Review: Halver

Estimated read time 2 min read

Developer – Gologames

Publisher – Gologames

Platforms –  PC (Reviewed)

Review copy given by Developer

Upon first encountering Halver, I found myself drawn in by its trailer, evoking memories of the indie favorite “Thomas Was Alone.” As I explored further, I noticed parallels in aesthetics and gameplay mechanics, albeit with a more modest budget and a departure from the whimsical narrative humor of its predecessor.

In Halver, players assume the role of a rectangle armed with movement, jumping, block manipulation, and precision shooting abilities. The game unfolds as a blueprint-style, physics-based puzzle platformer accompanied by meditative music. The primary objective? Divide blocks into equal parts to navigate the maze-like levels toward the exit.

Puzzle variety in Halver is abundant, featuring mechanics ranging from gravity-defying challenges to daring leaps. Yet, amidst its richness, Halver can be somewhat perplexing in various aspects.

Throughout the game, players encounter “White Blobs/Orbs” which, while fun to collect, lack a clear purpose beyond offering additional challenge or exploration incentive.

Similarly, the introduction of the “dark light” mechanic lacks initial clarity, only becoming apparent several levels later when players discover its use in purchasing tips. However, this feature rarely appears thereafter, rendering them seemingly an afterthought in game design.

The meditative soundtrack complements Halver’s minimalist aesthetic, though its tracks tend to blend together without much differentiation. While this simplicity of the games design , focuses attention on the main character and puzzles, it also limits opportunities for creative problem-solving, detracting from the game’s potential enjoyment.

Halver’s minimalistic approach extends to gameplay hints, leaving players to decipher new mechanics and puzzles largely on their own. The absence of an undo or rewind feature amplifies frustration, forcing players to restart levels for even the slightest mistake.

Despite offering a level editor, Halver’s main game comprises a mere 48 short levels, which might leave some players feeling shortchanged. While it presents promising mechanics, the game’s flaws in English translation, unclear instructions, and superficial use of collectibles diminish its overall appeal, rendering it more of a semi-enjoyable diversion than a standout title in the genre.

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