iPhone Game Review: Prisoner 84
Reviewed by ninjackid
Fans of horror action games, Prisoner 84 by Hidden Games might be just the game for you. Though not exactly Resident Evil, Prisoner 84 offers equal level of creepiness and the zombie enemies don?t look pretty either. Combining shooter and adventure gameplay elements, Prisoner 84 takes you onto another journey into the fearful realm of the living dead.
In this 3rd person horror action/adventure title from Hidden Games, you play as Prisoner 84, a psychotic inmate who finds just the right moment to escape from heavily guarded Tryton, a prison just off the shore. Prisoner 84 has you walking through the 40 areas of the prison, searching for keys, keycards, solving puzzles and blasting the occasional zombie or flying dismembered head or spider to smithereens.
Most of the game revolves around walking around, collecting codes or keys, and walking back and forth from different areas unlocking doors and such, solving the occasional puzzle. One downside to the game is the fact that there is only one major enemy: the zombies. Although they might look different they all act the same way, once you shoot one once, it comes running at you until you kill it. Some might say that the zombies are too easy, and that there isn't much of a threat, because if you run out of ammo the next option could be just to run away from it, which takes away the threatening feeling of the zombies. There are also rare occurrences of flying heads attacking you when you step outside a building, and spiders hanging down from the ceiling, but these can all be easily dispatched. However, something interesting is when little insects cover the screen, and you have to shake your device vigorously to be rid of the little pests.
But the most outstanding aspect of this game is the creepy atmosphere it creates. You could be walking around a corner, never knowing just what will pop up and scare the living daylights out of you. Prisoner 84 will definitely keep you occupied for quite some time, while the main story is long enough, you can even search for hidden collectables, such as different suits or collectable heads. Once you finish the game in 3rd person shooter mode, you unlock the first person mode.
Controlling Prisoner 84 is quite like your average FPS on the iOS, with a dpad/virtual joystick to move around, swiping the screen to look around and a button to shoot and another button appears when you need to perform an action. Controls are easy to learn and works smoothly.
Graphics in Prisoner 84 are kept simple, but still manages to be scary. Another neat aspect of the game is that every time you shoot zombies, pieces of flesh get blown off, revealing the skeleton underneath. While this not only adds to the creepiness, it also shows that the developers took time to put in detail and the polish for this game really shows.
In horror movies or games, the sound is one of the key elements. And this is another spot where Prisoner 84 hits the nail right on the head. Random noises in the background, echoing footsteps that change when you step in a puddle of blood to sticky, gross footsteps enhance the overall spookiness of the game.
I must say, Prisoner 84 is quite unlike anything I've played on the iOS before. The gameplay is very intriguing combining shooter, adventure and puzzle solving. Though graphics are simple, the game manages to create the eerie feeling a horror game should have with its sound and well placed enemies and actions. For fans of horror games, this game is a must try.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4 - Graphics are kept simple, but are still very well done.
Sound: - 4.5 - Creepy noises and soundtrack definitely enhance the gameplay.
Controls: - 4.5 - FPS-like controls work extremely well, with a button that appears when you need to perform an action.
Gameplay: - 5 - Gameplay is great. Horror action/adventure with puzzle and exploration element make this a unique title.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Use ammo wisely, as ammo dispensers are a bit hard to come by.
Developer: Hidden Games
Release Date: Jul 30, 2010
Buy App: Prisoner 84
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