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Published on March 20th, 2014 | by Don Parsons


One Way Heroics Review

One Way Heroics Review Don Parsons

Summary: A lovely budget title with a few neat tricks up its sleeve.


“The bitter cold was draining my energy. All I could see was white, swirling snow ahead. I had come so far, traveled through forests and deserts to defeat the Demon Lord. My journey was straight forward – travel east, otherwise risk being swallowed by the darkness covering the planet from the west. Equipped with a great sword, enemies did not stand a chance, and I was confident I could destroy the Demon Lord. But this frozen plain was doing a good job at hampering my quest. I was low on energy, moving slow. The darkness was creeping up behind me. And then I saw it – the mountain pass ahead. I buckled down, and started climbing. If you are reading this, I didn’t make it to the other side and failed to save the world.”

That was but one of my many deaths in One Way Heroics, an indie RPG by Smoking WOLF that was recently released on Steam. One Way Heroics is an interesting blend of rogue-like elements and traditional RPG gameplay, all mixed up to play out in small, micro-gaming sessions that are easy to digest when one doesn’t have much time to get involved in anything.


Total, there are half a dozen or so character classes to choose between, but the beginning only allowed me to pick one of two. I wasn’t upset with this, because the Knight was a fitting role to learn the ropes with. In fact, after sampling a few other classes, the Knight was still my favorite even after completing the game. After selecting my class, I had the daunting task of picking perks, some of which (like classes) unlock after spending points post-game.

What comes next is one of the really neat things about One Way Heroics. After getting your character set, you choose which dimension to play in. The game itself it a rather simple affair, continue moving right, collect items, defeat enemies, and avoid the darkness at the left side of the screen in hopes of making it to the Demon Lord. Spend too much time fighting a foe, climbing mountains (which take ten turns per tile), or backtracking, and you get swallowed by the darkness and it’s game over. Dying happens, too. A lot, really, but that’s not a bad thing.

Each run through the game gives you progression in a few areas. Firstly, you learn the game and what to avoid doing and what sort of decisions you have to make to go forward. Secondly, each time you die, you get Hero Points. These allow the player to buy a few things, such as slots in your Dimensional Vault, perks, or additional classes. The Dimensional Vault is really the key to forward movement in the game, though. This handy thing allows you to drop items in after you have died. So, that Great Blade that you thought was pretty nice, you can carry over to the next game.


The single thing that makes One Way Heroics a keeper, besides the price and ability to play in quick sessions, is the dimensions system. Each day, there are a few options for worlds with specific settings. For example, the dimension will have no experience, but stronger item drops, or two armor shops appearing at the beginning of the game to bulk up your character a little. Of course, there’s also the “random new world” selection, and a place to manually input a dimension. So if you liked one of the random worlds, just pop the name of the world in, and back you go.

Each world has a social aspect to it as well, so when I completed my first game, it told me I was the 34th person to conquer that particular world. On the left side of the screen, you can see other players progress and various happenings in that dimension too. It’s a neat tool, but hampered by my one problem with the game.


My laptop sits in 1366×768 resolution. In the medium size screen, the game looks crisp and everything can be read, albeit with a magnifying glass. The largest screen setting takes up maybe a third of my screen, is easy to see, but I couldn’t read things half the time. There’s also no full-screen option, to my knowledge anyways. This problem hampered my enjoyment a bit, and hopefully it gets resolved.

For the price, $3.50 full price, this is a great little game to pass the time. For someone that burns through games like me, it was the perfect game to play between big releases, and for people that sit down and spend serious amounts of time with their purchases, the daily dimensions offers limitless replayability.

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About the Author

got into podcasting in 2007, and transitioned into writing in late 2008. In late 2011, he went from blogging to writing for a small site called Vagary.tv. Don attended E3 for Vagary.tv in 2012. Now, Don is one-fourth of the foundation of Critically Sane.

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