Guardians of Hyelore is a side scrolling strategy and unit recruitment game. In it, you face off, army to army, as you send units to fight the enemy. Each side has towers, and if that tower is destroyed, it’s round over. To protect it, you’ll need a combination of ranged, melee, and healing troops to stop the threat. You also have a powerful Guardian unit that serves as a frontline pusher to get through the enemy ranks. There are also abilities at your disposal.
While Guardians of Hyelore is a 2D game, it’s not without strategy. Unit synergy is important, and so are unit upgrades. You can choose to spend your money on getting more powerful units, increasing your unit cap, or increasing the amount of gold you make.
Gold is all-important in Guardians of Hyelore. Killing enemies nets you gold, but so does time. The higher your gold tier, the more both time and killing enemies nets you gold—and the faster you make gold, the easier it is to defend against threats.
There’s something refreshing about games with minimalized mechanics. That’s not to say that Guardians of Hyelore is minimal, but it’s a strategy game that just requires you to send units across a field to do battle for you. 2D space means that unit positioning isn’t as important (though it still has some importance) . I find that Guardians of Hyelore matches tend to quickly go one way or the other: either you quickly have the upper hand, or you watch the enemy forces tear through your tower.
Between levels you can buy items and upgrade your chosen Guardian or Guardians. There are multiple different Guardians to choose from, some specializing in casting spells, others shooting arrows, while a couple serve as melee damage dealers and a little bit like tanks.
While Guardians of Hyelore has an overworld, it has a mostly linear path with very little story—though it doesn’t really need one. You travel from location to location, destroying the occupying enemy’s tower, and move onto the next—richer with gems and experience. Each location has a rating, and your goal is to get as many stars as you can—up to five. If you consistently score low, you’ll have to replay levels to get that score up if you want to progress.
Guardians of Hyelore probably won’t win any game of the year awards, but it’s definitely a pleasant time waster. It’s fun to have a powerful army sweeping across enemies and laying waste—but sometimes it’s a little too easy to get overwhelmed if you’re unlucky in the beginning of a match. It’s definitely fun in short bursts—though it probably would have benefitted greatly from some sort of multiplayer. Oh well.
Guardias of Hyelore is out today on Steam.
A Steam key was provided to use for the purpose of this review
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