What do you think you could do over the course of seven days? Currently, I’m attempted to renovate a bathroom over the course of a week, but even that could go either way. The protagonists of 7 Days Heroes plan to save a world infested with zombie-like creatures during the the titular week.

Somehow I feel like that’s slightly more impressive.

Many thanks to the publisher for the review code.

I NEED A HERO
7 Days Heroes follows three genetically altered heroes (and their dog!) as they work together to take down a supercomputer named MAI that has gone rogue and started infecting the world with nanomachines. They have 7 days until the proverbial hits the fan, so they need to work together to put an end to MAI’s plans. The problem is that their aircraft gets shot down, thus separating them; you’ll eventually reform once the missing team members are found, and together you’ll hopefully be able to stop MAI.

It’s a nice little storyline that, while simple, does the job and is told mostly between worlds through cutscenes. There are some translation issues dotted around that does result in some noticeably awkward dialogue, but they don’t affect the narrative too much as the scenes are usually short and to the point.

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This simplicity extends to the visual style and the gameplay too – which is no doubt due to its mobile origins. Don’t let that worry you, as it doesn’t feelĀ like a mobile game at the very least. The minimalistic pixel graphics may not really astound you, but they’re competent enough and each of the different worlds feel both distinct and memorable.

Speaking of which, the game has you navigating some relatively linear stages via a combination of jumping and shooting. Your primary goal is to find the key to open the end of the stage, but you also have some (mostly) optional quests to find the hidden upgrades and acquire a set number of nano-machines. Some of the upgrades are optional and serve to make your job easier, but others are essential to help you get around. Such upgrades include a double jump and wall scaling, which result in some rather predictable platforming segments, but the controls feel pretty tight and weighty, making the stages satisfying to play through.

As your gang of heroes contains more than just one character, you can expect each one to have their own gimmick to help you through the stage. Even the dog, your first companion, is able to squeeze through tiny gaps – although his inability to fight, also limits his usage. Their usage is pretty limited though, and I found myself mainly switching between them as a way to preserve health. You see, your companions are effectively immune to damage whilst inactive, thus making them feel more like an extended health – something that can be very useful during a tricky boss fight.

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This partner mechanic comes at a little bit of a cost, however, as the AI is as dumb as bricks at the best of times. It’s functional enough for simple jumps and following you along linear pathways, but anything that more complex results in them getting stuck. In particular, high ledges seem to confound them as they simply don’t know how to land on ledges. It’s rather annoying and essentially forces you to continually character to ensure they’re always nearby. This is made even more infuriating as you can only exit a level when everybody is at the exit, so if someone is stuck near the start then you’ll need to switch over and guide them through. It’s extremely tedious, and I really hope that this gets fixed further down the line as it spoils what is otherwise a fun, if simple, platformer.

Aside from that gripe, the game does pretty much what it intends to do competently enough. It won’t blow you away with the gameplay nor the visuals, but it’s simple fun with tight controls that is worth a punt at a cheap price. There are some technical issues in the form of a buggy menu system that often fails to work properly, but the developer has informed me that they’re hard at work trying to fix the issue, so hopefully this gets patched soon enough. It’s not game-breaking by any means, so don’t worry about your progress being halted by it.

VERDICT
7 Days Heroes is simple retro fun that, whilst not offering anything particularly new, does certainly scratch a platforming itch. Some issues, such as terrible partner AI and some buginess, does spoil the experience a bit – but if you’re willing to overlook these issues, then you could do far worse.