Hero Forge, a puzzling RPG game for Windows Phone

Hero Forge is a RPG game for your Windows Phone that combines puzzle solving with combat rounds. The game is also a Massively Multi-Player Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) mode where you not only can skip battling computer opponents and seek out other players globally to rough up.

Your gaming character will advance in experience, improving their skills with each battle and you'll have opportunities to customize your character with weapons, armor and more. Hero Forge is available for low-memory devices and after playing the game over the past couple of days, we can see why the game is pulling down a 4.5 Star rating in the Windows Phone Store.

Character Creation

When you first launch Hero Forge, you will have to create your gaming character. You have four classes of RPG characters to choose from that include a Paladin, Orc Berserker, Elf Mage and Dwarven Pirate. Once you choose your character class, the next step is to establish your screen name for the online leaderboards and online matches.

Once all is set, you'll be taken to Hero Forge's main gaming menu that will have your gold and gem counts displayed across the top of the screen, along with the ability to add to your treasures through in-app purchases. You will also find links to the game's settings, the developer's Facebook page and a help section at the top of the main menu. Settings cover sound/music settings as well as an advanced mode (not exactly sure what this entails) and an option to show your ELO rating as opposed to your World Ranking on the leaderboard.

Across the bottom of the main menu you will find your screen name, class, current level and win/loss record. There are also links to the game's store, your character's skill sets, to the online leaderboards and to play the game.

Just a quick note, when you re-launch Hero Forge you will find a new opening menu that will allow you to delete your current character or add a new character to the mix. If you have multiple players, a directional arrow will appear to allow you to choose your player and then it is just a matter of tapping the play arrow to move to the gaming main menu.

Gaming Store

Hero Forge has a slightly different gaming store than most RPG games. Instead of picking and choosing your weapons, armor or other accessories you buy treasure chests with the gold and gems you earn during combat. These treasure chests will randomly generate and add new equipment to your character's inventory. Gear ranges from helmets to armor to edged weapons to firearms.

The game does give you enough gems to buy one rare chest but after that, you will have to go through in-app purchases.

You can pick and choose which items you want your character equipped with but having gear randomly generated definitely puts a challenging twist to game play.

Game Play

Speaking of which, Hero Forge is a nice combination of puzzle solving and combat rounds. You begin the game with the single player game available where you battle the computer. Your first match is tutorial in fashion and once you defeat a certain number of computer opponents, the multiplayer modes is unlocked where you battle random opponents online.

In either gaming mode (single or multiplayer) matches with Hero Forge are fought in two-stage rounds. The first stage involves puzzle solving where you have to find matching cubes that will help you during the combat stage of the match.

The collection of cubes have an assortment of shapes that represent defensive, attack and elemental attack moves. You match the cubes that are exposed (on the edges of the bundle) and the entire bundle of cubes can be rotated to help you find more matches. As you create the matches, special skills (displayed at the top of the screen) will become available such as Rapid Shot that lets you fire off three quick attacks in succession and Parry that prevents any damage from being dealt by your opponent on their next incoming attack.

You can create custom skill sets from the main menu where you can combine any four of the six skills plus one of the talents. You can have up to three custom skill sets and will have the opportunity to pick which set you would like to use prior to the start of each match.

The puzzle round lasts for thirty seconds where you collect as many matches as possible and collect as many skills as possible. At the end of the puzzle stage, you will move to the second stage where you battle your opponent. Combat is played out automatically based on how well (or poorly) you did in the puzzle stage. Your health points are in red and defensive points are in blue. In most cases, you opponents attacks must first defeat all your defensive points before you start to lose health points but there are exceptions to this rule.

As you would imagine the goal is to defeat you opponent and you only have six rounds to do so. To help you survive the combat rounds, Hero Forge does have three boosts that can be bought with your gold prior to the start of a game. Boosts include Healing, Mana and Attack.

At the conclusion of each match, your character will earn experience points that will eventually advance them in levels and gold that can be used for boosts and treasure chests. As your character advances in level, skill and health points will rise (as you would expect). Even if you lose the match, your character will receive experience and gold for the loss, just not as much had they have won.

Overall Impression

Simply put, Hero Forge is a fun Windows Phone game to get involved with. It is well suited to help you pass short bits of time as well as longer gaming sessions. Graphics are well drawn up, game play challenging and I like the randomness of the game's store. You never know what you are going to get from the treasure chests and have to try to make the most of what inventory you possess.

Game play does take a little time to get used to, especially the puzzle stage. You'll need to remember that the puzzle board or bundle can be rotated to reveal more matches. You will also need to focus on key elements that match up with some of your gear. Some inventory items offer a higher percentage of success with certain elements than others and a stockpile of those cubes may be more effective than just grabbing anything you can get your hands on.

I wouldn't mind seeing a price drop in both the game's treasure chests and boosts. It will take a few matches to earn 1200 coins and then you only get a common treasure chest. On the plus side, you do earn gold with losses.

Overall, I liked Hero Forge. It is a Windows Phone game that combines puzzle solving with MMORPG combat and well worth trying.

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.