HERO DEFENSE: HAUNTED ISLAND Developed by HAPPY TUESDAY
This is what is known by arcade games players as a TOWER DEFENSE game. It pits you, in numerous character formats, as courageously brave adventurers up against the mighty, infamous, most powerful, Count Necrosis (the world's most powerful and dangerous Vampire) and his horde of ghostly, ghastly minions.
It is a chaotic, all action game where you need to concentrate fully throughout each wave, after wave, after wave, of oncoming creatures. These guys do not attack you as such but are directed towards the villages and towns you are supposedly defending. They snake their way along the winding roads and trails, getting harder to defeat and more voluminous with each wave.
You position your character above them and rain fire and brimstone, well bullets and whatever else you can, down on them. You need to take out the leading adversaries and keep doing so. Unfortunately they will either dodge or soak up your firepower and continue onwards, meaning that you have to manouevre your character to a new and better position where the horde are more in the open. If too many of them reach the designated inhabited area then you have failed, and the game isn't slow in coming forward to let you know this.
On the PC, via the STEAM media, the game is controlled by your Mouse (well actually you control the Mouse and the Mouse controls the game, but that's just being pedantic).
The gameplay requires a cool head and fast reflexes, so that's where I went wrong. As soon as the first few creatures are out of my weapons range or sight I begin to panic and then I get flustered and forget how to move the hero. This is a young person's game and is not aimed at old fa**s
like me, and this is why I am not a fan of this style of game - my very own uselessness due to arthritic thumbs and fingers, I just cannot react fast enough.
The Hero characters are a super motley crew - a missmatch of all manner of shapes and sizes, weapons and abilities. I managed to play it for several hours, mainly getting nowhere fast, before sitting down to type this, and despite the changes of scenery and the very different creatures and monsters that arrive on the scene en masse it isn't a game I can truly say is one I will continue playing. However, it is one I would recommend to my children (aged 30+ to 40) and to my grandchildren (there are 13 of these so too many to document their ages) as they are who can happily sit in front of this game style for hours on end and will master it. They also have better speed and dexterity than I do which allows them to play, manouevre, defeat the hordes and take note of the highly detailed scenes and creatures/monsters.
Their take on this is that it is indeed a classy arcade game, one they would happily play in the seaside arcades for a £pound a go. They were particularly impressed with the Hero characters, a real animated party of characters which wouldn't be out of place being found and/or created in numerous tabletop role-playing games.
The game auto saves at preset points as you would expect so it isn't one that you can just hit pause and come back later. If you fail your assignment you get to do it again, and again if necessary (and if you are as hopeless as me then again and again too). Seriously this is a beautifully designed, created and animated all action arcade game. It may not be my favourite type of adventure but that doesn't mean I cannot appreciate the beauty of it. Personally, I would suggest that this is a game for the under 25s from about 14 years old plus. It isn't scary, gory, bloody or sexual in content, it is just a good romp amongst the undead, just like any regular Saturday night.