Posts Tagged ‘Harvester Games’

An interview with Remigiusz Michalski on the Slow down! concerning Downfall and how it came to be. Very interesting read. Michalski also mentions a new project: another horror game. Spotted at Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

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This is a quick (very quick mind you) translation  of the review in Finnish which can be found here.

Downfall is the first game of Harvester Games and made almost entirely by Remigiusz Michalski. He’s behind everything except for the music, he does sing during the ending credits though. Downfall is basicly a very traditional point-and-click adventure game. Text is the most important aspect of the game. The games graphics also look a lot like older adventure games. What separates Downfall from other adventure games is its horrorbased story, which is very bloody most of the time. People get murdered during the game in a multitude of ways.


The game begins when Joe Davis, who you direct during the game, and his wife Ivy drive into the yard of a hotel. Ivy starts hallucinating violent things and the couple go into the hotel for the night. In the morning Ivy has disappeared and soon you find out that the entire village where the hotel resides is cursed. There’s only bodies in the hotel’s restaurant and there’s also a dead axe-murderer on the loose… Soon you find out that Ivy has been kidnapped by a Sophie named woman, who is quite the monster as you will see. To save his wife Joe has to kill four memories of Sophie, which keep her alive. The memories appear as younger versions of Sophie.

Hotellin keittiö

The story in game is pretty much taken forward with text. In all of the handdrawn locations you get a description of the items in it by clicking on an item. The descriptions are Joe’s view of things and often very humoristic. The pig in the kitchens cold storage gets the comment: “I poked it, its dead.” An interesting detail in the game are the choices you are given from time to time. These are few and far between but have an effect on how the story ends and let the player have an effect on things. I would have liked to see these choices more often in the game.


The locations are stylistically drawn, even if part of them are rather dreary. A bigger color scale wouldn’t have hurt in some of the rooms, even if the grey in some rooms was for  stylistic effect. The game’s appearance is my biggest problem with it, this is of course understandable given that Michalski was doing the game as pretty much a one man project. Sprite based graphics are still rather ugly. Once you get used to it you don’t give too much attention to it. The text is what you should focus on.

Smoothie minun makuuni

The game mechanics are very traditional adventure game stuff. Your time is spent solving puzzles and talking to people. Most of the time the puzzles aren’t too hard. At some points I did get extremely stuck though and at one point had to contanct Michalski for help. What you had to do was extremely simple as I found out. Part of the puzzles have to do with killing the memories of Sophie. The funniest puzzle in the game is making a fattening smoothie. The recipe was weird to say the least and the rock-riff that played while you mixed it up made this scene one of the funniest in the movie.

The games sound-effects and music also deserve a mention. The music differs from very fitting to annoying in some of the locations, all of which have their own sound or music. In the hotel garden it rains, in the lobby there’s a clock ticking. Understandably there’s no voice acting in the game.

Hotellin aula

The dialog in the game works well and is even funny at times. Especially the scene where Joe is lying in a grave and has a conversation with two corpses was very funny. The humor of the game is very black and blood spills as well. If you can look past the graphics and a couple of bugs and concentrate on the text the story and characters suck you in. Soon you notice wondering with Joe what terrible deeds he is ready to do to save his wife.

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Thought I’d post some impressions on the game I’ll be reviewing for Uljas once I get it finished. The game is a traditional point-and-click game. Except that its set in a horror-type environment. In the beginning the main character you play with, Joe, and his wife Ivy stop for the night in a hotel. Joe’s wife starts rambling as soon as they step out of the car. The couple enter the hotel but Ivy disappears during the night. Later you find out that a character named Sophie is behind the kidnapping. Sophie is some sort of a monster in human form, or I think so, haven’t bumped into her yet. Your task is to kill 4 memories of Sophie that reside in different rooms of the hotel. Nough about the story.

Pikku Sophie

The atmosphere in the game works even though the graphics of the game a done with sprites, look at the pictures and you know what I mean. The graphics get the job done though. Like most adventure games what’s important is the text you’ll be reading. There’s descriptions about most items inside a room that give you a better understanding of the game world. The dialog is well written and the puzzles are quite crazy. More on that below. One thing that has the most important role beside the text are the music and sound effects. The music in the game is rather simple, with some music mixed with ambient sounds. In one room there’s a clock ticking for example. When a Scandinavian rock singer, Vincent Vielo, appears, this sort of cheesy rock/funk music starts playing. At one point when you’re blending a special smoothie from, well, won’t spoil that one, a guitar riff plays, which got me smiling.


Like every adventure game there’s puzzles in this one as well. One involved getting a key to a room from the stomach of a cat. It ended with cutting up the cat with a knife to get it. When you start killing Sophies memories you have to do it with increasingly mean and cold-blooded ways. As usual I’m stuck on most of the puzzles for quite some time before figuring what to do. So far in the game I’ve bumped into the weirdest of characters, had a dialogue with two corpses, removed the brain from the body of the town’s crazy axe-murderer and replaced it with a pig’s brain, which I got after sawing it’s head open. The game is creepy but not scary. It’s more of a horror comedy than actually scary. Anything with a german doctor called Doctor Z who also happens to be neo-nazi is just too cheesy to be taken seriously.


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