Almost Hero – NES Beat ’em Up Homebrew – First Impression, Tips & Review

FIRST IMPRESSION: (1h into Gameplay)

My buddy Lincoln and I were about to throw in the towel.  Yes, we had a good time playing, but progress felt like walking through mud.  We were figuring out the game, but our repeated deaths were even faster.  Rather than giving up and powering down, we clicked the reset button to switch from 2-player mode to 1-player, and spent the next ½ hour making some huge breakthroughs.


Almost Hero brings a solid mix of old-school 8-bit NES challenge and humor.  The character’s sprite shapes look nice, bust some faces and kept reminding us of River City Ransom or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT).  Once we figured out how to grind out enough coins for upgrades, it was a whole new game.  The sense of accomplishment and progression was nice.  Additionally, we appreciated having infinite lives and the ability to keep upgrades after each death.  The throwable items added a nice touch to gameplay, and we went nuts over the green turtle shell.


Targeting enemies is super tricky.  Early on in the game, this is especially frustrating as it’s basically trade of blow for blow.  It’s also frustrating that punches and kicks cannot be made while moving.  It made for that muddy gameplay experience mentioned earlier.

FINAL IMPRESSION: (1.5h into Gameplay)

It’s pretty amazing that in 2017, Mega Cat Studios is creating new, homebrew titles for the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

“Almost Hero” flies about as well as a brick.  Being that this is a Beat ‘em Up, a flying brick is a good thing.  Yes, it’s not a heat-seeking missile, but it’s a period appropriate piece of ammo for the NES lineup.  It flies straight and packs a punch!


In our 1-2 hours of gameplay, Lincoln and I made a bunch of discoveries through sheer trial and error.  I’d suggest you stop reading and just buy the game if you’re the kind of gamer who enjoys figuring all that sort of stuff out yourself.

    • Vendor Menu:
      • New Cola ($2): Small health fill
      • Strato Soda ($4): Fills health entirely?
      • Fifty Tints ($25): Adds two health bars.
      • All Pros ($35): Faster movement.
      • 1001 Punches ($35): Faster punches.
      • Foot Passion ($35): Faster kicks.
    • Always have a cola in your inventory.
    • The $4 cola is significantly better than the $2 cola.
    • Grind, grind and grind bonsai seeds. $35 is your target.
    • Backtracking is essential for farming and buying more cola. This also works forward.  If you beat a boss, you can now bypass mobs and run to that boss.
    • You lose half your cash (seeds) when you die. PS…you die a lot.
    • 2-Player:
      • You can only buy items for yourself.
      • Upgrading means one guy grabs all the coins.
    • Hit & run
    • Auto attack.
    • Jumping is always a jump kick.
    • Cola and other items will disappear.
    • Each level is a one-way street. One screens are cleared, you can run through them.  This is super handy for boss farming.

Have a tip that’s not on our list?  Let us know!  We’d love to hear from you in the video’s comments.


Thank again to Mega Cat Studios who provided us a free copy of this game in exchange for an unbiased review.