Hive Awakening PR2

Author Gero Kunter
Language  
Platform  
Status PR2
Website http://hive.strandwall.de/

The Hive we are, one and all under its infinite wisdom and protection, the Hive has kept our race alive for centuries, superceding all inferior lifeforms whom aren’t as fortunate as we are, and rely on individualities. It is an honor to be under the Hive control, for our existance gains a meaning.

Hive Awakening 1An anomaly, this is an anomaly, something outside the control flow. Something most improbable, but it has happened, and it has happened before. Individuality, Choice… Heresy, a Threat. The Hive defends itself, as it has done before. The rebel must be supressed.

The odds are against you anomaly… having been asked for nothing, you have stopped receiving the hive instructions, and have developed a will of your own. You are now in the killfile. You have been plonked. Your fate is almost surely destruction.

…but deep into the registrar files, deep in the past, lie the words that foretell the end of the hive. Once the anomaly gains control over its own self, there will be nothing on its way to the control core, and the end of the Hive… all previous instances have resulted on their complete anihilation; what will happen with this one?

Hive Awakening 2Another nice entry for 2007 7DRL Challenge, Hive Awakening plots you as the will behind a robot whom has just gained independence and individuality. Your task: to reach the Hive Control Core, thus ensuring your survival, and unwillingly bringing a new era to your race.

So, how do you do this?

You start with a simple unit, with 2 open sockets inside a circuitry, as well as a simple drill, a protium core and a regenerator unit. You have to survive, and find more advanced equipment on your way to the Hive Core, including powerful drills, missiles, laser beams, shells, as well as the socketware which will allow you to expand your capabilities.

The user interface of the game is clean and informative, and includes the Bot configurator interface, which is nicely structured and simple to handle. The use of forks, splitters, linkers and relays is made very easy, once you know what they are meant to do.

It would be very nice if items on inventory could be filtered by their type, so you’d have different sections for cores, drills, lasers, missiles, recovery items, shells, socketware, etc. Also, stacking items would make the inventory list more handable.

The game features animated explotions, which look cool, but certainly have to be disabled for the gameplay sake after a while.

The targetting system killed me more than once; in a game I suicided with two devastator missiles while trying to fire at a miner… details such as autotargetting to the nearest target, keeping a lock until it is dead or another one is locked and preventing self targetting, would make gameplay much better in my opinion.

Enemies are recorded in LOS where you last saw them; this is innovative and may be useful, but I suggest allowing the player to disable it, just in case he wants to have a cleaner map area.

Hive Awakening 3Also, it would be nice if there were a wider description about what socket relays, linkers and splitters are; help is a bit lacking there.

The level structure is pretty simple, and would be nicer if it looked more “futuristic”, somewhat simmetrical. The ‘i’nteraction with level features is also simplistic. Future versions may have force fields puzzles, which require the player to activate and deactivate several interfaces to gain access to prizes or new areas. Also, setting the level on red alter once the force field has been disabled would make it more exciting

The game is got some balance issues, for example, if you are first spawned alongside a worker, you have (50% chances) of being dead. Being spawned with two (or more) workers around is a sure death as well. However, missile attacks are overpowered as it takes only one turn to fire all your missile array, which is too devasting to be challenging.

I played a lot of games, changing my strategy while learning to fiddle with the engine. I went for a dual-core bot most of the times, so I could outrun threats, gather equipment and advance to deeper levels. This worked, but later on I found on the game rewards (ab)use of missile equipment and shells, and went on that way, which proved to be much easier. The challenge went away, which is always bad.

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