Clicker Heroes Review

By Lexley Ford, 1 month ago
Originally released as a browser game back in in 2014, Clicker Heroes graduated to mobiles and now it has made its way onto consoles. In essence, it’s a simple, free-to-play, RPG clicker game, where all that is required to progress is a simple press of a button, again and again. With this simple premise, is there enough meat on the bone to keep players occupied?

Logo


Clicker Heroes starts off simply enough, a few clicks here, a few there and you've slain your first handful of creatures and netted yourself a handful of gold. Now with cash in hand, you can buy your first upgrade and increase the damage your clicks do, or hold out a little longer to buy a hero that will automatically dish out the pain. Every fifth level features a boss creature, these monsters have much more HP than a monster on a regular zone, and they have to be defeated within 30 seconds, meaning that a certain amount of damage per second needs to have been achieved in order to continue.

This cycle continues, and soon enough you'll have a small group of heroes dealing damage by the millions, billions, trillions etcetera, but that is all there is to it, no plot, no story, just endless creatures and constantly depleting health bars. You wait until you have enough gold to buy upgrades that increase your damage output so that you can progress to levels that require even more damage to pass. Then you wait some more. It's highly repetitive, and once you clear the first hundred or so zones, they repeat themselves too, but this time with more powerful creatures, which again are just the same ones as before but with more health. The background music is repetitive too, with only one track on a constant loop, but thankfully it can be turned off in the game menu.

Clicker HeroesClicker Heroes


Certain heroes will grant players additional abilities, such as Clickstorm that automatically clicks 10-times a second for 30 seconds, or Power surge that doubles your hero's DPS for 30 seconds. These extra abilities can be useful in a pinch or for taking out boss creatures whose health is otherwise too high for you. They can't be used constantly, as each one is on a cooldown that varies between 10 minutes and eight hours, forcing you to wait for the right time to use them. It adds a little bit of additional player interaction to the game, but once you have your heroes leveled up enough, the game largely plays itself.

Once level 100 has been cleared, passing every 10th level for the first time grants players with a random hero becoming gilded. Once gilded a hero receive a 50% increase to their damage, this bonus stacks each time they receive a new gild, providing a decent damage boost, and one that persists through ascension, but more on that in a moment. Gilding a hero will also give them a new appearance, but you don't really spend much time looking at the heroes small artwork in the menus so this goes mostly unnoticed.

Clicker Heroes


Clicker Heroes lures you in, constantly promising that the next upgrade is just a few minutes away and it will provide enough of a boost to your DPS to propel you further, that the cooldowns you are waiting on will be enough to tip the scales on the next boss. It's this that makes the game addictive, you always feel like you will be able to make some progress if you just wait a little while longer, and the fact that the game mostly plays itself means that you can go off and cook your dinner, or do some chores that you've been putting off, and come back to an extra chunk of gold to spend on something else and somehow feel like you've actually achieved something. Even when the console is turned off the game continues to generate gold; returning to the game after a few hours or the next day grants you a hefty chunk of money based on your level and the amount of DPS your heroes deal. In the end, though, you will be doing a lot of waiting.

Invariably there comes a time where your damage just isn't cutting it anymore, or the next upgrade is just too far away. It's at this point where players will choose to ascend, an ability granted to you by Amenhotep, one of the many heroes. When a player chooses to ascend, everything resets apart from any gilded heroes, collected relics or unlocked Ancients. Now back at Level 1, Enemies will die quicker, money will come faster and more progress will likely be made on the next playthrough before the grind once again hits and you’ll need to ascend again. It’s a good way to add replayability, but with at least 3600 levels, according to the achievements, it seems like a little bit of overkill to require players to replay levels over and over gain in order to progress further and adds to the already massive amount of time players will need to sink into the game in order to progress.

Ascending also grants players Hero Souls, an extra currency that can be spent on buying and levelling up the aforementioned ancients. The number of Hero Souls you receive when you ascend is proportional to the total number or levels your heroes have gained, the more money you have spent on your heroes, the more Hero Souls you will receive. Ancients grant various bonuses, such as Fragsworth, Ancient of Wrath who increases click damage, or Libertas, Ancient of Freedom who increases the amount of gold received while the game is idle. Unspent Hero Souls grant a bonus to your DPS, so choosing between upgrading your Ancients or holding on to the extra damage can be a difficult decision, and it seems that the best way to proceed is to only spend a few on bonuses that will help you to proceed quickly and keep some Souls back to boost your damage. Unfortunately, the game doesn't give you any hints on how best to proceed and much of it comes down to trial and error, or some extensive research online.

Clicker Heroes


Clicker Heroes is a freemium game, so of course, it has microtransactions. Rubies are the special currency that players can buy with their own real world money to speed proceedings up, and they can be spent on bonuses such as gilding three random heroes, or advancing the time by eight hours to reset your cooldowns and receive a large boost to your gold. You don’t have to purchase them, as they can also be earned through general play. When a little fish — or a fish made out of an orange, I'm not completely sure what it is supposed to be — appears on screen, inputting the displayed button command, will grant players a small boost to their gold, but on occasion will also reward them with a ruby or two.

Of the 12 achievements available, the first six will likely come quite quickly, while the other six will require a lot more time to unlock. Reaching level 10, killing 10,000 monsters, defeating 1000 bosses, unlocking 50 hero upgrades, finding your first Relic and Ascending for the first time could all easily be achieved on your first day with the game. The Zone Conqueror achievement awarded for reaching level 3,600, however, will take a monumental amount of time and effort, at the time of writing the 200G achievement has a TA Ratio of 89.59 meaning the achievement is currently worth a staggering 17,920 TA score.

Summary

Clicker Heroes styles itself as an idle game in the body of an RPG, but it is really just all of the RPG grind without any of the interesting plot that helps drive you. In the end, the game, if you can call it that, pretty much plays itself. Despite this, it has a surprising amount of depth, though a lot of patience and a great deal of time is needed to uncover it all.
2.5 / 5
Positives
  • Simple to play
  • A surprising amount of depth
Negatives
  • Huge time-sink without some key motivators to compel you to commit
  • Repetitive gameplay
  • Very repetitive music
Ethics Statement
The reviewer spent 40 hours "playing" through the game, clicking a lot and spending a large amount of time waiting. He unlocked 7 of the 12 available achievements for 350 Gamerscore. An Xbox One download code was provided through the ID@Xbox program for the purposes of this review.
Lexley Ford
Written by Lexley Ford
Lex has been gaming for nearly three decades and has been a Newshound for TrueAchievements since 2011. When he’s not writing news he can normally be found immersing himself in a good story, both written and in-game, or just blowing stuff up (only in games).