05
May
Heroes-Thumb

It's a good thing originality isn't a pre-requisite for a good game, otherwise there would be far less enjoyment to be had on our mobile devices. Heroes: A Grail Quest is yet another clone, this time inspired by Heroes of Might and Magic, but that shouldn't prevent it from being a fun little experience. Game Dev Team, aside from having perhaps the most straightforward and honest name in the industry, has also developed the moderately well-received Sky Aces series and a 3D RTS based on mechs. Now it's ready to apply those skills to a turn-based strategy game.

Heroes1 Heroes4

Heroes5 Heroes2 Heroes3

Game Dev Team has brought along its trademark simple, somewhat adorable visuals for this latest release. Heroes: A Grail Quest probably won't contain many surprises, but it only costs a single dollar to download, and it doesn't contain any in-app purchases. Okay, that's one surprise, and it may be reason enough alone to accept this call to arms.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • cbstryker

    I bought this game on the lone principle that it doesn't have any IAPs. Honest devs need to be supported.

    • William

      "Honest devs need to be supported."

      Don't equate a payment method with a developer being "Honest" There is literally no relationship. There are developers who take advantage of IAP yes, but if you automatically equate IAP = dishonest you are only doing yourself a disservice.

      • cbstryker

        I don't need a lecture. It's very well documented that IAPs are extensively abused to the point that any app that employs IAPs is immediately suspicious. Especially where games are concerned.

        And no, I'm not doing myself a disservice in any way, shape, or form. I am protecting myself from applications that are based on a broken payment system designed to extract as much money from users as possible by employing shady methods.

        Edit: IAPs are a bane to all users and should seriously be reconsidered by Google and Apple. Or at the very least, change the way the system works to protect users.

        • Steve Freeman

          Oh, sorry, I didn't realize IAP's were forced upon you. And I've definitely never enjoyed a minute of my time in a game supported entirely by IAP's.
          /sarcasm

          Yes, they can be abused. Yes, they're too frequently abused. However, if the game doesn't cost anything otherwise, and if you don't make any IAP's, then you've literally lost nothing playing the game.

          If you play a game for several hours, have fun during those several hours, and then decide not to keep playing because you can see that the IAP's will make playing more difficult as time goes on, well, guess what...unless if it has IAP's and also requires an initial purchase, you paid nothing for several hours worth of fun.

          And if the game is free to install, and makes all of its money off of IAP's, well, the developers have to make a living somehow. As long as you can keep playing the game without being forced to make any IAP's, then no harm no foul.

          • guyfromtrinidad

            I am with you Steve, with me if an app has IAP or an upgrade to pro version my usual response is to try it out, if its compelling enough and I find that I still pick it up after a few weeks or month, I am going to throw the developer some cash by purchasing the lowest IAP which is usually about 2US, I waste more money than that IRL so why not help out a dev who made a great product.

          • Steve Freeman

            Exactly. Don't bash IAP's because they exist, bash the ones that are forced upon you to complete a game, or to play a multiplayer game on the same level as those who throw money at IAP's. And if you enjoy the game, throw a little bit (or a lot bit) at the developers. It's how they get paid.

          • Matthew Fry

            Here's the real problem. In app purchases are a conflicted system. If it's pay to play, it's unethical. If it isn't, there's no incentive to pay.

            Arguments for F2P:
            1. Free gets more users.

            This is undoubtedly true. However, there are software methods to do this without using IAPs. The concept of shareware and demos (in various incarnations) are old as dirt. Now we have donateware and IAP unlocks.

            2. The game has only "ethical" IAPs. i.e. extra features, easy buttons, customization, etc.

            These games can become popular and still not make any money. There is no incentive to pay.

            3. Paid games have IAPs.

            Yeah that needs to stop. Way to alienate as many people as possible, devs.

            4. It's just like DLC.

            That's sort of true. DLC as a concept was sold as always being *additional* content. While that isn't always true, most people aren't too pleased with businesses that double dip.

            4. You can't make enough money on games that cost money.

            There's a reason businesses have difficulty monetizing their services. It's hard. Really hard. They offer things for free to get user base and when it starts to cost money they all flee. They introduce ads and users complain or block them. Another root problem is that there is a glut of games. I am more than willing to pay for licenses for unique utilities that solve some annoying problem for my phone but a game? I already have too many.

            5. "I played the game for weeks and never paid a dime!"

            Assuming you believe that devs should be paid for their work, this is kind of a problem don't you think?

          • Steve Freeman

            "If it's pay to play, it's unethical. If it isn't, there's no incentive to pay." and "You can't make enough money on games that cost money."
            I don't see a problem with Pay to Play, as long as it's not advertised as Free to Play. As far as Free to Play games with IAP's, look at PC games like Lord of the Rings Online. Once it went F2P with an in-game shop (for character customizations, XP boost potions, etc) it started making more money than it had when it was a subscription only game. Just because there's no gameplay incentive to pay, doesn't mean people won't pay.

            "Assuming you believe that devs should be paid for their work, this is kind of a problem don't you think?"

            Developers and publishers of F2P games with in-app/shop purchases realize that not everyone is going to pay. Obviously they would prefer if everyone DID pay, but the business model is built around the knowledge that not everyone is going to buy anything.

            "Paid games have IAPs."

            Totally agree with you there. Double dipping is a nasty habit, either with food or video game business models.

          • Matthew Fry

            This article claims that LotR Online reaches a paywall somewhere around Moria. That's pay to play.

            I also consider things that normal paid games give for free, like fast travel in an MMO, a pay to play mechanic. It's a technique the King CEO coined as "fun pain." Essentially it's delaying payout (in the form of fun) and providing a way out (by paying).

            So what if publishers and developers are *aware* that 90% of users don't pay? The people who constantly say, "I played forever and never paid," are saying that F2P games are great because they got a bunch of stuff for free, i.e. not paying the developer for their time and effort.

            I can't find the graph I found before but this one is as good as any. <1% of users are the source of nearly all of the profits. This is how F2P makes money. There's no way around it. All of the successful F2P games are distributed exactly like this.

      • Sqube

        I can't remember the last time I saw a game with IAPs where you could actually complete all of the content without using IAPs.

        Maybe dishonest isn't the best word to use here, but implementing IAPs almost universally seems to mean that you can't win without paying (see: secondary types of currency that are mandatory but never drop in-game).

        If I'm picking between mandatory IAPs and a game that charges me some money but lets me beat everything, I'll pick the game that lets me beat everything every time. That's why I bought this game. The premise isn't that interesting to me, but I feel a strong need to support developers who are willing to let us play their games without getting harassed into the ground to spend money.

        • William

          First think you for actually having a sensible post unlike the OP.

          But to your post, I 100% agree with you, on almost every point. So forgive me for not really commenting much on what you said.

          My issue with the OP was is his unilateral equivocation that IAP = bad, when really IAP being good/bad all depends on how they are used. The hate should be for the companies that try and exploit IAP to make more $$$, not a tool.

          • Trysta

            While true you have to admit this kind of game is exactly the time I usually pass over because of terrible IAP practices. Being able to enjoy this type of game without them is a rare treat.

        • guyfromtrinidad

          I completed Plant vs Zombies 2 and didn't have to pay a dime and I played it with the harder configuration when it first came out. also completed plague inc and made no IAP, Knights of Pen and Paper +1 I got with a humble bundle and it retails for 5USD (so I saved money big time on that one) but also offers IAP and that can be completed without purchasing anything additional as you keep all your equipment and money when you restart the game, its a bit of a grind but hey there are ways to play games and complete them without putting down some cash. If you said there was no overtly easy ways to complete many games without IAP (meaning devoting more time to grinding) then I would be with you.

          • Sqube

            I think you neglected to address my point of secondary currencies that don't actually drop in-game, or have drop rates so preposterously low that they might as well never drop at all.

            Obviously not ALL games that have IAPs are unbeatable without money. I was just pointing out that they seem to be few and far between. Glu Mobile, Gamevil, Com2US, EA... they're some of the biggest names out there and they've got a hard-on for making games that you can't beat without money, no matter how much you grind.

          • guyfromtrinidad

            You said you can't remember the last time, you saw a game that you couldn't complete with IAP and I gave you 3 recent examples, In your response you did a better job of identifying the biggest culprits who engage in extortion type practices with IAP and on that point I will agree with you.In fact this article should be required reading for all app developers http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/207779/ethical_freetoplay_game_design_.php?page=1 However, their are still many of apps that use IAP in a good way. A good example is Knights of Pen and Paper made by an indie developer, when the game originally came out the IAP basically made the game a totally unpleasant experience and it was almost unwinnable without purchasing something. They listened to feedback however and released the +1 edition that fixed these issues and made it a more balanced game. Also some devs struggle on Android because many users are quick to pirate and hack games rather than pay for stuff

        • Kiryn Silverwing

          Adding Disco Zoo to the list of IAP games I've been having fun with without ever needing to pay a dime. Unless you're being really wasteful it gives you more of the rare currency than you can spend, and you never have to buy any.

          Makes me a bit sad, actually, because I'm enjoying the game enough that I want to support the devs but there's just nothing I want to buy in the game. I COULD unlock the last stage with cash but it's more fun to save up the coins myself by playing on a regular basis.

      • CrazyPaladin

        You know it's desperate time when people buy a game just because it doesn't have iap

    • alacrify

      Agreed - just bought it for the same reason!

  • Sergiu Dogaru

    "This app requires no special permissions". Now that's something I haven't seen in a while! Congrats to the devs, bought the game, going to enjoy it!

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    This is nice, though I'd be glad if there was a real HoM&M game available on mobile

  • Chris

    Does this sync via google play so I can switch between my tablet and phone without losing progress?

  • ChainsawCharlie

    No IAP and no special permissions AND it is inspired by HoMM games?!? Sold

  • http://www.youtube.com/crisr82 Kristian Ivanov

    I'm a huge HoMM3 fan, so I think I need to get this right now O:
    Though I did notice the trailer shows nothing about castles =/

    • itai_marom

      yhea i (didnt) saw it too, i wonder if there are any castles in game

      • http://www.youtube.com/crisr82 Kristian Ivanov

        I didn't notice it at first, but I own their mech-RTS game...it's quite...ok (there's nothing wrong with it but nothing special either)...but definitely not impressive...so I still feel like trying this game I mean it looks good, but I'm no longer as hyped.

  • Svipur

    Looks more like a homage to King's Bounty, rather than HOMM. In the sense that there's a time limit, no castle building, no other players, and all the creatures are recruited in specialised buildings across the map.

  • TONY ALDO

    "No IN-App purchases" YES!

  • WhyWai

    Will just play it for dev not using IAP shits..

  • new genre

    "Turn-Based Startegy"

  • Mick

    This game sounded so promising, but it wouldn't even respond to touches on my LG G2. So I never even made it past the main menu!

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