the community can do with this and will have to keep checking in. Well designed, balanced and easy to play or create levels; that can be complex as you want them to be.