One Way Heroics is a role-playing game (RPG) with roguelike elements developed by Smoking WOLF and published by Active Gaming Media for the PC. As it name suggests, the crux of the game is that the left side of the screen rolls in an all-consuming darkness with each step the player takes, forcing them to travel to the right or perish, quite like games such as Kingsway. The main goal is to defeat the Demon Lord at the end of the player's travel. Each step equals one turn where the world moves, in accordance to the roguelike genre. As such, One Way Heroics is also a run-based game that can be played on a wide array of seeds that mixes the game's terrain and other world features.
Visuals in One Way Heroics are done in pixel art, evocative of the 16-bit era. There are only 4:3 resolution settings available. While similar to the popular RPG Maker engine, One Way Heroics is made on the custom Wolf RPG Editor tools.
Players start a run by choosing their name, class and perks. These latter two traits will affect the statistics of the character. Additionally, classes can have both male and female variants, as well as a "special" one. At the start, there are three classes available: Swordmaster, Knight and Hunter. Each choice will have a different amount of three main traits that are measured in-game. Life is a character's health. Stamina indicates how many special actions someone can take before becoming exhausted and taking damage as a result. Energy acts like a hunger meter that needs to be replenished before being able to continue an adventure.
Other stats are measured in six main categories:
There are also seven sub-categories:
- Combo Hit
- Critical Hit Rate
- Appraisal Rate
Perks can increase these six main stats by one to start off with or have players start with an additional feat, such as lock picking. Moreover, there are tool tips available here to read what each stat does.
Once chosen, players pick a seed from a list. These can either be curated worlds, random seeds or a code can be put in manually. Each run starts at the castle with a brief interlude from the king that presents the main quest; defeating the Demon Lord. A few helpful items can be picked up here as well. A non-playable character (NPC) at the exit additionally can point out a few points of interests on the mini-map.
Each action, whether it's walking, talking, using skills or engaging in combat, makes the world move one tick forward. If players fall too far to the left, such as getting stuck in terrain, they'll be consumed by the Darkness and the run ends. At the top of the screen, there's a clock that indicates how far the session has lasted and how much time remains before the Demon Lord arrives. At the first difficulty rating, the final boss will only appear at the end, but in subsequent difficulty settings they will also appear throughout the run.
Players accrue experience throughout their session that will automatically level up the adventurer. Experience can mostly be gained through combat and monsters have their level displayed above them by default. Enemies have an aggro range. Wild animals usually do not assault players, but can be attacked. Helpful items can appear throughout the map. Some items, such as equipment, need to be identified before showing their full stats.
Depending on their class and stats, players can use certain equipment and possess skills. There is both melee weapons, which mostly hit one square in front of the character's 8-way grid, as well as ranged attacks with bows, magic or thrown objects. Additional powers can be found or learned from special NPCs with the right requirements.
Some actions, such as special skills and walking through harder terrain, use stamina. While stamina regenerates slowly, it can also be regained with items. When out of stamina, players will take damage. Some skills can even stop the ever-increasing movement of the screen for a few turns, though they are limited in use.
Runs have to be sustained by keeping up Energy. Several consumable items can raise energy, though it can also be replenished in found villages, by purchasing meals from the chef. A village can additionally contain a save point. Each run starts off with a Potted Plant that ripens every 12 hours. This will be prompted when the plant is ripe.
Some areas on the map have fog of war by default, such as villages and dungeons. Fog can obscure NPCs, monsters and entrances to other areas. Most dungeons will have a small area containing a much harder enemy to defeat, usually locked behind a gate, to make it an optional challenge.
It's possible to recruit certain people as allies during a run.
If a player dies, the run ends. A fairy, named Iris, will offer some advice about ways players can improve their following runs. Iris can also be summoned during the game.
One Way Heroics has a list of content that can be unlocked after a run. These things include new classes and perks. Currency for these unlocks is measured in Hero Points. Each run is graded and can go up to SSS rank.
A Dimensional Vault can store items that players don't want to lose in certain runs, instead saving them for another go, sort of like ATM system in Radical Heights.
Recently used seeds are stored and can be accessed again.
One Way Heroics Plus
On August 17, 2015, developer Smoking WOLF released downloadable content (DLC) for One Way Heroics that issues several quality of life changes, such as auto-targeting and improved visuals. Three more classes were added, called the Force Knight, Ninja and Tourist.
Other additions noted feature 260 items, 30 new skills and 230 new NPCs.