H.E.R.O. was one of Activision's last releases, and as such it probably didn't get the attention it deserved. This is really sad because not only is H.E.R.O. an excellent game, but addicting as well. H.E.R.O. was written by John Van Ryzin, a talented young up and coming programmer who was also responsible for the sleeper hit Cosmic Commuter. It's a shame that John didn't start programming games sooner, who knows what little gems he could have pumped out before the crash hit.
You play the role of Roderick Hero (dontcha just love these names?) who must save stranded miners in an underground mine shaft (where else would a miner be?). Fortunately for you, you just happen to own one of the most advanced rescue devices ever invented, the Prop-Pack. The Prop-Pack is a large helicopter pack (watch your head!) which allows you to effortlessly fly through the mine, avoiding all sorts of nasty creatures. Speaking of nasty creatures, let's introduce them now shall we?
In addition to the various creatures, Rod should avoid fire walls, water, and being blasted by his own dynamite! There's nothing more annoying than killing yourself (that's why we have creatures!).
Thankfully Roderick isn't completely helpless, he comes armed! Your Prop-Pack comes equipped with a laser which you can use to melt creatures or blast through walls. However blasting through walls with your laser takes time, that's why Rod also carries dynamite! Dynamite is great for destroying walls and creatures, but watch out because dynamite is also great for wiping out poor Roderick as well.
As Roderick progresses through the mine, he'll encounter more and more obstacles. Eventually he'll run into moving walls (crunch!), underground lakes (glub), fiery walls (ouch! hot!), and lamps. Lamps aren't exactly deadly, but if Rod touches one he'll shut the lights off for that screen (sorry there's no on switch). Stumbling through the dark is dangerous since you can't see the walls, but thankfully the mine critters glow in the dark (maybe it's a Uranium mine?).
If our hero makes is to the miner before his power runs out the day will be saved and you'll move onto the next level, however if he runs out of power he'll be trapped in the mine forever. I suppose you could always go and eat that stranded miner to stay alive. Mmm. tastes like chicken!