Free to Try!

You won't even scroll down to read the full article, so I'll make this quick. 

Hero Academy is absolutely worth playing if you love destroying your friends in turn-based strategy.  It is free to try on mobile.

Are you still here?  Good, because you're going to want to know why this game has become very popular, especially if you have been searching for good strategy games.

The game plays like chess, and offers multiple "hero teams" or "races" as some would say.  Gameplay is quite balanced which is massively important whenever you introduce more than two possible choices.  If it wasn't, I would not only delete the game immediately, but I would not have taken the time to write it up.

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The object of the game is to destroy your opponent's crystals, which are permanently fixed to the game board.  Their position will vary depending on what map you are placed on, which adds variety to the strategy and keeps the game fresh.  You can also win by annihilating your opponents pieces, which is an utterly satisfying victory as this does not happen very often.

Each Hero team sports units that fall into various classes such as healer, ranged, tank, super, etc.  As you would expect, they all have their strengths and weaknesses and it's up to you to avoid moving them foolishly about the tiles.  I have seen some incredibly dumb moves in my day that have saved me from certain death and allowed me to snatch victory.

The interface is crisp, clean and easy to learn.  Characters are polished with smooth animation that reminds me of the ancient but popular Battle Chess.  As you attack or defend you grin or grimace as your deal or receive some serious punishment.

At this point you must be wondering what the hell the X factor is in all of this.  How is this game actually different from chess?  The answer lies in what I like to call the random "tray" system which supplies your team with units or upgrades and forces you to make tough decisions based on "what you get."

Each round, you have five actions to spend.  This literally applies to everything you do on that turn - add a unit to the board, heal up, upgrade a unit, move a unit, move the same unit, etc.  But, you are limited by the random tray items that are available from your overall stash.  You might be dealt nothing but upgrades for units that aren't even on the board yet.  You might start with three healers.  You might start with no healers.

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You could decide to deploy two healers and then wince as another one comes to your tray.

One fantastic element is that you can essentially experiment at will with your moves, and reset if you don't like how it shakes out.  There is no dice-roll on attack damage, so the output remains consistent.  This allows you to try and brainstorm as many possible executions of your turn and submit only when you are satisfied.

Managing the tray becomes challenging but really shakes it up.  Luckily, you can swap items to try and receive something more useful to your present situation, but this counts as a move as well. 

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 A nice, varied tray for team purple.

How is the competition you may wonder.  The average newb can learn pretty fast and games are usually quite competitive.  It runs cross platform, so you may rumble with someone playing from their PC via Steam or someone wandering the globe with their iPhone.  The Steam version offers access to the Team Fortress team, a nod to the popular series. 

The game is free on mobile so you can at least try it out and play as the default Hero team for fun and to learn the system.  Other races are available at a very cheap additional cost, but you can decide to buy them as you wish.  Whether looking for new strategy games, fun strategy games, or something to relieve you of boredom, look no further.  If you don't like the game or you keep getting destroyed because of your poor tray management, you will have spent nothing.

Grab a friend, download the game, and play some head to head matches.  You'll be satisfied you did, as Hero Academy is well supported and offers a ton of variety.  There is another secret mobile multiplayer game that sports up to eight (!) people in competitive mobile gaming. 

Hero Academy delivers if you are looking for some good strategy games!

Thanks for reading.