Working from the top down, Heroes II
has an interface that defaults to a mini-view of the World Map. In the beginning, most of the map is unavailable for view, and you have to go out and explore. As the map opens up, you can zoom out by switching screens to see where all your Heroes are as well as towns, resources and other locations. Also on a 'global' level, Heroes II
lets you see the resources gathered by forces you control, as well as income you're earning each day. Progress is measured by day, week and month, and each full turn completed is one day. When on the mini-view, you can scroll around and select Heroes, towns, resources, etc., or you can press Select and choose a quick-link to different Heroes or towns that you control. Towns and battles offer the last unique screens; in town you manage recruitment or choose the way each Heroes' army is structured, and there are several different battle screens. The main battle screen is you on one side and the enemy on the other. Each takes turns to cast magic, advance or retreat, and attack. The other screen is when you or the enemy attacks a town. This is more of a 'siege' view, with one side behind a wall. Flying enemies can attack immediately, but the wall has to be knocked down before foot-soldiers can move in. Luckily, the game takes care of some things automatically, so mastering the battle interface isn't too difficult. And, other than the 'treasure hunt' mini-game that you can choose to take part in during your quest, that's about it. Saving up to 3 games is possible, thanks to the cart's internal battery.
Heroes II proves again that GBC can be as deep as you wanna be, and offers some great, portable strategy gaming. The genre isn't for everyone, and nobody could really claim this is a 'mass-market' item, but if hunting down Pokemon and repetitive platforming seems ho-hum, Heroes II has the potential to fire up some neurons and make you really think about your game. Some GBC gamers might feel like there's too much thinking for their tastes here, but nobody said conquering the kingdom would be easy... :)