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In this side-scrolling animation the BIG GIANTS are raiding the Viking village and all of the Viking heroes are rushing to meet these invaders, not to defend their village but to die honourably so they can go to Valhalla.

 

 

You play the mighty, heroic Bjorn Hammerparty. Well maybe not so mighty and definitely not so heroic, in fact you're a pacifist, and besides you don't have a weapon.

 

Thus you set about finding somewhere to hide out the storm. After a few escapades that will thrill side-scrolling game fans Bjorn accidentally plunges to his death, and also the death of the poor bear (happily listening on its headphones - good message sent here about the dangers of not being able to hear what is going on around you) that he lands on. 

 

You now discover that Bjorn is not only dead, but he is now a ghost, and worse than that his splattered body lies there with its limbs missing. First mission: collect the limbs and complete Bjorn's body. From then on you take over Bjorn's repaired, revived, resurrected, body, with benefits.

   

It doesn't take you long to find a companion and to discover you have a problem with certain low spaces through which you need to pass. This is when you discover pressure plates and the openings they operate. You generally need help, one person on one plate and someone else on the other, that type of challenge.

 

Thankfully you can detach your head from your body, and not only that you can also move your head separately thus allowing you to roll it into spaces neither you or your companion (Pesto) can manage. You quickly find out that your body can be separated into several pieces, you are more than just a removable head, and all limbs can be attached, detached, and used, in numerous combinations, to solve the myriad challenges an undead Viking faces in Helheim.

If you hadn't realised by now a sense of humour is a basic requirement. Helheim Hassle is filled with puns, some funny, some adorable, some darker than you might expect for a comic game, and some downright aaarggh!! "Killed a bear with his BEAR hands" and "Norse Code" being two that come to immediate mind.

 

Helheim is the place where Vikings who die go to if they miss out on Valhalla. 

You also learn things about your body. For example, did you know that an undead Viking villager (ie Bjorn) can jump higher without his head attached, and he can jump just as well if he is carrying it, his head, in one hand and using his other, Lara Croft style, to climb over cliff edges etc.

 

Helheim, if you haven't realised by now, is actually quite a good, clean, fun place to spend your afterlife. 

There are lots of things to do, puzzles, tasks, missions to complete, games to play, and all played out with an amazing sense of humour.

It's truly funny that you can use your disassociated limbs etc no matter how far away they are from your body and/or head though remember if you want to pick something up, carry it and use it you will probably require for your limbs to be in close proximity.

 

Admittedly I haven't completed this game yet, but I have spent a good few hours on it and can see that I have a lot more hours ahead of me, and I'm truly looking forward to them.

It's crazy, impossibly funny, brilliantly animated, has a soundtrack that doesn't irritate like so many other side-winder games music, and the action, such that it is, runs so fluidly and seamlessly; I love it.

 

 

 

 

 

Having some knowledge of Norse traditions and history is not necessary but it helps if you do know some of the characters from the mythology, mainly so you can laugh at the hilarious interpretations of Odin and others of the Norse Gods.

 

 

 

 

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015