Colosseum Heroes includes all the ingredients of a perfect action RPG. It has a selection of playable characters, an upgradable inventory, and an army of monsters for you to hack and slash. The problem is that none of it feels original or complex. It’s an action RPG for the earliest of beginners.
The conceit of the game is in the title: you are a hero fighting your way through a colosseum of baddies. The game is broken down into rounds, and you must find the key in order to win that round. However, the key is being held by one of the infinite number of monsters you are fighting, and you never know which one until it is dropped.
The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Once the round is over, you are free to peruse your armory. In the armory, you can purchase new weapons, spells, or armor you may need in order to successfully win the next round. You can also upgrade any weapons, spells, or armor you may already possess. Of course, all of these purchases require money, which you acquire from each monster that you slay. If needed, you can always purchase additional in-game coins with actual cash, to give your character that added advantage.
At the start of the game, you are given a choice. You can play as a human warrior, who starts off in an actual Colosseum against green ogres and similar monsters, or you can play as a vampire, who instead battles zombies and Frankenstein’s monsters in a graveyard setting. The decision also impacts that weapons available to you. For instance, the human warrior can choose from large hammers or battle axes, and the vampire can purchase stakes or blood spells to battle his enemies.
Those options may make you want to play through the game at least twice, once with each character, but once you get into the actual game, you’ll find it’s not worth it. Colosseum Heroes is all about two-dimensional combat, but without any platforming. Your character can only move in two directions, left or right, which makes the combat incredibly dull. To make it worse, there is no gameplay variety. Only your enemies change from round to round, resulting in a game less about brain and entirely about brawn.
Colosseum Heroes also features a challenge mode, in which you can try to last three minutes against a horde of enemies. You get to use your existing characters, but with the combat system exactly the same from the campaign mode, it’s hardly a fun diversion.
Even the graphics are too simple. Your character’s facial expression never changes, and his movements look stiff. We’re not expecting amazing three-dimensional graphics here, but the visuals are not up to today’s standards.
The game ultimately feels like a first draft of something that could be quite addictive. Colosseum Heroes may be fun in short segments, but the repetition quickly makes the game a bore.