Engine - AGS
Suitability Factors - N/A
Heed is the latest in what seems to be a never ending stream of releases this year from Ben304. He seems to be getting better with each one as well, although this latest effort does tread a fine line between being a game and a short interactive novel.
The story is a philosophical one, one of an unnamed traveller whom wishes to make more of his life. The player controls this traveller as he seeks to find his true purpose, a journey which starts with the observation of a strange fly, and learning of something called the source.
The game flows well although the story feels a little empty in my opinion. Nevertheless, each of the events that takes place during the game is intriguing enough to make you want to continue through to the game's conclusion.
The aspect of the game I was most impressed with was it's atmosphere. Upon entering Heed it is the visuals which straight away grab your attention. The backgrounds are stylish and the character sprites well drawn and animated. Darker colours are often used for the scenery whilst much brighter colours are used for the characters. This contrast works extremely well and the characters visual prominence over the background objects adds to the idea that the game is about the character's journey within, rather than about his physical location.
The atmosphere is further set by the fantastic choice of music. I can't really explain why it fits in so well, just that it does.
If there is an element of the game that opens it self to criticism however then the gameplay is it. The player performs an action by a simple click of the left mouse button. Whilst this is very intuitive, it doesn't allow for much in the way of problem solving. Plus, with only a limited number of hotspots in each location, it is almost always immediately obvious what needs to be done to progress.
That said, there are puzzles which seem well thought out and an attempt at something a little different from the norm. The game plays as though the developer made a big effort to make the puzzles fit seamlessly into the story which is certainly a positive.
I think my main memories of Heed will be of the stylish visuals and excellent almost dreamlike atmosphere the game possesses. I think some will be put off by the lack of actual 'game' elements on offer whilst others will be delighted by the brisk pace the game keeps up throughout. The game certainly has a more experimental feel to it than many others but it's enjoyable all the same and well deserving of your attention.
- Stylish visuals
- Great music
- Puzzles it does have fit nicely into the story
- Little interaction
If you like this, try;
- Shifter's Box (Another Ben304 game and proof that I'm not just randomly listing girls names!)
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