We’ve heard it a hundred times: a game that looks to combine the best of real-time and turn-based strategy. Some work better than others. But one recent game managed to stand out. Not only for the way they combine the two mechanics, but for how they add RPG into the mix. We’re talking about Hero’s Hour.
Hero’s Hour, developed by Benjamin “ThingOnItsOwn” Hauer, is a combination RTS/TBS/RPG, lots of letters, right? It begins with the RPG. The player controls their own hero, deep in a high fantasy world. They can travel, explore, and invest their findings into creating a town and an army, leveling up in the process.
Then comes the turn-based strategy. You are not alone in this world. Your enemies are moving, planning, and preparing. This portion is turn-based, giving you the time you need to think and strategize. Reinforce your stronghold or advance on the enemy before they grow stronger?
Lastly, and the reason it’s on this site, is the RTS. The actual battles happen in real time. When a confrontation begins, you are placed in a close up of the world. Once you’ve placed your army into position, time begins and the battle unfolds. Issue commands and tweak the plan in real time.
Fascinating combo, right? But Hero’s Hour also does a few other things we like. One is the procedural generation. The maps in the world are random every time, allowing for diversity in future playthroughs. The second is the art style. RTS games often lean far in the “realistic” graphics direction. This game relies on retro pixel art styles akin to arcade games, instead. While the style alone doesn’t inherently make it “better,” we appreciate the fresh perspective.