“Everything we create, whether it’s a game or an animated series, is aimed at entertaining the inner child in us all.” That’s the philosophy espoused by Outfit7, the company we recently interviewed about its upcoming endless runner Talking Tom Hero Dash, the latest entry in the hugely successful Talking Tom and Friends franchise.
Talking Tom Hero Dash promises to be the most exciting game in the series so far, with Outfit7 explaining that for the very first time “our popular characters have been transformed into incredible superheroes! In Talking Tom Hero Dash you get to help Talking Tom and his friends on their mission to save the world, which is pretty awesome.” We’d have to agree that it is indeed pretty awesome - we’ve certainly never seen Tom looking as cool he does sporting his new superhero costume.
Now, it’s very seldom that a successful game franchise ever introduces a superhero makeover - or at least there are very few examples worth mentioning. Presumably, for most studios it’s too much of a branding nightmare to even entertain the notion, but with Talking Tom Hero Dash the transition actually feels like a natural evolution for the franchise. When discussing this with the developer, the team made the point that “superheroes are great characters who use their strengths and powers to protect the good. So it just seemed like superhero versions of Talking Tom and Friends were a natural fit. Friendship and goodness are at the heart of the franchise - and it always has been. It’s all about being a great team. These friends work together to solve problems. They laugh together. They go on adventures. So it just makes sense that as the problems grow in their world – as the raccoons attack – Tom and his friends are called upon to solve the problems together.”
Elaborating a little more on the gameplay, the team added that Talking Tom Hero Dash is set in “five different worlds - all with amazing backgrounds, from the tropics to cities to snowy landscapes - where you must stop the nasty raccoon villains and save your friends. Talking Tom Hero Dash has this powerful story at its heart, and it’s really driven by emotions.” These emotions are evident in the game and in real life as well. During our interview, it was easy to get the sense that Talking Tom and Friends is a real passion project for the global entertainment company, with the team constantly striving to deliver a rewarding experience for all its players. “We’re serious about bringing the fun for all our fans! It’s something that’s always on our minds. The story, art style, mechanics, and even the sense of humor are fine-tuned with people of all ages in mind. We want everyone to have a great experience.”
When asked about the challenges involved in trying to develop a game that appeals to players of all ages, the team went on to add: “We do a lot of testing during the development process. We even sometimes get our families involved! And if anyone doesn’t get a great feeling or experience from something, well, then it’s back to the drawing board. The choice to bring a superhero theme to an endless runner game was partly made with users of all ages in mind. It’s a model that can be both challenging and fun, whatever your age or your gaming experience.”
At this point we couldn’t help but wonder what superpowers Tom and his friends actually possess.The team explained that Tom and his friends are “given powers by their mysterious mentor, and these powers reflect each character’s personality and their best qualities. We can take Tom as an example, as the team leader He’s brave, adventurous, and passionate about doing the right thing. He is strong-hearted, so it was natural that his power, super strength, would reflect this. Talking Ben, the genius scientist of the group, has an amazing glove that lets him move metal, while Talking Hank, who’s imaginative and creative, has a backpack that lets him pull out all sorts of random objects that could (but don’t always) help. Talking Angela’s determined and passionate about doing good, so we gave her super speed to help her get the job done quicker. And hero-in-training, Talking Ginger, has a hoverboard that lets him zoom around.”
With our curiosity about Talking Tom Hero Dash now satisfied, we turned our attention to what else fans will have to look forward to in the near future. We were excited to learn that Outfit7 is “currently developing a live-action Talking Tom and Friends movie” and “working with partners to open Talking Tom and Friends amusement parks and expand (its) range of merchandise” so there’s definitely exciting times ahead for fans of the franchise.
Talking Tom Hero Dash is currently available for pre-registration and, as a special reward for signing up, each player will receive Tom’s epic Titanium Force outfit if the game reaches 3 million pre-registrations by June 5th. The game just recently surpassed 2 million pre-registrations so it's well on its way to reaching that total - so make sure you do your part by heading over to the official Talking Tom Hero Dash website and pre-register now.