Haimrik presents a clever twist to the 2D platformer, set in a medieval world of Estria where protagonist and scribe Haimrik must interact with words from the storybook narrative to survive in this cruel primitive world.
Haimrik’s story is told in two parts, one set in the real world where Hamrik is a lowly scribe, treated poorly by the residents of Estria and generally disliked. The second part of the story is told through the pages of a book and becomes the more prominent storytelling platform as Haimrik’s grip on reality is weakened.
In order to move between these two worlds Haimrik must use his own blood to activate the adventure between the pages of the book. This feature is never really explained and appears to only be implemented in the game to set it aside from other 2D platformers. On the same page as this Haimrik is overly gory, with deaths (both character and enemy alike) gruesome in nature. This paired with the cartoon styling of the game makes Haimrik curiously humorous.
The unique aspect of Haimrik as a game is the ability to interact with the words on the pages and use them to proceed in the game and overcome obstacles. Haimrik will be able to produce a variety of objects from the words on these books including swords, buckets and torches. Inside the books Haimrik will face wizards, ogres and armed soldiers each of whom will need a specific tactic to take them down.
Upon entering a new page of the book Haimrik can see the story before it unfolds, allowing players to understand which words they will need to use to overcome an upcoming situation. Key words only glow in boss fights, so that in the speed of a fight Haimrik can see the fastest way to overcome a relentless foe. This however does mean that there is little to be discovered by the player themselves as nothing is left for a player to solve.
One boss fight in particular will see Haimrik astride a large lion closely pursued by a wizard named Murdock upon a great ice bear. The text speeds along at the bottom of the screen with Murdock’s upcoming attacks highlighted in red, Haimrik’s defence and counter attacks appearing in green. As well as timing Haimrik’s interaction with specific words the player will have to dodge attacks and avoid environmental obstacles. Each of these boss fights are enjoyable in their own right but they lack the challenge that accompanies other indie game boss fights.
The story itself though is one which feels disjointed once the boss fights conclude. In fact Haimrik’s story seems to be all over the place with multiple narratives spawning from one check point. Although this does allow for multiple environments and interactions with the text to be explored the overall story is very fumbled and the quality of text itself is rather juvenile and basic. There also seems to be a number of grammatical errors which makes Haimrik feel as though it is an unfinished product and creates any structed story to be hard to follow.
Overall Haimrik feels as though it needs more work to draw players into the game. Whilst there are fun elements to this 2D platformer the multiple grammatical mistakes along with its £15.99 purchase price feels as though its purposeful turning potential gamers away.
With a bit more work this could be an enjoyable title, but Haimrik feels as though it’s a few pages short of a finished product.
** A code was kindly provided by the developers for review purposes**