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18 Oct 2021

REVIEW: Happenlance on PC (Steam)

Review by
Happenlance is a pole-vaulting, jousting, climbing, fighting game. 

When you first start to play Happenlance, your first thought will be that this is just another climbing game, using your jousting lance to pole vault yourself and get as high as possible, and yes that is a major part of the game, but as you complete levels you will realise that there is much more to the game than just reaching as high as possible.

As well as climbing mountains, and buildings, you will also face traps that need to be avoided, seemingly impossible climbs that will need you to pick up or throw objects like boxes or balls, which you can then use as a base to fling yourself up high. You will also come across enemies trying to shoot arrows at you, a nice firm stab with your pole will take care of them. You can even defend yourself from the flying arrows by using your pole to knock them out of the air.

To say this game is tough might be an understatement, the controls are hard to get used to, I used a gamepad as I found that the easiest way, you control your character with the left stick, a small jump with one button, and your pole with the right stick. Alternatively, you can use keyboard controls and the mouse will control the pole. When I used the words pole vaulting, that really is how you fling yourself around. Luckily the physics aren't too realistic, and you can stick to certain surfaces, and pull yourself to safety.

You will get frustrated if you play this game, you will shout at the screen, and you will give up out of sheer annoyance at the difficulty of a level, but you will come back, and you will keep trying.

The graphics are fine for what they are, the backgrounds all look nice, the character is ok. The sounds however are terrible, if you have the volume up, your neighbour might thing you are watching something dodgy with the grunts and groans.

The Good
If challenging, climbing type games are your thing, then this will give you one hell of a challenge.

The Bad
If challenging, climbing type games are NOT your thing, then the difficulty of this game, might well put you off for good. 

Ridiculously hard, and with tricky controls, leaves me feeling frustrated and not challenged. The game does have its moments, when you finally get past that seemingly impossible obstacle, you do feel great accomplishment, but the problem is that around the corner is another seemingly impossible obstacle, and unfortunately watching others play the game on YouTube to help you figure it out, will become way too common, and even when you know what you should do, that doesn't really help you.

If you like a challenge, then give it a shot, but for me, it is just not something I could get to grips with.

I score this game a frustrating 6/10

There is a free to play demo you can download before you pay for the full game, check that out and decide for yourself.

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