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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
Highlights:

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.

About the Author

Hannah Colvin

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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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