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Hector: Badge of Carnage Ep. 1 Review

Hector: Badge of Carnage Title ScreenThis point-and-click adventure game for iPhone/iPod Touch packs in plenty of crude, adult-themed humour, creates a memorable protagonist and features great production values. Hector: Badge of Carnage Ep. 1 is titled We Negotiate with Terrorists and the game puts you in the role of a Detective Inspector in the town of Clappers Wreake who is put in charge of meeting the three demands of a hostage-taking madman.

Hector is a cop with questionable moral and hygienic values who enjoys drinking and womanizing. After a fully-voiced cutscene that introduces the premise, the game begins with him waking up hungover  and trouserless in a run-down jail cell that he uses as an office and apparently as a residence. Read More...

Hector: Badge of Carnage Ep. 1 is heavily influenced by the LucasArts and Sierra adventure games of old, most notably Leisure Suit Larry and The Secret of Monkey Island. It plays like most point-and-click adventure games, tasking you with locating items and finding uses for them in order to solve puzzles and complete larger tasks. Items can often be combined with each other or objects in the environment.

Hector: Badge of Carnage Ep. 1 is Not For  KidsPuzzle solutions in Hector : Badge of Carnage Ep. 1 are mostly quite silly and humorous, though they are logical and shouldn’t pose much difficulty for adventure game veterans. There is no way to actually lose or fail the game, and like most in the genre, it can be solved with a little trial and error.

There is also a conversation system that allows Hector to dig up information and advance the story. This system is rather basic, but it does help to flesh out characters and it showcases the Detective Inspector’s often witty and always rude personality. For an adventure game, I found Hector: Badge of Carnage Ep. 1 rather open-ended and I was able to complete several tasks out of sequence, though doing this did break the flow of the story a bit.

Hector: Badge of Carnage Ep. 1 is not for children or those who are easily offended. The game is ripe with sexual content, alcohol and drug use, bloody violence and thoroughly offensive British slang. That said, the writing is consistent and when coupled with the delivery of veteran UK voice actor Richard Morss—who voices all 24 characters with over 2400 lines of dialogue—can, at times, be laugh out loud funny.

During gameplay all of the dialogue is presented on screen in print, however the development team failed to implement subtitles during animated cut scenes, several of which are integral to the plot. Gamers who are deaf or hard of hearing will not be able to fully enjoy this title, though the problem could be easily remedied through an update.

There are 18 locations in the game were each expertly crafted and drawn in great detail by the team at Straandlooper Animation. The game’s characters are all quite distinct in look and feature lively animation. There are almost 400 objects to interact with around Clappers Wreake, many of which can be picked up and used as inventory items.

The Park is One of Many Detailed LocationsControl is streamlined compared to other adventure games and I was easily able to play Hector: Badge of Carnage Ep. 1 with one finger. You can look at objects by tapping on them and a double tap of your device’s screen acts as an action command. An appropriate command is auto-selected, so there is no need to fumble with traditional “Move To” or “Pick Up” menu commands.

My issue with the control is that the game is running at a very low resolution compared to on a PC or console, which can make it difficult to successfully execute commands. Like many adventure games, Hector: Badge of Carnage Ep. 1 involves a certain amount of “pixel hunting”, which is not really conducive to a tiny display like that of the iPhone/iPod Touch.

Each location in the game features a distinct musical scene that does a great job of setting the tone for each area and the sound effects are all of high quality. Thanks to the soundtrack, foley and the quality voice acting, I would recommend playing Hector: Badge of Carnage Ep. 1 with headphones on to get the most out of the experience.

I was concerned that Hector: Badge of Carnage Ep. 1 would fall short because of its reliance on very British and very crude humour. What I found however, was a high quality point-and-click adventure that will take most players around three hours to finish and does a fantastic job of establishing a new Intellectual Property. I am genuinely interested in playing further episodes in the series and will buy them without hesitation.

Positives:

+ Well-Written Adventure with Lots of Character
+ Full Voice Acting
+ Great Art and Animation
+ Classic Gameplay is Streamlined


Negatives:

- No Subtitles During Cutscenes
- Control can be Difficult because of Screen Resolution


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Game Forward Score: 4/5

Brian J. Papineau > Game Forward

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Hector: Badge of Carnage Ep. 1: We Negotiate with Terrorists (iPhone/iPod Touch) Quick Facts:

Genre: Point-and-Click Adventure
Developer: Straandlooper Animation
Publisher: Straandlooper Animation
Release Date: June 17, 2010 (v1.1.2)
Price: $3.99
iTunes Rating: 17+