Reviews

Haimrik Review – A Play on Words

Developer Below The Game has brought platforming enthusiasts around the world a gruesome hand drawn 2D adventure in Haimrik. The title uses a unique mechanic to conjure items and spells that are needed to traverse both sides of this fictitious plain.

As a long time gamer, one is used to blood and gore in various titles. The thing is, the titles give that game away before players have chance to pick up and try it. One was not expecting Haimrik to be so graphic in its bloodshed, its nearly Game of Thrones level readers. Players will firstly discover that Haimrik can travel into the very narrative he is scribing by using his own blood as ink, I will leave the best to the readers imagination!

Use your words dear…

During the ‘inside the narrative’ levels, Haimrik can find certain key words in the sentences he writes to conjure whatever he needs to move forward. Sentences form within the platforms Haimrik is walking on; so think of the whole experience as living sheet music.

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“One really tried to think of a good dad Joke involving key words, ended up with writers lock…”

For example, players will find locked doors and will need to find a word that relates to the situation in order to progress. In this example, ‘key’ is the word and the word will spawn a key once Haimrik stands over the word which can then be used to traverse the rest of the game. Key words however will be simply left for the players to discover with the exception of boss fights.

The fight of the wordsmith!

Boss fights are where this reviewer thinks the words mechanic should be in full effect. Boss attacks are highlighted in red, while player’s attacks and defences are highlighted in green. Whilst players have to navigate to said words, they also need to dodge the boss attacks. Sounds cool doesn’t it? Whilst it is a good idea its execution is more chaotic than well timed.

The other side of the medieval coin are the so called ‘real world’ levels which players will experience. Haimrik also needs to once again write in his own blood to switch out. Here we find our protagonist being the odd ball of the town. He has got a tough old life!

With that being said, the end result is a flurry of narratives coming out of one book. It feels disjointed and moves away from the players’ engagement, which is what Haimrik is craving. Imagine ones parents / carers trying to make up for missing your musical performance at school and them making it up to you by being super nice ALL the time.

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“If one had the same proportions as a Funko POP!, one would probably put these events down to some form of brain damage”

Etching slowly behind…

The style Haimrik possesses is a bold and creative one. Taking obvious cues from ink etchings on parchment paper, Haimrik keeps its abundance of medieval authenticity intact. With the omission of deep reds for bloodletting of course! A lot of time has obviously gone into the character and level aesthetics which is a credit to the title.

One is currently awaiting his ear specialist appointment at the local hospital from trying to dig out his own eardrums due to the repetitive and simply appealing nature of Haimrik’s soundtrack. This writer did think to just mute the TV and put on his Spotify playlist, but one needed more material to fill out this review!

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“Oh dear, one was only Viking by…”

Verdict:

Graphics and Presentation: 4

Gameplay: 2.5

Sound: 0.5

Overall Score:  2.3/5

Haimrik has a great idea in its words fighting mechanic however fails in its execution. The games love of gore is often unnecessary and doesn’t drive the muddled narrative in any way. And to top it all off, one now has no eardrums…

Formats: PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, and Steam
Price: £15.99 (PS Store)
Publisher: 1 C Publishing EU s.r.o.
Developer: Below the Game
Release Date: 19/06/2018
Age Rating: PEGI 16+

Review copy provided by publisher

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4 comments

  1. Judging by what you’re saying about Haimrik, it sounds like it falls in that “good idea, bad execution” category. The idea of integrating puzzles into the narrative is an admirable one, but it seems like it has trouble deciding on a tone, which seems to be a reoccurring problem with indie games.

    Like

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