One of the most revered mobile games in history is Robot Entertainment’s Hero Academy (Free), which launched six years ago nearly to the day and brought with it easily digestible but highly tactical turn-based battling against players online. It was at a time when online multiplayer on mobile was still coming into its own, and the asynchronous nature of Hero Academy made it a perfect way to experience a dose of strategy gaming that fit into those free moments throughout your day. Well, obviously that was a pretty long time ago but the Hero Academy fanbase has stood pretty strong over the years. While we’ve lost the original game to the 32-bit Appocalypse, Robot Entertainment announced in the spring of 2017 that they were partnering up with fellow Texas-based studio BonusXP to create a sequel, and in fact they soft-launched that game in select countries at around the same time. That, too, was quite a while ago but today this new journey can finally begin as Hero Academy 2 (Free) has officially launched in the App Store worldwide.
I have to admit that strategy games have never really been my thing, and while I really appreciated what Hero Academy did so well all those years ago it’s never been a game I’ve played much personally. As such I have no real frame of reference for if this new sequel is an improvement over the original (I’ll let a more qualified person make that determination in our forthcoming review soon) but one thing I do know is that Hero Academy 2 is a pretty radical departure from the original game simply because it’s real-time battling now rather than asynchronous. While true this change should make matches more immediate and satisfying and remove the annoyance of having to wait around for your opponent to take their turn, it also destroys what was so lovely about the first game in that it fit into your free time and not the other way around. With many of the most popular PvP mobile games being real-time it may not be that drastic of an adjustment, but it’s interesting to me all the same.
Other than that major change Hero Academy 2 feels like a much more contemporary free to play game than its predecessor, with its card-based team building, character collecting, crafting, and more. Again, this is probably the right move by the developers as that’s the current trend of all the most successful free to play mobile games. It’ll definitely take some time to see how it all shakes out, but the fact that Hero Academy 2 has been soft-launched for the past 9 months makes me hopeful that a lot of those types of kinks have been worked out. Also, it should be mentioned that Hero Academy 2 does offer a full single-player campaign which was something the first game lacked but was always a big request from players. At any rate, whether you were a big fan of the original game or just enjoy a good strategy experience and are looking to check out the single player stuff or whoop some butt online, definitely give Hero Academy 2 a download for free and check it out, then drop by our forums to leave your impressions of the game.