The original roguelike/4X strategy game where every turn is one year of your life. Explore, find a mate, build a home, and raise a child before you die to keep your legacy going. Praised as "the offspring of Sid Meier's Civilization, Jason Rohrer's Passage, and The Legend of Zelda." 2011 IndieCade Finalist.
User reviews:
Mixed (167 reviews) - 61% of the 167 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 10, 2015

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Recent updates View all (12)

August 23

Hero Generations: ReGen Available Now and Price Reduction!

Hero Generations: ReGen, our ultimate remake with 100s of new features, is now available! And even better, if you're an owner of the original, a 67% off coupon for ReGen (or 57% + our 10% launch discount) should now be in your inventory!

Coinciding with the launch of ReGen, the original game has also received a permanent major price reduction! Like we've updated the store page to say, new players should definitely start with ReGen. But if you still want to give the original a shot, it's now much easier to do so.

Thanks for all of your support and we hope you check it out! We think it's the best game we've ever made, and know you will think so too.

-Scott, Lead Designer, Heart Shaped Games

0 comments Read more

June 23

Hero Generations: ReGen 67% Offer Announcement!

As a thank you to our loyal fans, we’re excited to announce that ALL owners of Hero Generations on Steam will receive an additional 67% off coupon for our new game in the series, Hero Generations: ReGen! Just before it is launched in August, the 67% off coupon will be awarded to your Steam account if you are an active owner of HG1!

On the development front, we’ve been hard at work making ReGen awesome, and we recently took it to IndyPopCon in Indianapolis for our first public showing. We received an amazing response, and are now focused on adding all of the new game content and fine tuning things further based upon playtests. If you’re curious how it’s shaping up, we just posted 3 minutes of raw gameplay footage for you to check out here: Hero Generations: ReGen raw gameplay video

Thanks, and we look forward to seeing what you think of ReGen in a few months!

-Scott Brodie
Lead Designer
Heart Shaped Games

7 comments Read more


“4X strategy zoomed in to the individual and personal level. It’s my favourite Kickstarter pitch since Meriwether.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“I love finding innovative games trying out new things. Hero Generations goes far beyond just that - it's also an amazing game.”
Jon Shafer, Lead Designer - Conifer Games (Civilization V, At the Gates)

“There’s a nice balance at work between wanting to explore as much as possible without dying of old age out in the field...It’s a great approach, and it’s handled elegantly.”
Game Informer

Hero Generations: ReGen Now Available!

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is the original Hero Generations, released in 2015. We have an all-new remake available on Steam, which you can find by searching for Hero Generations: ReGen. ReGen is the ultimate experience for new players. The original Hero Generations remains for our existing community. If you would still like to check out the original, we've permanently reduced the retail price. Okay, you've been warned! :)

About This Game

UPDATE: Looking For The Next Generation Of This Game?

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is the original Hero Generations, released in 2015. We have an all-new ultimate remake available on Steam, which you can find by searching for Hero Generations: ReGen! ReGen is the best experience for new players, so we recommend starting there. The original Hero Generations remains for our existing community. If you would still like to check out the original, we've permanently reduced the retail price. Okay, you've been warned!

Every Step Is 1 Year Of Life

An innovative roguelike/4X strategy game about life, legacy & love from the creator of Highgrounds. Praised as "the offspring of Sid Meier's Civilization, Jason Rohrer's Passage, and The Legend of Zelda."

In Hero Generations, each step you take is an entire year of your hero's life. You explore a procedurally generated world in search of fame and a mate to have a child with before you die. After your life ends, you take control of your child in the world you left behind, in the hope of continuing your family legacy. Each turn becomes a meaningful life decision: you can focus on building and crafting the world around you, or adventuring to far off lands to make a bigger name for yourself.

Key Features

  • Limited Lifespan and Permadeath: Each turn your hero takes = 1 year of their life.
  • Generations, Mating, and Having Children: find a mate, start a family, have a child. Then take control of that child in that same world!
  • 6 Strategic Paths and Meaningful Choices: grow in Strength, Exploration, Love, Wealth, Fame, and Wisdom.
  • City Crafting System: build great towns and morph their cultures.
  • Expansive Overworld: explore a connected grid of 6 unique worlds, each with their own unique tileset (Volcano, Desert, Island, to name a few)
  • Meaning: a surprising and thought-provoking experience, that explores themes of death, legacy, family, love, and more.
  • Gorgeous hand drawn art style.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows XP or later
    • Processor: 2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
    • OS: Mac OS X v10.6 or later
    • Processor: Intel Core™ Duo or faster
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mixed (167 reviews)
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147 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
378 of 394 people (96%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 19, 2015
I MIGHT recomend this game with a caveat, please scroll to the bottom to see it, or better yet read the whole review!
(updated review posted below original)

--Original review posted Jun 19, 2015--

Just doesn't deliver.

I wanted to like this game so much, I really did. I liked the concept and I was hooked by the write up. But it just doesn't deliver a fun and engaging experience. The real and true fault to the game is that it doesn't do what the main hook of the game is delivered as. The legacy system is really no different than a game reset in the long run. In most roguelikes, you get a game over and maybe you've made some progress towards your next game. In this one you have a limited number of turns, usually around 40 or so, and then the game forces you into and end scenario. Often times you spend the last quarter of your life just trying to FIND a mate so that you can continue your legacy of mediocrity.

So, it's billed as a "roguelike/4X strategy game about life, legacy & love"

4X ? Maybe only in the very loosest of definitions.

Do you 'explore' yes, you explore a bland and ultimately uninteresting proceedurarly generated world. But once you explore the area, it doesn't change in future legacy characters. HOWEVER the fog of war DOES reset. So either hope you have a really good memory or ask yourself why the fog of war reset.

Do you 'expand' ? I would say no. You don't really have any classic base or sphere of influence that you expand. Oh you can upgrade other towns, but since they 'rot' over a generation or two, there's no sense of actual building or accomplishment.

Do you 'exploit' resources? Yes, ok, this is one of the 4 "x"es that you actually do. You kill monsters, loot mines, find artifacts, etc.

Do you exterminate? Kinda. You fight monsters and other 'heroes' like yourself, but there's no sense of accomplishment because they are constantly respawning every generation. So it's more like whack a mole, not exterminating any enemy.

Have you found the common thread in everything that I've written yet? It's that the legacy system is basically broken in my opinion. There's really no sense of accomplishment or forward progression. You spend 20-25% of your turns looking for a mate to try to continue your legacy instead of trying to do quests or explore, and then you start all over with a new hero. After playing for 90 minutes, I felt like I'd accomplished absolutely nothing upon my new hero.

I might give this game another go if they do a signifigant update to the legacy system, but otherwise it's getting banished to the 'never to be played again' list of steam games. On the off chance that Heart Shaped Games LLC reads this:

Get rid of building decay, have coins automatically carry over on each legacy, and maybe a percentage of the previous hero's strength and / or fame. Otherwise the whole legacy system in it's current incarnation is nothing more than a soft reset.

--updated review Oct 13, 2015--

Sometimes it's a shame that you can only 'reccomend' or 'not recomend' a game when you write a review. Because with the recent update, I really don't know if I feel like a "YES" or "NO" is exactly how I feel any longer.

Scott a dev from heartshapedgames was kind enough to take the time and write a feedback response to my original review. Let me say first of all any dev who takes the time to listen to feedback and reviews and then try to make their game better is already leaps and bounds ahead of others in the industry. That point alone scores major points in my book.

But lets get to the game and the changes. I will try not to rehash my original review too much and focus on the changes that I noticed in my play time.

-Building decay, this is a NOTICIBLE difference from when I played last time and a very much needed change. The buildings still decay, but picking up a hammer or the right trait, and you can really make your buildings last forever. Ignore them and they will rot away in a little while. That's fine. It's not like you have to rebuild every year.

-Items: I don't know if this is just my memory, but it seems like there was a slew of new items dropping from the last time I played it many months before. Training swords, hammers, rafts... these items were in the game but I only ever saw them in shops before. It's entirely possible that I just missed them somehow during the first few hours of my play, I don't know. But it does have a positive effect.

-I was really hoping the legacy system would be boosted just a little. Everything I said in my original review still holds true. Gold doesn't carry over, nor does strength. Fame does to an extent, in that your legacy once built up starts to build, but it's very small. It's a bit disheartening to have someone with an epic legacy and their child is a no body. Really the son of Grokthak isn't even at ALL famous?

- Fog of war. I really don't understand why this exists at all on each new playthrough. I could almost understand if there was a 'semi' fog of war, a see through fog of war on each generation that obscured the monsters, but let you see terrain previous generations had explored. But since the world doesn't change between generations, resetting the fog of war just makes the game feel tedious when I'm thinking "now which town had the strength forts, and which had the farms?"

- Age, I've actually changed my mind on the whole 'looking for a mate' at the end of your life. Since your strength goes down in old age, that's when you should be retiring from adventuring and settling down to find a mate. So my gripe about that has been removed.... unfortunately it's been replaced by something else. The 'age' that you become an adult and gain a strength boost is fine. But middle age, and old age, shouldn't be 'set in stone' they should be a portion of your maximum life. Far too often I found myself effectively being forced into 'late game' by age for a hero because he hit a magical wall of age and lost a chunk of strength. Now I understand that any game has to have a 'game over' situation, and in this it's not finding a mate before you die. But I feel like pushing that old age penalty back a bit would be a bit better. Let me have the choice for one last epic battle with the dragon thing before seeking out a mate if I want to risk the loss. By making me lose 10 or more strength, I know I'm going to have next to no shot.

ANYWAYS, wrapping up, I DIDN't change my review from a 'no' I would not recommend this game. However, it comes with a caveat.


Now, for the average player, based just on the description in the store page, NO, I would not recommend this game. However, that being said, I WOULD RECOMMEND this game, BUT with a caveat;
I would recommend this game as long as people know what they are getting into first.

Despite what it says on the store page, this game ISN'T a 4x strategy game.
This game ISN'T really a roguelike.
This game ISN'T really about life, legacy and love.
This game ISN'T really anything like Civilization or legend of zelda.

But what this game is, is a unique and interesting twist on tactical rpg-lite gaming. It's more akin to a board game than anything else in my opinion. But it can be very engaging and quite fun at times. Especially for the price, it's not a bad way to while away a few hours.

I feel like this is a pretty solid game, though it could be better, and hope that heartshapedgames continues to improve upon it.
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A developer has responded on Sep 28, 2015 @ 6:50am
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178 of 182 people (98%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 2
This game can not be recommended because the developer is working on a Unity engine remake which will be sold separately to this Flash version. It's due to release in August 2016. The remake will make this version completely obsolete. If you're interested in playing this game search for "Hero Generations Regen" on Steam and click "Follow" or "Add to wishlist" and wait until it comes out instead of wasting your money now. It will probably be a fairly decent game if it's just various improvements on this version, which isn't terrible to begin with.

I'm only posting this as a review to let people know because the developer doesn't want to put anything on this store page about it.
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133 of 139 people (96%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2015
It's a unique game, and while I give it a thumb down, I'd still recommend it to people that want something new that lasts 3-5 hours. Don't expect to get much more out of the game, the game brings some fresh elements, and the whole generations thing is pretty cool.
The game is a bit repetitive and short, and from what I can tell there is no real end to it. You can figure out exploitive strategies pretty easily then explore and kill everything. Once you have done that there is nothing left to do. No proper end for you either. Gives you a very empty feeling.

Game is a bit buggy, and could have better flow; it feels a bit slow.

Overall it's a bit hard to just say YES or NO to the game because is not bad though neither is it great. It's just an OK game. At the same time it's a unique experience, and if you want to play games that gives you new experiences go for it.
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172 of 217 people (79%) found this review helpful
18 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 11, 2015
Huge fan of roguelikes. But this one bored me to tears.

This game is very simple, which is good. It isn't challenging at all, which is a problem for me since challenging gameplay should be the hallmark of a good roguelike. The game also lacks depth. Hero Generations is a game about grinding that goes nowhere. Each generation sets up the future success of the next generation - but to what end? If I wanted pointless grinding I'd continue my life as a software developer. It's pretty fun to play, but nothing about my brief playthrough makes me want to come back and continue playing.

The combat is extremely tedious - actions that should take less than half a second (or be instant) like dice rolls end up taking longer.

I guess it comes down to this:

It's not a terrible game, but for the price I would have expected much more. Would not recommend you spend your money on this, there are much better roguelikes/lites available. EG: FTL, binding of isaac, dungeon of endless
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A developer has responded on Sep 28, 2015 @ 6:58am
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92 of 118 people (78%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 11, 2015
Repetitive and kinda boring

The game has some interesting concepts, the legacy feature for instance is really nice and should be part of RPG's like Fable like they were orginally promised :(

-The combat in this game is purely random which is something I do not care for. You have to within your heroes lifespan develop the kingdom around you by building structures within cities that wil boost your stats. This is all good but in a certain amount of years those buildings will collapse and the city will decline. So you find yourself constantly runing back and forth building, upgrading and reparing buildings.

-Your inventory is very limited (only 2 spots) which makes questing a hinderence since you can't carry a weapon and shield while picking up an ancient statue.......

-Again Random combat is always a negative, if you get your hero up to 40 str your hero has a 0-40 chance to inflict combat damage, meaning your char with 40 str can lose to a minon with only 1-2 strg. (ANNOYING)

-Lifespan is to short, by the time you get your hero strong enough to adventure and build up cities he/she is middleaged. Since each turn your hero takes counts as 1 year, 80 footseps comes sooner than you think. I am only glad that my 80 year old female hero can still reporduce.

If you want a quick mindless strategy game, pick this up on sale, if you want something more polished pass on this
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A developer has responded on Sep 28, 2015 @ 7:02am
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38 of 45 people (84%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 4, 2015
A lot better than it was at realease. Still not quite there yet. It's a fun little game, but there are a few things I would change.

Some things I would like to see in the game:
1. Options to set how long each character lives. 1=1 life, 2=1 life, 3=1 life. Kinda like Civ has quick, standard, and marathon. I don't feel attached to any of the heroes, because I know they're going to die off in a few minutes anyway. I'd rather spend an hour or two on a single character, then be sad to see them go, yet excited to play someone else. (Fire Emblem style character attachment.)

2. More inventory space. Two items is great. But... Why don't these adventurers carry backpacks, or have pockets? My family's trusty sword and shield have gotten me through many generations, but.... I can't actually pick anything up without leaving one behind, and coming back for it.

3. Fighting is pretty much pointless. You can get more money completely safely by just walking town to town, and more renown by picking up the totems, and delierying it. My suggested fix would be to apply change number 1. Make the standard life loss about 4 or 5 squares, then instead of a town offering gold every few years, have them offer a quest instead to kill some bad guys.

4. More trait slots! And a higher chance to pass them on! This is a single player game. Balance isn't as important as a multiplayer game. I think we're all playing this game to make a stupid atomic nuclear powered super baby.
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36 of 45 people (80%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 14, 2015
A decent premise, marred by technical flaws.

Major issues:
  • Some Game-breaking bugs. Loading screens get stuck/crash, and tiles can become impassable at random. Needs a lot more QA.

  • Resolutions are very broken. 1080p Max, windowed mode only; which often displays a 720p window. Causes the small text used in-game to appear blurry, and difficult to read.

  • Some graphical anomalies, such as backgrounds/textures vanishing, requiring a restart.

  • Info pane sometimes gets "cut off" at the bottom of the screen, letting you only read half of an instruction/info text.

Gameplay/logic criticisms:
  • Lives feel far too short, and stats are dictated almost entirely by dice rolls and random number generators. Subsequent generations of heroes lack any real feeling of progress as a result.

  • Battles are fully dictated by dice roll/RNG mechanics; a lost battle feels far too punishing, taking away from an already short lifespan.

  • Town/Structure building feels far too much like farmville/mobile tap-gaming. Re-visit tile for reward, re-visit tile to upgrade, re-visit tile to prevent building degredation.. with so few moves afforded per lifecycle, it feels like a forced grind to make your actual "play" session even shorter.

  • Unless I'm missing out on a deeper meaning in the game's message, I'm quite sure two males cannot produce an offspring as of yet - or at least, not in a time period where train stations are a new invention. Name/appearance generation doesn't appear to pay any attention to supposed gender.

While the idea is good, the execution unfortunately, is not. With some minor amounts of polish, and more QA, this title could have fared a whole lot better. If this were a beta/early access game, I'd feel it has promise.. but as a completed title, I would not recommend it.
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A developer has responded on Jun 17, 2015 @ 8:42pm
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30 of 35 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
70.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
Don't buy this. Don't buy any of their products. They effectively re-released this game instead of you know... updating the current one as a cash grab. Super shameful. I feel pretty gyped.
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42 of 58 people (72%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
Game is not what I expected. But perhaps my expectations were wrong, because I was unfamiliar with the roguelike genre. I had hoped that this game would be more like a sandbox in which you can play out your own stories. However, there is no way to create interesting stories in it at all.

You can marry to have children (in fact: you always only have one child and after that you die, and play on with the child). Besides the marriage itself, there is never any interaction between your character and the one you marry. There is never an interesting interaction between parent and child and friendship is non-existent.

In fact it's just some simple economics: building, harvesting, killing, gaining loot. Marrying is also entirely an economical decision. I think if that is what you play it for, it's fine.

In general I tend to dislike it, when games that pretend to be about adventure, are in fact only about economics and statistics. Wastes the theme for me.
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59 of 93 people (63%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 10, 2015
This First Impressions was Done with a key obtained from the developer.

Hero Generations is a solid game and is a bunch of fun, and the mechanics that are within are interesting. The idea of building up a generation to try to build towards fame and gold is cool, and there's a lot of complexity to it, but at times, there's too much complexity. However, if you want a game that will reward you from learning mechanics and the world within it, Hero Generations is up your alley, because that's what it does best. But if you get frustrated with RNG elements, or want a high skill ceiling that's not based on're probably not going to enjoy it.

-Lots of options. Lots and lots of options. From buildings to items to traits.
-Rewards planning and taking advantage of the RNG elements to your advantage.
-Changes in your characters over time are pretty cool and a level of immersion to it.
-Upgrades feel substanial. Like you need them.
-Mechanics work well with each and there's obvious thought put into them working with each other. Feels woven together.
-Difficult, to a good extent. Doesn't hand you everything.
-Lots of replayability.
- Art style is nice.

-Goes one step too far at times. Building degradation is a fine example of it. Simplicity might have been better in some cases.
-RNG elements can get frustrating, especially when you lose a couple of bad rolls in a row.
-Doesn't use screen space efficiently.
-Tooltips would have added a lot to the experience.
-Doesn't have a knockout punch: something that blows your mind. The thing is, it feels like it was just a tiny bit off from doing that.

For more first impressions and gameplay:
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Recently Posted
1.2 hrs
Posted: September 24
Technically, this game falls short of what was promised in the Kickstarter (No Linux support unless you pay for a remake of the game).

Having played it, it falls into the same pitfall that Massive Chalice does - if you're managing a lineage of characters, you end up doing quite a lot of repetition and you don't have any real connection to the characters. They're just numbers.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
15.5 hrs
Posted: August 28
TL;DR version - Don't buy this game, but instead the Regen version which is improved in almost every way. This version of the game should have been removed by the dev by now.

I really wanted to like this game. It is based on a very interesting concept and was quite enjoyable until I found out that Vampirism completely destroyed the game's balance. Even so, I would not downvote it outright. But then the Regen version was released and to my horror I discovered that not only there seems to be an astounding amount of controversy regarding the business practices of the dev, but that he actively suppressed users who merely tried to warn others not to buy the original, while the Regen version was announced and under development. The fact that this version of the game is still active is fishy, to say the least.
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2.6 hrs
Posted: August 20
Loved this games potential, and it seemed like a good investment. Just buy and let the updates roll in. Unfortuntatly he decides to make a "remake." One of the new fetures are: Better compatibility mode. I'm sorry, that's not worth putting into the bug ridden original game?

Even worse is his timing, releasing a "remake" within the same timeframe as Dungeon Defenders HD (Which switched enginge, like this, and added a ton of stuff to) and Kingdom: New Lands (Mechanically a different beast to "Kingdom"), both of which the original owners got for free.

If it seems interesting, go buy the new one. If this sounds like a dumb move by the developer, don't buy it.
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0.9 hrs
Posted: August 17
Hero Generations is being superseded by a remake, Hero Generations: ReGen. It will have more features, less bugs, and all around be a better game. If you're going to buy one of these games, buy ReGen. Don't buy this original one.
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1.7 hrs
Posted: August 17
DO NOT BUY!!!! They are literally making an "update" for this game and are selling this update as a new game! If you buy this game now you will get a 67% discount on buying an update that should have been part of the base game!
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GoatPimp [playin` on LiquidSky]
0.9 hrs
Posted: August 5
i dont know why i buy this kind of ♥♥♥♥ always, i have a weak mind. But ♥♥♥♥ this ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥, he re-releases the ♥♥♥♥in unfinished game and we wont get anything, ffs
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3.0 hrs
Posted: June 26
Is being remade in Unity as a new game so really not worth buying
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2.9 hrs
Posted: May 29
This game is really fun and I don't know why it gets so much hate. The generation gamplay is fun and new. The game is hard but fair and I had no problems at all while playing. I am glad I spent the money on this game and had fun creating silly names for my generations.
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