There are dungeon crawlers bursting from the seems of Valve's Steam store. It's incredibly difficult to stand out in this crowd, but if you looked at Next Up Hero and assumed this project from Digital Continue was unremarkable in comparison to its contemporaries, you might want to reconsider.
Next Up Hero is a unique experience in the isometric dungeon delver scene. After you (and optionally, a co-op friend) choose from one of the nine available characters to play as, you begin your journey through the grind. Each hero is unique, with a suite of attacks that range from mighty sword swings to remote-control car bombs. Finding the style the works for you is a matter of trial and error, but there are plenty of ways to play.
There are also plenty of ways to explore the world in front of you, and take the fight to the Ceaseless Dirge. Ventures are the individual levels you play in, with its own goal or set of goals required to move on to the next one. Before starting into a dungeon, you can actually adjust several different modifiers to create your own custom Venture. Make it a slay quest, but up the monster amount to boost the challenge and potential rewards, for example. You can even map out and design your own custom levels for other players to test their might against. At the end of a string of Ventures, you'll meet epic Bosses, who really don't want you to make it out alive. As you proceed, you'll notice it becomes harder and harder to prevent them from killing you.
Death is only the beginning, though! Experience with a character helps you boost their stats long-term, so repeated attempts are encouraged and rewarding. Each individual death leaves behind an "echo" of you that other players can find and summon to assist them. Assembling a posse of echoes can be the difference between beating a boss and becoming an echo yourself.
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Next Up Hero is officially now out of Steam Early Access and available now. It even has a free weekend going on so you can take it for a spin at no cost. For more information, come to the Official Next Up Hero Wiki!
Jarrett shares his love of video games and geek culture through feature articles on Gamepedia. He prides himself on his deep attraction to Japanese beat-em ups and his god-like Bushido Blade talents.