88 Heroes is just that; there's 88 of them, and they're (mostly) heroic.
It's probably one of the wackiest games to hit this spring. 88 Heroes is a throwback to arcade-style platformers that has a very strong central theme; the game references every instance of numbers to 88. If you couldn't tell at first, there's 88 heroes. There's also 88 levels to fight through, whether it be a laser-equipped office, a booby-trapped dungeon, or other adventurous dwellings. Death comes easy and quick since every character has (mostly) one-hit deaths, but that's part of the fun package delivered to your console door; a confetti celebration follows death. Death is another opportunity to see what new character you receive, and a lot of them are ingrained in pop-culture references. In this game published by Rising Star Games and developed by Bitmap Bureau, you'll find a bevy of hilarious heroes including:
A skeleton reminiscient of Indiana Jones; a false James Bond; the "Nokia snake"; an intergalactic, space-travelling, laser-shooting duck; Adolescent Abnormal Acrobatic Armadillos; a question mark more annyoing than the Microsoft Word "Clippy" character; an invisible sheriff, traceable only by a hat and badge; a purple adventurer named Delayo that is intentionally control-lagged about half a second; Rick Roll; a jackhammer-wielding woman that jumps with the power of construction tools; a fireman with the power of shooting deadly jets of water; a videogame character with a constant graphical glitch; a ball that "absorbs" everything it touches; Stroppy Chick; and Captain President. Each character has their slight quirks, advantages, and disadvantages. Rolling a flying character almost guarantees cheesing levels by flying by everything, while rolling Delayo can skyrocket frustration levels.
Every level gives you a total of 88 seconds to reach the exit door. Furthermore, there's a ticking clock of--you guessed it--88 minutes until Dr. H8 mashes his big, shiny, red button to annihilate the world. It's a wacky premise for a game that celebrates losing. Beyond that, there's not much substance. Pop culture references die, so I can't imagine gamers would want to revisit a game like this several years after inital pickup. It's a also a very difficult game if you intend on completing the main game mode. There's a secondary mode that restricts your 88 characters to "The Magnificent 8," but it suffers to help the replay factor. This wacky visage is all under the story of Dr. H8 threatening to send 88 missiles towards the Earth unless he receives 88 Octillion dollars.
Success (finishing a level) is hinged on getting the right character on the right level. As before, flying characters can sometimes cheese levels just by flying up certain corridors to find the exit door. One character operates on luck-of-the-coin; a heads on a coin flip sends her straight to the exit door, while a tails grants another confetti death. There isn't much of a strategy behind the game, other than avoiding obstacles as much as possible or cheesing levels. Remember, players have less than 88 seconds for each level, so being economical with time and character lives is a must if you want to complete the game. Collecting the golden coins can revive expired characters at the common compromise of time. It's nostalgic and fun, but for just a few hours. Consider 88 Heroes if you want to enjoy mindless fun for a few afternoons.