Little Town Hero Nintendo Switch Review

Reading Time: 26 minutes
Short review

Fast Facts

Title: Little Town Hero
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Rainy Frog
Website: https://www.gamefreak.co.jp/town/en/
Genre: Adventure, Role-Playing
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 16/10/2019
Price: £22.49 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.

Everyone knows (and probably loves) Pokémon since their childhood. Some of us grew up with it (I did for example) and with the new titles Sword and Shield of the franchise waiting to tackle the shelves in November, Game Freak tried to keep us busy with another game of their own.

Little Town Hero keeps going in a totally different direction. No monster-catching here, instead, you fight with all your might with ideas. Was it such a good idea for Game Freak themselves to approach another direction?

Little Town – little story?

In Very Game Freak style, the story starts rather cute. Axe (you can also rename him in the game) and his best friend Nelz are planning to cause some trouble. How? They both desperately want access to the castle because behind it; the whole wide world lies in front of them.

“Some rules meant to be broken!”, is probably Axe’s and his friend’s motto.

Axe’s father has disappeared under some more or less mysterious circumstances, his mother Ember’s slightly overprotecting. Without repeating myself (I will enough in the upcoming review), the story is familiar and predictable like, well, the other game they develop.

Just in time for Axe and the villagers, he picks up a red gem in the mines before monsters are invading the home of our protagonist. And that is where the fun starts, and you finally get to battle them with the power of your imagination, aka ideas.

The power of ideas

Simply put, the battle system has elements from an RPG as well as using card game mechanics. A fusion between the both, each idea you have is basically attack, defence and support. The colour indicates which idea falls under that category. Each idea has its own defence and attack points. If your attack points are higher than your enemy’s defense, the idea will break. That so-called “Chance Turn” you achieve when breaking all of your opponent’s ideas will allow you to cause direct damage.

Power Points for each turn (the minimum is three, your max is six) must be spent to use an attack/defence/support idea. Since they are limited, you need to plan your steps carefully. Especially since yellow ideas can be used multiple times until your enemy breaks them; red and blue ones are one-time use only. During the previously mentioned Chance Turn, you can only attack with a red idea. Even though it is easier to pull that off in later turns when you have more Power Points, getting there can take a lot of time.

Get ready for long fights full of various, sometimes overwhelmingly much, strategy options.

The possibilities, though, of thinking ahead and try out several strategies, are plentiful. Unfortunately, learning the controls wasn’t easy, and it is overwhelming when Game Freak first introduces everything in the game. Adding new things like supporting characters, BP or Gimmicks (things that can help you during battles to damage the monster) make it even more complicated than it should have.

The level-up system is good, but I could not wrap my mind around the fact it wasn’t available from the beginning. Having the option to level up your ideas earlier instead of having gimmicks would have been preferable.

(For a full in-depth description of the battle mechanics, please check the long version of the review.)

Too many ideas made my head spin

The major problem besides how something got explained to me as a player in Little Town Hero was how the whole battle system unfolded in general. The boss in Chapter Two gave me a harder time than it should have. I needed three attempts to beat that Chapter, me on the edge of giving up and debating if I should quit writing about games in general. Not overacting or kidding here.

Literally me with the depth of battle system at first.

The bosses after that, on the other hand, were so much easier to defeat. Besides one side quest boss (the doll), I scored a victory in the first attempt every time. How? Because I could level up my ideas. And that is the crucial point.

You gain Eureka Points in the game, after a victory or a defeat, and can level up your ideas with that. It’s like a sphere grid in Final Fantasy 10. Some of them gain additional defence and attack points, some others gain a special effect. Game Freak understands that the battles can drag on, I think. Otherwise, they would not have let you get hints after a battle (or in between sometimes, but only on the easy ones against a dog in chapter five and six) or gain Eureka points regardless the result of the battle.

Little Town Hero also offered you easier battles to mix up the intense monster fights during a quest. How to beat them is fairly easy, follows a logic concept how to use your ideas in the best way possible and I wish they would have done that in earlier stages. Just to give you a feeling of how battles can be made and ideas putting together in a strategic manner.

Oh… And get used to fighting Matock, your rival. Game Freak did not kid around with using him. It’s like your rival in Pokémon would creep on you from your hometown up to route 3 to ask you ten times for a duel only to show off his new additions to the team.

Matock is a bit… overly enthusiastic.

Charming little town (and its heroes!)

The world design, despite you only being stuck in one town, is simply beautiful. The character design is cute, not only because the game Developer used a rich colour palette.

Bosses come in various forms, from creepy to simple, but what they all have in common is love. They were designed with a lot of thought, not only on their behaviour and design but also on how their skillset is complementing the whole monster itself. The concept is done right, wherever you take a look at. Be it the characters or the environment, even the inside of a house. The cell-shade visuals, rich in colour, are a gem and a joy to look at.

Promised too much? The world of Little Town Hero is adorable and so nice to look at.

Overall, Little Town Hero performed well, no game-breaking things that would make you pull out your hair when into a long boss fight. The only little thing that is a bit odd and I almost forgot about, but not game-breaking in any way was how the game seems to have difficulties catching up when you’re talking to an NPC. Once you address someone, the game pauses for a minute, holding Axe in the position he left in when talking to a village once the dialogue starts.

Unfortunately though, Little Town Hero also “copied” the broken camera mechanics I felt could have done better and aren’t optimal in Pokémon either. When you are navigating Axe through his hometown, he tends to look down towards his feet, which can be irritating. Not unbearable, but not great either.

The automatic camera adjustment can be off sometimes.

Foxy tunes

Okay, we talked about the story, I rambled on and on about the battle mechanics, the visuals, performance… What’s left is music and sound effects only.

Toby Fox. I am sure you have heard about him. He made himself a good name in the gaming industry, like Eric Barone as well.

The idea of giving Fox the opportunity to make a soundtrack is a lovely one. Also, a huge compliment that a successful company asks for your talent and gets you involved in their new project.

With a lot of pressure resting on his shoulders, Toby Fox delivered a well-balanced and enjoyable soundtrack. You can feel the innocent mischief in one tune when fighting Matock for example, perfectly suitable for the little rascals.

What startles me is that everyone is talking about Toby Fox only and, even Game Freak themselves, praise him so much that many forget that Hitomi Sato (also working for the Pokémon main series) also contributed to the soundtrack. So let’s make sure to give her some credit here, too.

The final verdict

With all that said, time for the final words.

Can I recommend Little Town Hero? No. I also cannot say to stay away from it either.

If it was not for the sake of the review, I would not have put 15+ hours into it and stopped playing midway in chapter two. A few hours were spent because I was probably slow on catching up on the combat itself. After learning how it is done, Little Town Hero was fun and had a lot to offer with ten Chapters in total. But I cannot expect that effort from everyone to put into a game if they don’t like it and therefore, not able to recommend it.

Sorry about the little pat on the back for me from myself here.

But just because I was overwhelmed, doesn’t mean you will, too.

It would help if there were a demo, so people could see what they are investing in and if it’s for them to have the patience to pull through. Meaning that Little Town Hero serves the people interested in card game mechanics and simply enjoying the way a card game would be played and not necessarily having to win it. The thrill of the unknown and can make some enjoy the best of that opportunity, but some could be frustrated by it like me, who detests putting everything on Lady Luck often.

I’m still glad that Game Freak took another turn and attempted to try something new, which is fun, but hard to get into and is not for everybody. I hope you enjoyed the review and I left an impression about what Little Town Hero is. I certainly was challenged a lot with that game – as a reviewer and a gamer.

Rapid Reviews Rating

You can purchase Little Town Hero from the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Little-Town-Hero-1497086.html

You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.

Long review

Fast Facts

Title: Little Town Hero
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Rainy Frog
Website: https://www.gamefreak.co.jp/town/en/
Genre: Adventure, Role-Playing
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 16/10/2019
Price: £22.49 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.

“Pikachu!”

If you hear or read this word, you know what it is! Everyone knows (and probably loves) Pokémon since their childhood. Some of us grew up with it (I did for example) and with the new titles Sword and Shield of the franchise waiting to tackle the shelves in November, Game Freak tried to keep us busy with another game of their own.

Little Town Hero keeps going in a totally different direction. No monster-catching here, instead you fight with all your might with… ideas. Was it such a good idea from Game Freak themselves to approach another direction?

Always being on the edge with tactical games, Little Town Hero seemed different. Fresh, interesting, promising. That this game will challenge me on so many levels, even as a reviewer and writer… That idea never crossed my mind as I was debating with myself how to name the protagonist.

Axe is the suggested name for our little town hero (the description just works perfectly for him!). The fire-red hair reminded me of some other guy with a similar name from another franchise (Axel from Kingdom Hearts), but I decided to name the character Lloyd. He reminded me of Lloyd Irving from Tales of Symphonia and I stuck with that. For the sake of the review, I will occasionally call the main character Axe to prevent confusion.

A hero’s quest

Very Game Freak-ish, the story starts rather cute. Axe and his best friend Nelz are planning to cause some trouble. How? They both desperately want access to the castle because behind it lies the whole wide world.

Everyone’s okay with that, but Axe and his friends won’t agree too long with that anymore!

All the villagers of the little town have never been outside of the town. The only way to go out is to pass through the castle. Obviously daily life gets quiet and boring as a child rather fast and since Axe’s father went out and never came back, you have the perfect formula for their motive to explore the outside world a bit.

The fact that even monsters seem to lurk around in the open does not make this already forbidden fruit even much more desirable.

Failing miserably 5 minutes into the game, Axe and Nelz have to come up with another plan to enter the castle. He and his friends got to know Angard in their attempt, a Knight of the Castle, who is so kind as to train them to become stronger and suitable as a guard, too.

The peaceful village needs Axe, his ideas – and you!

You probably guessed it by now, as story and game continue, you are free to explore the town and at some point monster make their way into the idyllic home of the protagonist and Axe is their only hope. When not trying to make his way outside, he occasionally works in the coal mines as well. One day, he finds a red stone which allows him to be super strong all of the sudden. Might he be the… chosen one?!

Sounds somehow familiar? It’s definitely the work of Game Freak after all. 

All I am going to say about the story so far, so let’s move on to the battle system. Oh boy.

Draw your ideas or how to battle

Disclaimer: I try my best to explain the battle system, but it sure is complicated. If you want to get only a slight idea of it, switch to the shorter review version.

Masao Taya’s the head behind the whole battle system. He has worked for Game Freak for about 20 years and was in charge of the battle system in the Pokémon franchise after Black and White. He knows what he is doing. Probably because of him always having to stick to the turn-based RPGish battle mechanic, he tried a whole different approach.

Also directing Pocket Card Jockey, a title released for the 3DS, Taya is an experienced member of the game developing industry. I have never played the adorable looking little horse race game for the 3DS, but I know every generation there is from Pokémon, so him itching to do something completely different is understandable since his personal desires seem more tend towards card games.

Little Town Hero’s battle system is far from simple. Once you get it, it makes sense, but it took me a while to get there. I dare to say beforehand that Game Freak handled the introduction to their new games battle system quite poorly and unfortunate.

Possibility turns into a decision – Izzits and Dazzits

By also making it a bit more confusing ideas are also broken down beforehand into so-called “Izzits” and “Dazzits”.

Izzit is a possibility. A possible idea out of a selection you get at the start of each battle. Compare it to a hand of cards, if you will. You haven’t set on one card and when you play it, you absolutely (!) cannot change it anymore. Once you decide to tap that A button to confirm you want that idea to use, you are at a no returning point.

Which is quite unfortunate, especially at the beginning of a game where you are overwhelmed with everything. I felt like I understood a fraction of a mechanic and got another complicated one slapped right on top of it. I often wished for a cancel option here.

And with confirming you want to use this idea in battle, you turn an Izzit into a Dazzit.

Dazzit is the chosen set of attacks if you will. As the battle starts, you’ll get a random set of ideas to choose from. The player has access to more in total, but they will only be available when another idea disappears. Other ideas will remain left in your mind pool. (I will explain it later in more detail as to why you need a mind pool.)

Power Points are the key to your ideas

You activate a Dazzit with Power Points so you can use it in battle.

Power Points are the yellow dots on top of each idea (that looks like a golden honeycomb on the images above). Maybe you’ve spotted it, the “honeycombs” are equal to the big number inside an idea. I am going to give you some examples, so it’s easier to understand and helps to prove my point with visuals since this number is important and key to a successful strategy.

Axe always starts with three Power Points and can work his way up to six in total. When you take a closer look at the bottom middle of the screenshot, you’ll see a number inside a hexagon (here it is a three). This is the total amount of Power Points you currently have for a turn.

As mentioned before, you can gain up to six Power Points. Every turn will increase the gauge of the hexagon. Fill it three times, so it will reach the top, and you will earn another point, making it four Power Points. These four points can be spent in the next three rounds. After that, you’ll get five points for three rounds and reach the maximal amount, six.

PHEW. That was something so far. But wait! There’s more!

Remember me talking about the whole idea business? After Izzits turning into Dazzits? Let’s break down how Axe’s ideas work next.

Red, yellow, blue ideas are your sword, shield and magic

Ideas are the way to go even though our Little Town Hero is carrying a weapon and a shield. You have three kinds of ideas:

Red = attack can only be used once per turn

Yellow = defence can be used as often as possible until not broken in a turn

And Blue = support. It can only be used once as well and can have a single or a turn overlapping effect

Yellow and red ideas each of their own have also attack and defence points. They are displayed right beside an idea. The number on top is the attack point of that idea. The number below that is the defence. The higher, obviously, the better.

Breaking ideas is key to victory

So, if you decide to challenge one idea of your enemy with one of your own, make sure to get the numbers right. As a little help, the game will display “Break” above an idea if a collision would cause it to break.

See the break over the monster’s red idea and not Axe’s?

Jen, breaking ideas? What’s that about?!

It’s basically your chance to turn the battle into your favour and strike your enemy’s health directly to come one step closer to its defeat.

Basically, after an idea is broken, it becomes unavailable. Not forever, but not until you either revive your idea by spending BPs or lose a heart. I hope you can follow me because just writing about it makes me dizzy and anxious since I want to cover everything. And you to understand it, too.

Well, as I said, ideas battle each other in Little Town Hero. That is why each idea has attack and defence points. Clash two ideas onto each other, Axe’s idea attack points challenge the monsters ideas defence points and vice versa.

This will happen a couple of times and, fingers crossed, the monster has no ideas left because they all broke thanks to your strategy. Now there are two possibilities how the battle can proceed: You can attack your opponent directly and take down its health (either hearts or its guts) or you gain BP.

BP are points that help you revive ideas. Also, you can swap out an idea for another if you want to (and maybe desperately need for a gimmick for example. Yeah, I’ll get to that, too). Remember me talking about a mind pool and ideas being left in it? That’s why. It gives the player some sort of pseudo customisation within a battle. Not enough BPs? Haha, your luck ran out on that one, my friend.

As I talked about Power Points before, I’d like to highlight the bars besides that hexagon. Things will hopefully become clearer then.

Protect your hearts and guts well

Axe and the monster he faces each have their own heart gauge. There are always three hearts, three red ones for Axe, three purple ones for your opponent. Losing all three hearts means the battle is over. Either you won and break the evil-doers hearts first, or you get defeated when yours break before that.

This yellow shield on top of it with a number displayed on it is the guts indicator. It’s a shield for your hearts. It’s another obstacle to overcome to defeat a monster or be defeated.

Gotta have guts!

You can break that shield down when you hit your enemy with one or more red ideas (aka attacks). You see a seven as guts? Then your red idea either has to have red attack points or you need several red ideas that add up to seven. Worst case scenario is that you need more than one turn to break the guts because remember, you can only use a red idea once per battle!

And believe me. With this sort of complex system, you won’t walk out of a battle after 8 turns. And yeah, after you break the shield and take your enemy one heart down, that guts meter is reset to the number where it was before.

Super Little Town Hero Party

To make things even more random and complicated, you get some sort of Super Mario Party-esque board layout. Each turn you roll a dice from 1 up to 4. The player can sometimes choose in which direction Axe should go. On some fields, there is a supporting character waiting for you (like Nelz, Matock and his little sister Trulla, Pasmina or other villagers). They can be used once per battle and have unique effects like refreshing your ideas and increase your guts or damage the enemy’s body three points, no matter if there are ideas left.

Little Town Hero isn’t shy on giving you support or gimmicks in battles, especially the later ones.

You can also collect new fresh ideas that are individual to each monster type. Those ideas are bonus ideas to the standard ones.

Besides that, you will also encounter chickens, a canon and barrels that can assist you. The so-called “Gimmicks”. On those fields, you need a red Izzit that needs to be activated into a Dazzit to trigger the effect. Here’s where BPs can come in handy when you need to swap ideas out.

Take a deep breath. We almost have it. Thanks for sticking with me. Believe me, it took a long time to figure it out and trying to explain it this much in detail.

Eureka! Levelled up ideas!

The player can level up your ideas. This feature is introduced in Chapter three if I remember right. So it isn’t available at the beginning. You will gain Eureka points after successfully finishing side quests or a victory in battle. Heck, you can get even a point after a loss, as a consolation price so to speak.

It works a bit like the sphere board in Final Fantasy X. You spend points on ideas, following a certain path. Not bound strictly to one direction, you have more freedom to level up your ideas to your liking.

Dazzit. Eaaaasy, am I right?

Fighting with the battle system

Real talk now. Game Freak has been around for a very long time and won the lottery with such a huge and popular franchise like Pokémon. It is more than just reasonable and understanding that that formula might be successful and well received by the fanbase, but as an employee, you grow tired of it. The urge to step out of this huge shadow that Pokémon creates is somehow natural and understandable.

Masao Taya said himself that RPGs can be long and time-consuming. Without throwing some shade or hating on the new idea, the battle system he created likely is time-consuming as well. Sure, maybe you do not have to grind as much as in some RPGs, but grasping and executing the concept isn’t done in five minutes with this much of depth and layers on it.

Quite frankly, this whole Izzit and Dazzit talk is also unnecessarily complicating the whole issue in the beginning. The tutorial confused me that much that I had a few difficulties sitting through that and had to resist to click through it just to learn the concept by trying it. In my opinion, some topics got a more detailed description than others. Sadly there was less explanation done for the more complicated mechanics than talking, for example, about Izzits and Dazzits.

The major problem besides how something got explained to me as a player in Little Town Hero was how the whole battle system unfolded in general. The boss in Chapter two gave me a harder time than it should have. I needed three attempts to beat that Chapter, and it left me on the edge of giving up and debating if I should quit writing about games in general. Not overacting or kidding here.

One heart down, two to go…!

Hard at first, easy later on?

The bosses after that, on the other hand, were so much easier to defeat. Besides one side quest boss (the doll), I scored a victory in the first attempt every time. How? Because I could level up my ideas. And that is the crucial point.

Levelling up ideas since the beginning would be so much better since the Izzits felt like a joke against some bosses in the earlier stages, barely making any damage. Also introducing the player controlling Axe to the combat overall could have been better. The combat is fun, it became fun… Practice makes perfect, and all, but… If the game isn’t fun until that it can be a chore.

It sometimes comes around like this: Game Freak tried something new, they were excited about that idea and full of motivation. When you are both of these things, getting the idea out and building it into a solid game, finally looking down on the end product, can be so exciting that the end result is kinda chaotic in its performance. And that is what Little Town Hero feels like.

Often felt overwhelmed and beaten by playing this title, not gonna lie.

The Chapters in the game are fun, battles mixed with your typical RPG-like errand runs, but while this story was written, it feels like the Chapters were mixed up. Not story-wise, but how the Developer actually let you practice and learn it.

What are you blabbing about now, Jen?! Well, here’s an example:

You fight the same dog in various Chapters. I am going with the fight between Axe and the dog in Chapter six to demonstrate it. You must carefully plan how to defeat it. Unlike the big boss battles, the whole set of ideas is always the same and not randomly chosen at the beginning. In it, it feels more like a tutorial on how to beat him, especially if you might not be able to do it on your first try. Even though you have something similar like that in Chapter two, why bother and do it again in later Chapters?

Good… boy?

You also can practise on your own very early in the game to revisit the basics and learn how to use ideas and how everything works. That makes the issue a bit better, but everything felt yet confusing. Like Little Town Hero’s Developer had to fill some space with additional battles and picked a strategic fight to loosen it up to bring variety. It might not be such a big deal for others, but it hit me wrong personally.

Giving you a little help… sometimes

Game Freak takes you by the hand and gives you a hint here and there if you cannot figure it on your own. Which was great. This made you understand the whole combat system a bit better, but… why do this that late in the game when you had to defeat several monsters to rescue the village and already had to use a lot of ideas before, levelling them up to become stronger and even get overwhelmed with not only the basic combat, but with extras as well (aka the gimmicks in boss fights)?

This made me sigh because you don’t step into the Pokémon League when you need to obtain your badges first, too. Game Freak knows how to create games and increase difficulty on a reasonable and enjoyable level. Why not in Little Town Hero as well? To create the feeling, you are really a little boy fighting against gigantic monsters…?

Another let down is the randomness of ideas popping up in battle and the order they have in your mind pool. It is like a deck of cards, every time you shuffle the order is changed, I get it. With no customisation to your deck aka ideas, the odds turn against you rather quickly and you spend several turns to get to the desired idea to pop up and FINALLY strike against your opponent.

Seeing this result of a battle sometimes made me feel like it’s Christmas.

With sometimes 20 turns and about more than one hour or more on the clock for one battle, losing because of running out of ideas, them being too weak and you are only slowly able to build them up, hoping to land on the right field or any other random thing was more frustrating than fun. Reloading a battle to get a better assortment of ideas kind of defeated the purpose of it at all for me.

Kudos to the reviewer being able to beat monsters in less than 20 turns, because I am obviously too unskilled for that and absolutely cannot see a possibility to power up quicker to even stand a chance and purely survive. In early stages as well as in later ones (even though those in Chapter four and up are way easier thanks for your ideas having more powerful stats when a battle starts). Some annoying and mean special effects from your opponents do not help either (like breaking your Dazzit when their Dazzit breaks which especially test your temper with solid yellow defence ideas).

To not get any much longer on that topic, here is what had to be improved in summary:

  • Being able to customise the idea deck or at least able to level them up since chapter one
  • Better performing tutorials with assisted help if the player wished to
  • Introduce the gimmicks in later chapters (maybe four and up) and only stick to supporting characters
  • And last, but not least, give the easy battles from Chapter five and six a chance to shine at the right time – like Chapter one and two

As you probably could tell, there is still a lot of frustration left while writing this review even though I invested a lot of time in it. At some point, the game was so annoying like the number of times Matock, Axe’s rival, wants to battle you in the early Chapters. Up to Chapter Four, he will probably battle you about twice or three times in a Chapter. It was so much, I lost track of counting. It’s like your rival in Pokémon would creep on you from your hometown up to route three to ask you ten times for a duel only to show off his new additions to the team.

Next in line: performance and visuals!

Overall, Little Town Hero performed well, no game-breaking things that would make you pull out your hair when into a really long boss fight. The only little thing that is a bit odd and I almost forgot about, but not game-breaking in any way, was how the game seems to have difficulties catching up when you’re talking to an NPC. Once you address someone, the game pauses for a minute, holding Axe in the position he left in when talking to a village once the dialogue starts.

The world design, despite you only being stuck in one town, is simply beautiful. The character design is cute and probably reminds you of… yeah, well.

Even though it’s just one village, Little Town Hero’s environment is so pretty.

Bosses come in various forms, from creepy to simple, but what they all have in common is love. They were designed with a lot of thought, not only on their behaviour and design but also on how their skillset is complementing the whole monster itself. The concept is done right, wherever you look. Might it be characters or the environment, even the inside of a house, the cell-shade visuals, rich in colour, are a gem and a joy to look at.

Although, the feeling still remains familiar. Which is not essentially a bad thing. You just see that Little Town Hero takes a lot of resemblances when it comes to the graphics and visuals from the franchise they want to distance themselves from a little.

… Unfortunately, Little Town Hero also “copied” the broken camera mechanics. I felt they could have done better as the camera isn’t optimal in Pokémon either. When you are navigating Axe through his hometown, he tends to look down towards his feet, which can be irritating. Not unbearable, but not great either.

I had to correct the camera manually at some points in the game to see more.

Okay, we talked about the story, I rambled on and on about the battle mechanics, the visuals, performance… What’s left is music and sound effects only.

Toby Fox

That name is probably known in the gaming industry as much as Eric Barone. Responsible for Undertale and Deltarune, which will hopefully be realised at some point, Toby Fox was creating the soundtrack for Little Town Hero. The idea of giving Fox the opportunity to make a soundtrack is a lovely one. Also, a huge compliment that a successful company asks for your talent and gets you involved in their new project.

With a lot of pressure resting on his shoulders, Toby Fox delivered a well balanced and enjoyable soundtrack. You can feel the innocent mischief in one tune when fighting Matock for example, perfectly suitable for the little rascals.

The whole OST of Little Town Hero has a track for every occasion, with the priority to not be the next Zelda or Final Fantasy OST, but to not be overlooked as either. The used sound effects cannot be done better if you ask me. Just like… uh, you get it, right. Fox has done a job you can only praise, but… I’d still prefer the soundtrack from Undertale over Little Town Hero.

What startles me is that everyone is talking about Toby Fox only and, even Game Freak themselves, praise him so much that many forget that Hitomi Sato (also working for the Pokémon main series) also contributed to the soundtrack. So let’s make sure to give her some credit here, too.

The final verdict: Chance Turn for Little Town Hero

With all that said, time for the final words.

Will my final verdict break Little Town Hero’s neck?

Oh, Game Freak… You did a good job, you did a bad job, I don’t like this game, I enjoyed it. It frustrated me, it gave me relief after finally knocking out that boss. I admired the character design, the music. The controls are good, but the battle system is so overwhelming and, simply put, Little Town Hero’s strength and your weakness at the same time.

It is fun at some point. But it is overwhelming, and it takes time to get there. Like an… RPG.

I imagined not being able to review Little Town Hero and put myself into the shoes of a gamer, not a reviewer, even more, this time. After reading even mixed reviews, I probably would have spent my money either way and gave it a shot. It’s Game Freak, right?! It’s like an old friend you grew up with! There are bumps in that road you have spent together, but you still have yourself in each other’s life.

Oh my, I would have regretted that decision. Probably the second time in my gaming history my instincts would have let me down with a game choice. That is why I concluded that I cannot recommend it because, in that time, other easier titles to pick up for busy adults are available. It is a niche title, out of the question and I doubt children would have the patience to pick up and learn the mechanic when in one month there are Pokémon to be caught and other kinds of (easier) battles to play.

I have nothing against challenging titles, I love Celeste for example and old school platformer gives me more joy than the most recently released titles with their funky assist modes. I just do not like to put everything on Lady Luck too often.

Meaning that Little Town Hero serves the people interested in card game mechanics and simply enjoying the way a card game would be played. Not necessarily having to win it. The thrill of the unknown and making the best of that opportunity can be enjoyed by some, but some could be frustrated by it. Game Freaks choice of introducing the system to the player is questionable, as I said, and could have been better.

Enough rambling, Jen! What do you think!?

Reviewer vs gamer

If it was not for the sake of the review, I would not have put 15+ hours into it and stopped playing midway in Chapter Two. A few hours were spent because I was probably slow on catching up on the combat itself. After learning how it is done, Little Town Hero was fun and has a lot to offer with ten Chapters in total. But I cannot expect everyone to put that effort into a game if they don’t like it and therefore, I am not able to recommend it.

But just because I was overwhelmed doesn’t mean you will, though.

It would help if there were a demo, so people could see what they are investing in and if it’s for them to have the patience to pull through. A lot of them have the will to fight, and others might turn their back on the game because let’s face it, a lot are coming out on the Switch right now. Plus the backlog, right.

I’m still glad that Game Freak took another turn and attempted to try something new which is fun, but hard to master and is not for everybody. I hope you enjoyed the review and I left an impression of what Little Town Hero is about. I certainly was challenged a lot with this game – as a reviewer and a gamer.

Rapid Reviews Rating

You can purchase Little Town Hero from the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Little-Town-Hero-1497086.html

You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.

Introduction
Me while playing and reviewing, I guess…

“This is going to be tough” was probably the thought I had most often in my mind playing Little Town Hero. Soon, I found myself trapped in a conflict of what to do. I had to say too much about this game, and it was impossible to only fit into a shorter article.

After thinking a lot about it, I am going to approach this review differently: One short version in the Rapid Reviews UK Style, which means a 7-minute-long read max, and one long version where I go full depth into the title. The short version will include the most important pieces from the longer one as well as a little summary written for the less wordy version only.

Just choose the version you want to read on the tabs. I took the freedom to also insert other images here in there to have even more variation between both versions. Headlines are different, too! The short version is a more neutral review, while the longer article gives you a good idea of all the phases I went through in this whole process.

As you can see, reading both will be worth it!

I hope that you enjoy my reviews of Little Town Hero, the most challenging review I ever had the pleasure of writing!

Please pick your preferred review style above!
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About Jennifer Reichel

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