Hero of Many begins on a terrifying note, as a small white dot witnesses his colleagues ambushed by a group of black colored enemies. Both creatures look like tadpoles, with a simple difference in color separating the factions. Initially alone and fearing for its life, the miniscule creature must find his way across a cavernous world to lead a group of warriors against these vanquishers. It's a great story of revenge, but to classify Hero of Many as a simple bloodletting adventure would be a total disservice.

There are some apps which attempt to give iOS enthusiasts a sublime, often awe inspiring experience. Hero of Many possesses such ambitions, as apart from the black silhouette design most recently seen in Limbo, it's almost in a class by itself. With the use of a finger, you guide your hero through a visually intriguing netherworld of danger, as he initially must hide from his enemies due to a lack of forces and strength. Although there is only one bad guy swimming to my left, my fighter is still hiding due to his inexperience. He still needs seasoning, so shadowing his adversaries is the best strategy.

Although finding white orbs will strengthen your fighter and have him cast a greater light, it's the foot soldiers around him which will do most of the dirty work. These loyal battlers can often be found stuck under a rock or avoiding their own skirmish. Once you collect these stragglers and build up your own constitution, you will slowly build a cohesive fighting unit. Once that happens, seek out a few bad guys and take them out.

There is no tutorial or even dialogue for Hero of Many, as its main intent is to visually entice gamers into a more cerebral and evocative journey. The moving image, if captured with the right amount of innovation and inspiration, can stand on its own merits sans any words or flashy cut scenes. Take a photo of any sequence from the adventure and you'll usually end up with a beautiful picture. As you drag your finger across the screen and move your armies in search of different portals and battles, make sure you soak in and gawk at all that darkened visual poetry.

Even though the main thrust of Hero of Many centers on vengeance and warfare, it also evokes the sentiment once espoused by poet John Donne, who penned that, "No man is an island." You may be the leader of a group of all too faithful minions, but every slight link is a part of the chain, and during your travels a few of your white friends may get lost in a crevice or fall behind in the pack. Make sure you leave no one behind, since every single member of your team counts, especially when an epic confrontation is afoot.

If you're looking for an action adventure that's a bit left of center, Hero of Many should deliver the goods. Armed with dynamite graphics and a compelling story, it's the perfect app to download for your iPad. It's wonderful to witness indie game developers put their heart and soul into apps that aim for transcendence. I don't know if Hero of Many will ever get to that exalted place, but it's headed in the right direction.


App Store Link: Hero of Many for iPad | By Jon Matous Jezek | Price: $3.99 | Version: 1.05 | 204 MB | Rating: 9+

8.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating