October 27, 2022

Godzilla Has Nothing on These Monsters! Terror of Hemasaurus (Steam) Review

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CAUTION: Do not play this game if you're scared of monsters, loud noises, or having your city destroyed.

Terror of Hemasaurus by indie developer Loren Lemcke offers a nostalgic yet fresh take on the old-school arcade classics like "Rampage" and "King of the Monsters". In this version, players have the opportunity to embody monstrous giants and wreak havoc on a retro-inspired cityscape as they smash buildings, fend off military attacks, and devour hapless citizens. The game explores themes of power and destruction and leaves a chaotic waste of pixels behind.

The bright cartoonish graphics provide a striking contrast to the dark undertones in its narrative, leading players to question their choices and motives. The story starts with, of all things, a global warming event that suddenly awakens giant monsters from centuries ago, and these behemoths only have one thing on their mind: destroy all human life on Earth.

Explosive Pixel Devastation

Aesthetically, Terror of Hemasaurus looks great. The use of pixels in graphic design has a unique ability to transport us back in time, evoking nostalgic memories of joystick-wielding days spent in front of the television. Yet, while the pixel may conjure thoughts of retro gaming, it also allows for the creation of vibrant and dynamic designs in that each tiny pixel serves as a building block for larger images, which when combined, create a kaleidoscope of color and motion.

From this standpoint, ToH lends itself well to bold, contrasting hues that pop out on the screen with dazzling vibrance. But its real power, however, lies in its potential for multifaceted compositions, as there is no limit to the level of detail and depth that can be achieved through pixel manipulation. For example, every destruction, every collapsed building, and every drop of pixel blood is done to near perfection. The graphics here may have roots in antiquity, but their modern applications are truly limitless.

Slap Helicopters and Eat Humans

Once you start laying Terror of Hemasaurus, the arcade action comes alive in a whole new way, and true to the original Rampage arcade game, this one also supports a four-player local co-op. In single-player mode, you control a monster that unleashes terror upon cities and their inhabitants, throwing punches at skyscrapers and even using butt slams and dropkicks to topple them to the ground.

The game is viewed and played like a side-scroller as you constantly move from left to right destroying and leveling everything in your path. You progress through multiple stages with each one presenting new challenges as you kick cars out of your way and cause destruction on an epic scale. Ultimately, the game offers more than just arcade action, in that it provokes thought on our own relationships with power and control.

I Am Terror Hear Me Roar

While some video games fall short in the audio department, ToH excels in creating a fully immersive soundscape. The growls and roars of the titular behemoths are enough to send shivers down your spine, while the satisfying crunch and explosion of buildings as they collapse adds to the exhilaration.

Even the background noises contribute to the game's atmosphere, immersing players in cities teeming with panicked civilians and scrambling military forces. The meticulous attention to detail in the sound design truly elevates and enhances the overall gaming experience and it's clear that a great deal of thought and effort went into perfecting these audio elements, resulting in a dynamic and atmospheric auditory experience.

Monster Smash

The controls are, to put it mildly, very instinctive. Each button press, joystick movement, and trigger pull feels fluid and intuitive, allowing players to dive right into the action without having to fumble with complicated controls. And yet, despite its simplicity, these controls manage to encompass a vast array of moves and abilities for each of the character's abilities.

Each frenzied battle becomes a carefully choreographed dance as players effortlessly execute devastating combos and strategic maneuvers. Truly, the controls in this game exemplify the perfect balance between simplicity and depth as they allow players to fully immerse themselves in the thrill of combat without becoming overwhelmed or distracted.

In many ways, the controls, graphics, and sound effects serve as an embodiment of the essence of gaming: to lose oneself completely in a virtual world where everything else fades away. Kudos to the developer for taking these key composites and making them work so effortlessly.

Getting a Beat Down

The game offers players a thrilling, high-stakes adventure as they battle to save the world from political factions waging war over resources in a climate change-ravaged environment. However, while the gameplay may be solid and the storyline timely, there are some minor issues worth mentioning. First, is that the pacing can feel repetitive at times, with players consistently facing off against the same enemy types in each level.

Second, certain elements of the story resolution can feel forced and contrived and though it addresses important themes such as environmental destruction, its treatment of these topics could have been less nuanced and less impactful. Overall, the game does present an entertaining gaming experience with a relevant premise but does have room for improvement.

Destructive But Lovable

As I completed the final level levels, a wave of exhilaration and nostalgia washed over me. And despite encountering some repetitive gameplay elements throughout my journey, the overall experience was pure arcade fun that I have not felt since the 16-bit days. Add to that the unique blend of strategy and intense action that kept me glued to the edge of my seat until the very end. While not without its flaws, Terror of Hemasaurus ultimately succeeds in what it set out to do: to deliver sheer fun and entertainment.


FAQ

Where can I purchase Terror of Hemasaurus?

You can purchase the game on Steam for $12.99

Who's the developer and what other game(s) has he/she done?

The developer is Loren Lemcke and other games under his credit include Super Blood Bowl Hockey and Over 9000 Zombies

I've heard that the game has some sort of political message, specifically one on climate change. Is that true?

There's a reference to climate change in the intro, but to be quite honest with you, our political beliefs flew out the window the second we started smashing down skyscrapers.


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