ReadySet Heroes, the dungeon crawling party game from Robot Entertainment, arrived two weeks ago, but doesn't seem to be as prepared as its title implies. As of right now, the game just isn't up to scratch, with some glaring issues betraying its interesting ideas.
There are just two modes of play. Crawl n' Brawl has up to four players - either 2v2 or free for all - race through dungeons on a time limit, gathering the best loot they can find. When the timer's up, a party game at the end decides the victor. Tower Crawl is a local-only mode for up to two players in which you hack and slash your way through increasingly difficult rooms until you run out of lives. The order of the rooms is somewhat randomised, meaning each run is slightly different. In either mode, you're gathering stat-increasing gems from barrels and defeated enemies. You'll also find randomised weaponry and armour at the end of each room, and it all helps to empower you for the final throwdown.
There's fun to be had in either mode, but the game's ideas are squashed by some poor design. Combat is accessible but stiff; animations are likely to lead you into danger. Some random abilities are clearly better than others -- a shovel can dig up stat gems, meaning you can buff yourself as much as you want. Then there's the small matter of online matchmaking, which is either not working or is extremely poorly populated. Local play works, but this is a game where split-screen makes it much harder to play effectively. If ReadySet Heroes can be updated to overcome some of these problems, it has potential. There's imagination on show here, but right now, it's not something we can recommend.