When you consider a typical, classic, medieval-type fantasy world, it sometimes seems that it must be so chockablock with heroes and adventurers, that you have to marvel there are any adventures left to be had. What do heroes do when the last dragon is slain, the last dark tyrant vanquished, the last evil artifact destroyed? They could all either weep, for there are no more worlds to conquer, like that wimp Alexander; or they could mass-market their adventuring skills for the entertainment of the teeming masses. Top Hero Arena, by Dave Campbell, seems to imagine such a world, where a decadent peace leads unmoored adventurers to compete to escape elaborate dungeons full of kooky monsters and devilish traps. And you get to build the dungeon! The dungeon master, to coin a phrase! Huzzah!
Each level involves a particular hero, a particular hex-grid dungeon map, and a particular selection of critters and contraptions, each with their own powers and attributes. It's your job to arrange these elements into a fearsome gauntlet, so that the hero cannot survive before making it to the exit. Simply click and drag monsters and traps into place. Dragging a tile to an occupied space will cause the two to switch places. Hovering over a tile will give a description of what it does, and you will perceive that some sets of tiles work best when the hero is forced to encounter them in a certain order. Damage to the hero affects his armor first, then health, and he may have a chance to replenish both. Crush the upstart before he gets a chance!
The first two levels that are unlocked are fairly simple and will give you the chance to test various strategies. Subsequent levels escalate in difficulty very quickly, so be prepared to yell at your screen by the last couple of levels. There are only eight levels, and the graphics are crude, hand-drawn specimens, but the puzzles provide a worthy challenge if you have a moment in your day. Plus you will have a chance to put those vainglorious heroes in their place. So fire up your brain, dungeon master. The crowds demand spectacle!