Indie games are great. They help recapture the magic of gaming that many AAA titles slack on in recent times. With titles like Freedom Planet, Shovel Knight, Undertale, Super Meat Boy, VVVVVV, and tons more delivering quality gameplay and nostalgic overtones whilst providing their own unique universes and stories to tell, all for a usually reasonable price, there’s no limit to the benefits of buying and playing indie titles. However, not every independently made game is golden; in fact, when an indie game is bad, it’s really, really bad. Like, atrocious. Horrid. Abominable. Every negative word in the dictionary. Heartomics is this year’s posterboy for that. It only came out three months ago, but I am pretty sure this is the worst Steam game I’ve ever played, period.
Thought that trailer was bad? Well, take a look at the actual game!
These graphics look very eerily similar to one of the Game Boy Color Zelda games, as if they were ripped straight from one of them. That said, this game manages to make those graphics look like utter crap. The backgrounds are dreadfully uninspired, and the sprites are not even animated all that properly. The game also loves to spam enemies all over the place, making for only the most visually stimulated kind of graphical vomit.
Thankfully, the trailer’s audio is not at all in the game itself. However, what is in the game is a few unfitting music pieces that don’t seem to mesh well with the messy action onscreen.
Story? What story? Heartomics certainly doesn’t tell one! Heck, there isn’t even a title screen! When the game boots up, it throws you straight into a room with an info box that tells you something like “Hey, we’re too lazy to start you out with any weapons, but when you do find them, here are the controls: (Insert weapon controls here)”.
Oh, boy oh boy….Let’s start with the controls of this thing. The player can move around with the arrow keys, but it isn’t like diagonal movements exist in this game! Heck, if you press an arrow key different from the direction you’re moving in, you stop dead in your tracks! Are they actually kidding me?! Not only that, but it’s hard to even make out where to even find any weapons to begin with. I eventually came across an area with bombs, but HOLY CRAP their timing for exploding is absolutely horrid. And for no reason whatsoever, I eventually obtained a sword for reasons I don’t know. All I know is I started with it when I tried again one time after I died.
The game is seemingly super strict with survival seeing as how enemies are literally spammed all over what would otherwise be completely empty rooms. And when you die, you don’t just instantly go back to the autosaved checkpoint you came from; you have to press something on your keyboard to actually get to spawn there! And the game doesn’t tell you this!
You know what functions the game also doesn’t tell you? The debug functions that are left right in the game for all two people suckered into playing this to abuse. On my laptop, just pressing F5 grants me the ability to be invincible and run really fast, which is what I assume the developer used to “test” out the “game”, because actually playing this game normally is a death wish. Pressing Fn+F6 granted me loads of rewards that you’d normally obtain from killing certain enemies, including ones that don’t do anything and ones that hurt your health.
And should you even try to play through the game with cheats at hand, you’ll still find yourself with a couple dead ends. As in the game doesn’t seem like it can be beaten at all. After all, I did legitimately take the time to clear out a whole room of baddies and giant ones that I assume are meant to be bosses, but nothing happened.
This game costs money to play.