Heroes of the Lance is a side-scrolling action game. The game used actual Dungeons & Dragons statistics, with statistics for the characters exactly as they were in the rule books. Eight heroes from the Dragonlance novels series must be assembled for the quest, and only one is visible on the screen at a time; when one on-screen hero dies, the next in line appears.
While Heroes of the Lance is a faithful representation of the books it is based on, it was a departure from the usual role-playing video game style of most Dungeons & Dragons games, and many players lamented its difficult gameplay interface which consists of using one character at a time in horizontally-scrolling fighting. Each character has different types of attacks and spells making them more suited to fighting different enemies but they merely act as "lives" for the player as in more traditional fighting games, removing one of the main strategies of role-playing games from the game.
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