Day 538: The Hearts of Men

Posted: 2012/05/01 in Indie Games

Inspired by Gauntlet, “The Hearts of Men” brings to the table excellent visuals, more varied environs, an overarching narrative, two difficulty levels, and great personality.

Ranged attacks are the order of the day here, as enemies abound around every corner and across every room (or nearly enough), and speaking of attacks and enemies there are a variety of power-ups and enemies on hand. Unlike some more recent (and progressive games) that let you choose between male and female characters, or do not give you the choice but at least mix up the default characters between the two genders. This is the only thing I would have changed in the otherwise excellent, hand-drawn-looking graphics. Speaking of the graphics, the camera (at least when playing solo) is a little more zoomed in than some games of this type and, especially in the darker levels, this leads to a lot of surprises and tension.

The game costs 80 Microsoft Points, and supports up to 4 players in local co-op. It is an enjoyable (but quite challenging) solo game, so that local co-op is well worth investigating when friends are over.

Here’s what the developer (COLTRAN Studios.) has to say about the game:

“Grab your friends and prepare for the ultimate Hack n Slash throwback! Classic gameplay meets amazing graphics in this first release from super indie developer COLTRAN Studios. Button Mash your way through +10 levels of demonic mayhem and encounter epic boss battles sure to make your thumb bleed!”

  1. I would recommend this game as well, if not for the horrible forced scrolling levels. The first one, running from advancing fire, cost me 11 lives thanks to its trial and error maze. A lot of the dead ends don’t reveal themselves until it’s too late to turn back. In the end those levels were what made me quit.

    • Love them or hate them, the forced scrolling levels were at least a bold (if not entirely successful) attempt at doing something really different with a Gauntlet-esque game. I only reached the first one (having to do the review in one day means I rarely complete them before the review), but I found it more intriquing than frustrating. Thank you for mentioning it, I neglected to mention it in the review!

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