Quickie Review: Bloody Walls

Developer: L. Stotch

Genre: 2-D, shooter, survival horror

 

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When I first started playing, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this game felt familiar. The 4-bit graphics were oddly reminiscent of the old Game Boy (later, when I was researching the game, I found out that, indeed, the creator used the color pallet of the iconic system). The color scheme matches the theme and doesn’t feel out-of-place; for a post-apocalyptic world, the environment should be dark and bleak. Seeing red as a contrast was a nice touch, too, but really, it would be rather boring to look at without it. The movement of the characters (both the main character and the enemies, some kind zomboids) is smooth, and the reloading indicator for the weapons is a feature I often see missing in other free-to-play, pixel art shooter games.  [Bloody Walls] feels just like the pixellated shooters of older hand-held systems, but with the addition of mouse controls to compliment the keyboard controls. While this is something I appreciated, it was still a bit frustrating not being able to remap the keys. Movement is controlled with [A] and [D], and the inventory is opened with [I]. You open the pause menu with [Esc], and interact with the environment, aim and fire your weapons with the mouse. Every weapon handles differently, and how long you last and how far you go depends on your ability to plan and stay cool under pressure. I have yet to get all of the achievements for the base game, and I have yet to tackle the two free DLC that go along with it, [Hardcore] and [The Darkness]. The achievements are received upon completing fetch questions, which are straight-forward and don’t require much thought: clear the level of enemies, search where the NPC told you to look, then bring the object back. You can do these in any order, and the reward is randomized between the available weapons in the shop. Money is scarce; I’d imagine that if it were easier to find, the game would feel even shorter than it already was (I managed to get 7/9 of the achievements in 15 minutes of gameplay). In [Easy Mode], you have [35 minutes] to finish the game (the countdown clock is ever-present as you shoot down zomboids), while [Hard Mode] limits that to a piddly [5 minutes]; from what I can see, that’s the only difference between modes. All in all, it’s great that this is free because, even though it’s an excellent time-waster and short, there’s just nothing innovative about it. I enjoyed it, but not enough to spend money on it.

 

Pros:

  • Clean visuals
  • Straight-forward plot
  • Easy achievements
  • Free is always good

Cons:

  • Short
  • Keyboard mapping is weird. Understandable, but weird
  • Once I get all of the achievements, I don’t think I’ll bother trying out [Hardcore] or [The Darkness]; the game just didn’t interest me enough
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