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Devilishly Good Survival Horror

  • Azzie
  • 09/20/2019 08:42 PM
  • 209 views


Ill Horizon Shade takes an interesting approach to the horror genre. It's a less conventional horror that's more surreal than scary. It features a very tense gameplay system.

Graphics
The game’s world and creatures convey an unsettling tone. Featuring bizarre creatures with creepy motion which are best seen than described. The human characters are more conventional with anime inspiration and nice designs and poses.

Graphics could be seen as a little rough but are consistent and suitable enough to convey the mood. In some areas such as caves and building there’s a pulsing shadowy iris effect. It gives an eerie feeling but the edges of these maps can be obscured by this, making some exits rather hard to find.

7/10

Music
The music is very atmospheric. It’s full of dark otherworldly feeling tunes that complement both the gameplay and graphics. I believe these were composed by the developer and they did a good job to sell the alien feel of the game and the constant tension of the gameplay.

9/10

Story
Ill Horizon shade is a relatively short game and its story is also short but sweet. Initially all dialogue/story is delivered through monologue from the main character, Trig.

Trig is a young man who is infected by “The Disease”. As the story unfolds you learn that most of humanity has been killed off directly or indirectly as a result of The Disease. Trig seems uncertain and ran down by his hapless situation but still having some strength to soldier on.

The Disease's infection is more than just an illness, it saps the magical ability of those infected. As it progresses enhances physical capabilities, effects the mind then ultimately transforms the sufferer. It appears to affect more than just living creatures as the landscapes, plant life, even stones and caves have been transformed into a hellscape by it. It's quite a creative concept.

There are a few characters in the game. After the halfway point Trig meets some other survivors in a shelter. A man called Kaz and a woman called Vera. Then a little further a young child Tulip. The characters aren’t deep but there’s some nice contrast between the cynicism and self-interest of Kaz and Vera in contrast to Tulip’s positivity.

8/10

Gameplay
Gameplay feels like a hybrid of roguelike and survival horror. Trig has a HP and Attack stat. Finding weapons/armour boosts these stats and a healing items allow you to restore HP. The only safe areas are the “Shade", Where you can save and change equipment. Sometimes the Shade has a room that fully heals. When you meet Kaz he can cook healing items from materials dropped by foes.

The main gimmick is that when you or a foe touch, you’re locked into combat trading blows until there’s a victor. Enemies attack first so you’ll always take some damage. It’s an interesting concept, and makes the game always feel tense as you can’t afford to fight too much.

Avoiding enemies is important, the format of combat makes battles feel punishing. An aspect I didn’t like was other enemies still moved during combat, leading to some near unavoidable battles/deaths. The middle of the game (right after you meet Kaz) felt more frustrating than challenging as difficulty was increased by having more enemies and less space to manoeuvre…increasing the frequency those kinds of deaths. The gameplay system doesn't allow for much strategy within an encounter so I didn't think that was a good way to increase difficulty.

Some sections were more puzzle-like, for example one with poison gas blocking exits in a maze-like area. Another section had a static moss like enemy that blocks a path where you have to approach the foe with the right HP/Attack to survive. I liked these challenges the most and think more ideas like these would be a good way to expand on the concept and add variety to the gameplay.

6/10

Content/Replayability
The game took about 1 hour 45 minutes to beat not including deaths. There’s also appears to be multiple endings to attain. I went for the -Fighting Chance- ending, avoiding the final dungeon. I gave the final dungeon a shot but I’d exhausted too many healing items in the earlier areas to make it very far.

There’s some optional content in the form of secret rooms. These are found by using items, bomb boxes to blow open weak walls. I only found a few of these but they usually contained stronger weapons/armour than you’d find in the open.


To conclude I rate Ill Horizon Shade: 7/10

I enjoyed Ill Horizon Shade, it has an interesting atmosphere and has a unique take on the horror genre that’s well worth giving a try. The gameplay concept is unique with room for polish and refinement in the future.

Posts

Pages: 1
Thank you so much for the review! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Your feedback was very informative; for any future updates, I'll make exits easier to find, refine some of the admittedly rushed graphics, and not have too many huge groups of enemies.
author=DomedVortex
Thank you so much for the review! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Your feedback was very informative; for any future updates, I'll make exits easier to find, refine some of the admittedly rushed graphics, and not have too many huge groups of enemies.


No problem, keep up the good work.
Pages: 1