• When it Hits the Fan (PC)

    Game Info:

    When it Hits the Fan
    Developed By: Heartfelt Games LLC
    Published By: Heartfelt Games LLC
    Released: September 19, 2017
    Available On: Windows
    Genre: Top Down Shooter, Action
    ESRB Rating: none
    Number of Players: Single-player, Multi-player
    Price: $9.99

    Thank you Heartfelt Games LLC for sending us this game to review!

    There are multiple types of gamers in the world. For just as assuredly as God fashioned 100% unique individuals, ways to approach video games are just as numerous. However, we can still recognize patterns among the personalities, and the two most general among gamers are the Casuals and the Hardcore. These mentalities require little explanation. Casuals prefer games as an occasional entertainment; ironclad dedication need not apply. Then come the Hardcore gamers. They aren’t solely paid professionals or extremists, but they at the very least consider gaming as their hobby. Just those two differences among buyers factors into how a game is generally received. Years ago, hardcore players were the primary buyers in this market. Games were played for the high score and the challenge, but that’s changed. Gaming today has reached a far wider acceptance, and to appease the masses, most games are now expected to accommodate casual play. Still, there are modern games like When it Hits the Fan that keep the harsher traditions alive.

    This game is really basic, so I can squeeze a lot of topics into one paragraph. For When it Hits the Fan’s story, trouble isn’t brewing in the world. It’s already here. Zombies are rising. Aliens are invading. Killer bots are zapping, and demons are spawning - and all on the same day. Fancy that. I guess they compared calendars. Well, someone’s gotta clean up this mess, so it might as well be our muscle pumped hero. This plot is a good excuse to shoot anything you want. Clearly, the object of When it Hits the Fan is to reach level’s end while gunning down everything in sight. There are four levels. Each level is comprised of three to four stages, and you’re expected to win all its stages in order to unlock the next level. The controls are easy enough. Your mouse lets you aim, and the classic ‘A’, ‘W’, ‘S’, and ‘D’ keys move your macho man around. Game controllers work too. You’ll start off with a basic pistol with its BB-gun levels of firepower. However, there is far superior artillery laying about. Be thankful for that, because you’re headed for a bullet storm of pain. Which is exactly why I’m thankful the control scheme, setup, and rules aren’t any harder than this.

    When it Hits the Fan

    Strong Points: Dishes Out a Good Challenge
    Weak Points: Terribly Frustrating; Abysmal Saving System
    Moral Warnings:64-bit Carnage; Mild Language; Occult References

    When it Hits the Fan’s gameplay comes in two flavors: ‘Panic attack’ and ‘Good gravy! Make it stop!’ There’s no kiddie pool in this swim meet. Jump in, and you’re getting the typhoon. The enemies hunting you swarm in groups. We’re talking oodles per gobs. Some have guns. Some don’t, but they all have their rehearsed attack patterns that you should learn and exploit. You must move constantly to avoid death. Then again, there are mines that some enemies plant too, so watch your step. Not to mention there are enemy spawn points in need of a good bashing. Now, this game obviously wants you to be a one man army, so what’s your advantage? Well, those guns I mentioned, the ones strewn everywhere aren’t for show. They come in many varieties, and are useful for certain situations. The big rifle, for example, has a short-distance, high-damage spread shot. That’s ideal for crowd control and fortified spawn points. However, the machine gun with its long range and rapid fire is king at killing threats from afar. Power ups are everywhere to assist you too, so be sure to pick those up. Oh yeah, I almost forgot there is a multiplayer mode where you aim to get the higher score, but considering I didn’t have a buddy, I couldn’t test it. I can’t imagine When it Hits the Fan acting much differently, though, other than you’d have a friendly comrade to plow the hordes with.

    As for the boss fights. Oh man, the boss fights. Imagine the biggest downpour outside your window, and someone asks you to run though it without getting wet. Yeah. The torrents of lasers these big boys spit at you is that insane. Now, I’m not against harsh challenge. Impossible odds made some of my fondest gaming memories. When it Hits the Fan gave me a generous amount of lives and continues too, so why am I clearly about to get critical? Well, its lack of saving options is a sadistic joke for somebody’s sick kicks. I’ve mentioned that to progress the levels all stages within a level must be finished, right? Well, there are no checkpoints! Even if you’re skilled, it’s unlikely you’ll survive long enough to pass the swarms and figure out the boss’s attack pattern. You’d die within the first few seconds of the battle, not learn anything about it, then have to fight your way back just to try to catch a fleeting glimpse of something actually helpful . . . before you lose again . . . and have to restart . . . again. For Pete’s sake! It’s hard enough just to get there, people!!! But then it gets worse. Apparently, according to When it Hits the Fan, there are no quitters. It’s an insanely cruel policy. Trying to win can suck precious hours of your time. You’d naturally want a break, but if you leave, you’d be sent back to stage one to start all over! All that nail-biting success you sweated for? Gone. That‘s no challenge. That’s a time stealing trap baited for ambitious players like myself. It caused such a disparaging predicament that I verbally prayed to God Himself to get me through the final fight just so I wouldn’t have to backtrack. Of course, He always hears me. In fact, He let me win the very next round. It was another grand testament of His power and compassion, but a game that got me despairing that much should not be.

    When it Hits the Fan
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 56%
    Gameplay - 8/20
    Graphics - 5/10
    Sound - 5/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 76%
    Violence - 4/10
    Language - 7/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    There’s nothing much else to talk about besides the sound and visuals. They’re okay. The digital sprites look nice. Their movements are fluid, and the game never froze. When it Hit’s the Fan’s four levels are set on a city street, a high-voltage lab, Hell, and an alien mothership. Their designs are good if a bit unimaginative with some environmental hazards sprinkled in. There’s also explodable stuff you can blow up just for fun, but it’s disappointing how ineffective the blasts are against your enemies. You’d think an enjoyable idea like that would be a no brainer to add in, but that’s not the case here. Oh well. Either, the developers missed an opportunity, or I’m just too incompetent to pull it off. As for sound effects, they were okay. The music was okay too. Overall, the presentation was just okay. At least When it Hits the Fan wasn’t buggy. The buggiest thing are the giant cockroaches scurrying around.

    When it Hits the Fan may be one word away from the crass pit, but it kept its language surprisingly tame. One or two uses of ‘bada**’ was it. However, this game gives itself a decent blood bath. Zombie bodies you ‘re’-kill linger, and their coagulating blood spatters, complete with a yucky sound effect. I don’t care how unrealistic it looks. It’s puke levels of disgusting. (And so my personal loathing for zombies continues.) You already heard me mention a Hell level. Occult pentagrams are littered everywhere there, and though the devils with pitchforks and bitty horns are poor representations of actual demons, a cartoony portrayal that makes light of a very real threat can be just as bad if not more so than a Biblically accurate one.

    When it Hits the Fan is pretty par for the course among its kind. It doesn’t take its genre to new heights or give it a new spin. Now, it doesn’t have to be revolutionary. It just needs to deliver the kind of fun its intended audience wants, and if you think Casuals are the intended audience, then your head is really stuck in the sand. I don’t see anyone beyond Hardcore gamers really liking this. I can already imagine the rest of my family groaning if they played one minute of this thing. If hard earned accomplishment is what sparks you, go for it, but don’t be surprised if the miserable saving system drives you up a wall. By the way, parents, I suggest searching elsewhere for your child’s game. Zombie bodies and Wiccan circles from Hell wouldn’t be counted as ‘family’ material. Still, there was one new memorable moment I walked away with from my experience. When it Hits the Fan brought me to my spiritual knees for a miracle win. It’s a humbling game. That’s for sure.

  • Yet Another Zombie Defense (PC)

    Game Info:

    Yet Another Zombie Defense
    Developed By: Awesome Games Studio
    Published By: Awesome Games Studio
    Released: March 28, 2014
    Available On: Windows, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
    Genre: Twin-stick shooter
    ESRB Rating: Rated M for Blood and Gore, and Violence
    Number of Players: Up to 4 players online
    Price: Free

    Thanks to Awesome Games Studio for the Steam key for review!

    Yet Another Zombie Defense is a twin-stick shooter arcade game that attempts to implement tower defense mechanics. This review will cover the free classic version of the game since that’s the version we got a code for.

    The tower defense mechanics could work on paper. There’s a decent variety of barricades, traps, and guns to fight against the endless hordes of zombies. Guns can be your basic pistols or assault rifles to futuristic weaponry like lasers and tesla coils. Barricade and trap variety is plenty but ultimately most of these ended up feeling useless. What I assume to be the selling point of the game, tower defense mechanics in a twin-stick shooter, falls flat for several reasons. Basic barricades don’t offer much help since they don’t damage enemies. Staying in one spot is a bad idea and will get you killed. The only defense feature that I found viable was an expensive turret that you could mount a gun on top of. Everything in the shop was expensive enough to prevent creating elaborate defensive structures. I ended up surviving for longer by ignoring the defensive upgrades and focusing on purchasing ammo and guns in between rounds.

    Yet Another Zombie Defense

    Strong Points: Flawless online multi-player
    Weak Points: Poor quality; boring gameplay
    Moral Warnings: Killing zombies; blood

    What’s left when you ignore the defense mechanics? A standard and boring arcade game. Running in large circles strafing around the zombies is the most viable yet incredibly boring strategy. It doesn’t help that the UI is sort of wonky and that nothing really has any ‘oomph’ to it. Zombies act largely unphased to bullets, and just sorta plop onto the ground when dying. The same annoying song plays on repeat and sounds are serviceable but forgettable. The artwork is all done in these dark boring colors that’re borderline ugly. In fact, the whole game is forgettable.

    The only redeeming factor I can think of is the online multi-player. It works perfectly with zero latency problems or bugs. There are 3 different modes to play, and I found the deathmatch mode where you fight your friends amidst the zombie horde to be more fun than the core defense mode. When I played there were exactly 3 people in-game including a friend that was with me, so community seems to either be nonexistent or possibly transfered over to the HD version. I can see the game being fun to goof off in on a late Friday night, but in the long term there are much better games to play.

    Yet Another Zombie Defense
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 34%
    Gameplay - 5/20
    Graphics - 4/10
    Sound - 4/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 3/5

    Morality Score - 84%
    Violence - 5/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    Zombies are constantly slaughtered, and with their deaths comes plenty of blood. The small square arena you play in becomes a bloody mess fairly quickly. The game is violent but doesn’t cross the line with language or other issues.

    Yet Another Zombie Defense funnily enough lives up to its name. It’s just another boring zombie game whose core mechanics end up being useless for success. I’m not sure why you would want an HD version either, but if you fall in love with this free version, it might be worth getting the upgrades.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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