Hero of Many is an independent video game developed by Trickster Arts. It is an Action-adventure game for Android, iOS, Ouya and Windows. The Windows version was released on Steam on 15 September 2014. The game contains no dialogues and uses black silhouette graphics similar to Limbo. Hero of Many is inspired by the games Another World, Heart of Darkness and Abe's Oddysee.
Player takes role of a white-colored ball-shaped creature. The creature went to an underwater cave in which he can meet fishes. There are two groups of them. White ones are friends to the player and accompany him as he get near them. Black ones are enemies and attacks him and his companions. The player can send white fishes that follow him against the black ones. The glowing of player's character serves as the health indicator. It can be replenished by lights that can be found scattered across the level. There are also crystals that serve as checkpoints.
The game contains 26 levels. The goal of the game is to reach the end of the level. There are 4 worlds – Grey, Red, Green and Blue. There are also multiple puzzles, mini games and boss fights. There are also present multiple traps that player should avoid.
The game contains no spoken dialogues but there are numerous cutscenes displaying events from game's world. The game takes place during a period of genocide on white fishes committed by the black ones. Hero narrowly escapes death when his escort is attacked by black fishes. He starts to organize defense and eventually kills a captain of black fishes but it turns out that he was just a minion and black fishes are truly led by the Black. Hero continues to fight enemies and gets to the Kingdom of Red where he meets Red Queen. They continue together but they soon come across Black who easily defeats Hero who is unconscious falling to the depth while Red Queen is trying to help him but Hero is eaten by a Whale.
Hero gets out of Whale's stomach and gets to the Green World. There he meets Green. They start to seek for green seeds that can revive the Tree of Life which is the center of Green World but is currently rotten. During the search Hero is attacked by the Earth Dragon and almost dies but is saved by Red Queen who shows up at the last moment. They together revive the Tree of Life but Black shows up and attacks it along with his army. Hero fights them off but Green dies. Energy from his body enters the Tree where it grows into a fruit. Via this fruit Hero gets Green's power. Hero starts his chase for Black. It leads him to the Blue World.
In the Blue World he liberates a temple from black fishes and meets Blue who puts him into the test. Hero has to get through a labyrinth and fight a labyrinth monster. He passes and Blue explains the start of the war. Black fishes were once white but they came across to black mass. It turned them to black and made them aggressive. It also turned Grey to Black. He then initiated the campaign to exterminate white fishes.
Hero returns to the Kingdom of Red where he meets Red Queen. They are attacked by Black and forced to overcome a "race" with him. In the end they escape. Together they get to the center of the kingdom where Red Queen gains new power so they launch attack which pushes black fishes from a local nest. There they help little fishes to born. Soon after that Black attacks and conquers it back. Hero has to escape but is able to gather enough forces to start attack against enemy positions in Grey World. It turns bad when he comes to contact with black mass while saving life of Red Queen for whom he sacrifices himself. He finds himself in a black-and-white world where meets Green and is "reborn".
Hero becomes stronger than ever and starts to gather strong swarm for final battle. Just before the attack he meets Red Queen for the last time. The strike is successful, as he destroys black armies and Black is chased to the lighthouse. There a duel between Hero and Black occurs. In the end Black is defeated and absorbed. Hero, now exhausted from the darkness he absorbed, leaves the lighthouse and lies himself to the ground. Player can see a text of words by Lao Tzu: "Bearing yet not possessing. Acting yet not expecting. Leading yet not dominating. This is the Primal Virtue." Hero then dissolves the darkness he absorbed and dies. Multiple lights of energy are coming from his body and Red Queen takes them. She puts these lights across the world while credits roll.
Important characters in the game. They are not named in-game as the game contains no dialogues but they are named in songs contained in soundtrack on Steam achievements:Hero – He is the main protagonist in Hero of Many and a white ball-shaped creature. He gathers a swarm of white fishes around himself to resist black attackers. He leads them to the war for survival of their species. He starts as a weak being but becomes stronger during the game as he gains multiple powers.
Black – The leader of black fishes and the primary antagonist of the game. He became black when he touched the black mass that turned him against white fishes He is very powerful and dangerous enemy to Hero.
Grey – He was originally an ally of other ball-shaped creatures. He was gathering white fishes in the center of Kingdom of Red. On one of his trips he came across to black mass and turned black.
Red Queen – She is the ruler in Kingdom of Red. Shen and Hero often help each other and eventually fall in love. She later gains a new power and taughts it Hero.
Green – Hero helped him to find green seeds. He proved himself to be a powerful creature but died while protecting the Tree of Life.
Blue – A powerful creature who lives in the Blue World. He witnessed the rise of black fishes.
Old Friend – A loyal fish who always follows Hero. He is the only companion that is with him whatever happens.
Black Captain – A strong black fish who is a dangerous enemy to Hero in the beginning of the game.
The game was in development since summer 2012 when Matouš Ježek left 2K Czech. At first he contacted some of his friends and former colleagues. With them he started to develop project "Hero" which turned into Hero of Many. The game was developed in Unity Engine. The development took 10 months. Trickster Arts was focusing on PC version after the release of IOS and Android version.
On 7 October Ouya version was released. The game was also released for GameStick on 30 January 2014. Versions for other platforms are planned in 2014. Developers also started, in parallel, to work on another project.
When the game was Greenlit, developers started to work on a port for Windows. The main focus was to adjust the controls so the game experience is as good as for touchscreen platforms. The game was released on Steam on 15 September.
On 10 September 2013 the game was applied to Steam Greenlight system. It was scheduled for release in fourth quarter of 2013. On 8 January 2014 it was announced that the game has already received over 6600 votes and is 85% its way to TOP 100. On 4 April the game was number 59 on Steam Greenlight as Trickster Arts announced on Twitter. The game was Greenlit on 29 April 2014.
The Soundtrack was composed by a Slovak Composer Matúš Široký. The in-game Soundtrack contains 51 Tracks with approximately one Hour of Music. The Soundtrack has gained much praise and Fans of the Game were asking Trickster Arts to provide it for Download. The Soundtrack was released on Loudr in July 2013. The Released Album also included Bonus Tracks that were cut from the final Game. These Tracks include another 15 minutes of Music.
Hero of Many has received positive critical acclaim upon its release. Its review score is aggregated around 90% (respectively 4.5 out of 5 points). It was praised for its atmosphere, gameplay, soundtrack and graphics.
The least positive review came from HardcoreDroid. The game scored there with 70%. The game was criticised for its severe slowdown but the whole review was positive. Server Slide to Play on the other hand released one of the most positive reviews for the game. It criticised controls and lack of classical game elements but praised its minimalism, gameplay and atmosphere. In this review, game scored with 100%.
The game is often referred as one of the best Android games of 2013. Some servers included it in their lists of the best games of the year.
The PC version was also met with positive feedback from critics. The review published by Games.cz praised how developers ported the game to PC. Also praised "nonviolent nature of the game, relaxing pace with which the game tells a heartbreaking story through simple video."
Another review was published by Italian SpazioGames. This review praised storytelling, soundtrack and expolorativeness. On the other hand, it criticised the game for being too easy and lacking gameplay.
212Fahrenheit review praised the game for its gameplay, atmosphere and impressive soundtrack. Another point of praise is a story that is open to interpretation. The review also noted that the gameplay is pretty limited.
What's your Tag? review found gameplay a bit repetitive at times but noted that new concepts in game are introduced in good intervals which helps. The Combat, specifically when in tiny places, was criticised on the other Hand. Graphics, Soundtrack and Atmosphere gained much praise and the game was likened to Limbo. The review was overally very positive and gave the game 80%.5th best Android game of the year by Trusted Reviews.
3rd best paid Android Game of the year and 4th best Adventure game for Android of the year by GameWoof.
One of 10 best Android Games by servers PocketGamer and Setuix.
4th best adventure game for Ouya in 2013. By server Day of Ouya.
2nd best Ambient Android game by Android Headlines.
One of the best mobile games of the year by server Games.cz.
Fourth best mobile Game by readers of Games.cz
Pocket Gamer Awards 2014 nominee in category Most Innovative Game.
Czech video game of the year 2013 Award nomination for artistic contribution to Czech video game output.
3rd Best Czech Game of the year in BOOOM 2013.
3rd Best story in Android Game by Insider Monkey.