Planet of Heroes review - Can a MOBA go casual?
| Planet of Heroes

To critically compare two games is often considered reductive – a game should be judged on its own merits, rather than how it compares to what came before it.

So when I say that Planet of Heroes is almost exactly the same as mobile MOBA behemoth Vainglory, the statement should not be taken lightly.

It takes just about everything that made its predecessor fun, strips out any level of strategy for a faster experience, and leaves the whole thing feeling hollow and underwhelming.

Déjà vu

Planet of Heroes is a 3v3 MOBA taking place on a single lane. Each team has two turrets and a central point that the other team must destroy, all of which are defended by minions that endlessly spawn through the match.

You can also dive into the jungle to battle neutral monsters, which drop power-ups and give experience when killed, and do battle against a giant monster to give you a further advantage.

This may sound like a similar experience to just about every MOBA ever made, but the resemblance here to Vainglory is more than just passing – the map layout, save for having one less turret per side, is identical.

Yet instead of adding to the experience, the game takes away key parts. There's no currency of any form to obtain, and therefore no items to buy, and there's no obvious bonuses to gain anywhere aside from levelling up.

Your whole team shares one experience bar, so any kills earned give the whole team a boost, but this also means that you'll fill up the experience in the blink of an eye, meaning there's little advantage to grinding jungle enemies.

Keep it simple

In fact, an all-out attack is often the best strategy, which leads matches to run under ten minutes a time – and here lies Planet of Heroes' one advantage.

While other MOBAs can take up to half an hour to finish, Planet of Heroes is quick and breezy, allowing you to easily pick up and play a full game without needing to plan out any time to do so.

And while it is very basic, the game is actually quite fun to play – games can turn in the blink of an eye, and the elation of winning a much-needed team-battle is still present.

There's also a single-player to test out if you get bored of multiplayer, though it's not worth writing home about beyond saying that it exists and you can play it.

Moving on

Overall, Planet of Heroes is a simple, easy-to-play MOBA that takes the genre back a few steps rather than trying anything new.

That works for it in a way – unlike its meatier brethren, it is easy to get through a full match in less than ten minutes, and it's still relatively fun while you're playing.

But ultimately, it doesn't have enough going for it that you'll stay invested for long, and its stripped-back nature won't appeal to any hardcore fans of the genre.

Planet of Heroes review - Can a MOBA go casual?

It's a stripped-back MOBA experience unlikely to appeal to its usual fans, but Planet of Heroes is a good stepping stone if you want to get into the genre