ferry;;sadhonker;;haimrik;;puzzle;;platform;;medieval;;below;;1c Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams


By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on June 14, 2018

Most of us will have heard the words: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" while growing up. And while this is true in most cases, a young scribe named Haimrik, who lives his, up till now, simple life in a troubled medieval kingdom, might very well be inclined to disagree... very strongly!

You see, the kingdom was at war a long, long, long time ago. The then still young king managed to overcome his enemies and united the kingdom into a united and peaceful realm, which was safeguarded by his most talented subjects, the Word Warriors. These world-class warriors of writing have learned how to use the power of the written word and used this power to defeat the king's enemies.

Now fast forward a couple of decades and we see how the kingdom, although still peaceful, is starting to crack at its foundations; the people are dissatisfied with the king's rule and won't take much to ignite the embers of the smoldering idea of revolution, which would result in a dangerous journey, filled with mystery, swordfights, dragons, trolls and evil warriors. Honestly, every little thing could set off this powderkeg that is the kingdom nowadays... enter Haimrik!

We meet up with this young man when he wakes up in his bedroom. The sun is up, everything is good and a new day dawns, although this day will turn out not quite as how Haimrik had imagined. Instead of quietly working on a new book, Haimrik is going to have the adventure of a lifetime! After saying goodbye to his mother and making his way to his personal library (which is conveniently situated under the town's pub), Haimrik discovers that someone has left a mysterious book there for him to find.

Being a professional scribe, Haimrik is naturally curious to see what the book holds. On the first page of the book, there's a line that says: "The chosen one's name was:". He decides to fill in his own name, but can't find any ink, so he comes up with the very sensible idea of using his own blood. Now, we've all seen enough movies to know that signing your name in blood isn't all it's cracked up to be, and in Haimrik's case, this still hold true! Haimrik is instantly pulled into the book and finds himself upon the battlements of a big castle.

So far, so weird... but wait, it get's stranger still! On the floor Haimrik walks on, words make up sentences that tell the story Haimrik is currently being a part of. And this, dear reader, is where you come in! By paying close attention to the words embedded in the floor, Haimrik can pull certain objects out of the ground, or change things in the environment he is currently in. To illustrate: there's a locked door Haimrik must open to proceed. When reading the story closely, you discover the word "key". By pressing the correct button when standing over this word, Haimrik reaches down and magically pulls a key out of the floor. Now that he has his key, he can open the door and continue his adventure.

This is, of course, the most basic of examples and playing Haimrik wouldn't be so much fun if the people at Colombia-based indie developer, Below The Game, hadn't thought of other ways to create even more intricate puzzles. When progressing through the story, the puzzles become much more intricate and much less straight-forward. You will need to pay close attention to what needs to be done and even combine words to get the required result. And while this in itself is quite challenging at times, it becomes even more strenuous when people are firing arrows at you or when you're being chased by bandits, trolls or other bloodthirsty folk.

What I especially like about playing Haimrik, is the fact that the game gives a whole new meaning to the phrase: "the power of words". Words can really be used as weapons in this awesome puzzle / platform adventure. And not only as weapons, I might add. Haimrik is a loveable and somewhat clumsy young scribe that, by accident, stumbles upon a mind-boggling power and is therefore drawn into a conflict that has been going on in secret for many, many years. It is a fun ride, filled with quite challenging puzzles, cool characters and a fun soundtrack.

Visually, the developers have chosen a somewhat different approach by opting to use, almost exclusively, sepia tones. The other color that is predominantly used, is red. And I'm willing to bet you can guess what it's used for... If you answered "blood", then you are 100% accurate! See, Haimrik can actually die during his travels, and when he does, all that's left of him are a pile of mangled remains in a pool of blood. The cartoon-style visual approach the developers have chosen for Haimrik, makes the entire experience even more funny and it somehow fits the theme perfectly. I really liked the sepia tones; they are more than up to the job, without ever getting boring. I personally believe that Haimrik would not look any better if they decided to go full colour. Quite on the contrary, actually, I think the sepia approach makes the game look absolutely awesome!

All in all, Haimrik is a really cool game. The numerous puzzles are quite challenging, without being anywhere near undoable. The characters each have their own personality and the conversations are often hilarious. The core story is intricately crafted and really well-written, giving the player the incentive to really want to know what happens next. Because the developers came up with multiple types of levels, the gameplay itself never gets old. The only downside to Haimrik that I could find is its length; I finished the game in only one afternoon. I mean, the story is finished and all problems are resolved in a more than satisfactory manner, but the game left me wanting more! More fun conversations, more cool puzzles, more everything... Just, please; people at Below The Game and 1C Company; if you're reading this, please give me more Haimrik, because it is definitely, truly, unequivocally and thoroughly awesome!

available on:

Below The Game & 1C Company
June 19, 2018