HammerHelm: Great Thing Come in Small Packages

HammerHelm is a game where you are able to taste the potential!  It is wonderful already with lots of great things already in the game, so if you feel like it is a game that you would enjoy after reading this review, I would recommend that you go and check out the demo at the very least.  HammerHelm is a third person action game and city builder.  Oh, yes, a combination that works like a dream.  If you get bored of city building you can go and attack somethings.  If you need a bit of a rest you can go and organize and improve your city a bit.  I love it.

The third person aspects of the game are what create the story line and the incentive to create and maintain your dwarven village.  You can speak to the workers and they can give you quests which include, as an example, ghosts appearing in the storehouse so they are too scared to drop off any resources.  “What a wonderful little side quest,” I thought to myself as I too ran out of the storehouse terrified that the ghosts would deplete what was left of my health.  Running around and exploring the world is great, but there are currently a few issues with the combat.  It is very stale at the moment.  All the weapons appear to have the same attacks and there are not really combat styles at the moment and the whole combat aspects are a little clunky.  I am sure though, that this will be improved, the game is still in Alpha after all.  Also, if the enemies didn’t sink through the floor out of my range just as I was about to kill them, that would be great.

I adore city building games, and anything that includes a city building aspect normally gets approved in my books.  But I was very surprised at how well HammerHelm does it.  I was expecting both elements, third person, and city building, to be a little half-hearted; but as it happens the city building element is very good.  It took me a little while to work out how to do everything because I refused to read the controls, and, as normal, I was terrible at keeping an eye on the resources but it was great.  It keeps you wanting to expand your city by using two key elements.  Firstly, big cities that you build are cool; and secondly, the ability to access new equipment and items for when you go out and explore the world.

The visuals reminded me a lot of Yogventures, you know, that game that got funded and then the Yogscast decided that making a game was actually quite difficult and gave up on.  Well, it may look a little like that, but there is already more game in HammerHelm than there ever was in that.  What I’m trying to say is, it looks good.  Everything looks like it belongs already.  Except for the water, I saw; that was a little odd.  But I’m guessing that not all, if any, of the textures in the game, are final, so I am very excited to see what the finished game will look like.  As far as sound goes, and I find myself saying this a lot, I didn’t really notice it.  Which I still firmly believe is a good thing.  If you are playing a game because you love the music just buy the soundtrack, and if you notice it too much then it is either distracting from the game, or it is really annoying and distracting from the game.

HemmerHelm should definitely have a console release.  I can see it working perfectly on consoles given how well thought out the controls currently are.  The time I spent with this game will be remembered fondly and there is already a wealth of content locked away in the full game that I have not been able to play.  This adds more missions and a ton more buildings that I was not able to access in the Demo.  It seems that yet another game will have to be added to the ever-growing list of things I really need to play more of.  HammerHelm is currently in development and is available on itch.io.  You really should go and take a look for yourself, it is rather wonderful.

Alistair Davey
Alistair Davey
Graduated with an MA from Lincoln University in Play Writing and Script Development (2015). Currently working as a Technical Support Engineer and Local System Administrator. Now, the fun stuff. I have always enjoyed gaming, particularly something with a good story line or an RTS. My favorite games; Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance and The Stanley Parable.
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