Written by Joe Pranevich
Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption was one of the rarities of the “legacy kickstarter” era. It was a fantastic game with good production values, and it reflected well on both its source material and its development duo, Lori and Corey Cole. Development spanned an agonizing six years from its first successful kickstarter ($400k) in 2012, through a second kickstarter ($100k) in 2015, and finally to its completion in 2018, with patches and ports (even a Nintendo Switch version!) continuing into 2021. The final game included roughly as much content as the first four Quest for Glory games combined, despite featuring only a single playable class. The road to Hero-U was an arduous one that is more than worth a deeper look, but let’s just say that the pair had to mortgage their house to get it done. The planned sequel was intended to be Hero-U: Wizard’s Way, starring a new female wizard protagonist. Even with a working game engine and the “growing pains” that underscored the first several years of Hero-U development out of the way, the Coles had no path to fund the development of a second game on the same scale.
In 2019, they took a different approach: instead of a puzzle-centric adventure/RPG, they would create their next Gloriana game as a “visual novel”. The Summer Daze at Hero-U kickstarter was a success ($100k), promising two new chapters in the Hero-U story. The first of these, Summer Daze: Tilly’s Tale, has been released to backers and will be live on Steam and other marketplaces by the end of March. We promoted this kickstarter (with a special Corey Cole interview!) back in 2019 and we are excited to see the project cross the finish line.
Here at “The Adventurer’s Guild”, we don’t normally cover new games, but we have a soft spot for our favorite creators who keep the memories of our beloved 80s and 90s adventures alive. Unlike our normal reviews, this one will be light on spoilers, although I will post a few screenshots (mostly from the opening minutes of the game) and discuss some of the things that I like and dislike about the game. If you want to avoid spoilers entirely, just know that I enjoyed the game because it’s an adorable side-quest. Otherwise, read on for more.
Late breaking addition: The Coles have volunteered to do another short interview with us as part of their launch. Comment below if there is a question you have been dying to ask about the growing Hero-U series, Quest for Glory, or any of their other gaming projects. We will pass along those questions to the pair for an upcoming post.