Thursday, March 21, 2013

Shattered Haven Gameplay Review

I'm playing Shattered Haven, an environmental puzzle game by Arcen Games.

The game features nearly one hundred short puzzles that are linked through a story that takes place on a hostile overworld map. The puzzles advance in real-time once you start moving, and progress is saved between missions. Shattered Haven can be played cooperatively on the same machine, and there is a level editor that lets you access any of the game’s content or create your own. The default controls utilize a gamepad or the keyboard, with the arrow keys for movement and the ASDF keys to use four items; limiting direct access to only four items at a time requires tedious switching during combat. The inventory list also lacks tool-tips for the tiny icons, so differentiating between various items can be difficult. There are many items to pick up and use in each puzzle design, mostly consisting of weapons and tools; you can also pick up money to spend at shops (on upgrades or health) and items to increase your score. The enemies consist of zombie-like Grays and various animals that exhibit pattern-like behavior, accentuating the puzzle elements of the game. While most of the solutions are intuitive within the rules of Shattered Haven, they can be inflexible as well. Still, fans of this style of puzzle gaming will find some intricate, clever designs for the genre.