Alien Hallway (PC)
An interesting game concept, but overall a disappointment.

This is the most recent game by Sigma-Team, released in December 2010. Sigma-Team up to this point has almost exclusively been doing their Alien Shooter games. This game is nothing like those. How the game works is you build units and send them to the other side of a simple, long hallway. Your bots gather resources allowing you to build more units, but you donít actually control any of them as they all walk to the right fighting everything along the way. Your goal is to destroy the alien device spawning swarms of aliens thus beating the level.

The graphics arenít all that great, but itís not like they really need to be. Part of the reason this gets such a low score is because the game gets extremely laggy when there are a bunch of units on the level. It could be my computer, but it lags even with everything turned off. Another problem is that the lowest resolution is 1024x768 and the higher the resolution the more graphics intensive a game is.

A big issue is the unoriginality in nearly all of the units, both human and alien. The human soldiers mostly look alike despite there being several different types. The aliens, going from baby to giant adult, are your standard alien types. There isnít much variety with the environments either. There are only 3 planets with just 1 ďhallwayĒ type per planet.

SOUND: 6/10
Thereís not much here either. The guns make gun sounds, and thatís about all youíll hear. There is music of course but itís nothing special, but not terrible either.

I have to give props to them for doing something that, as far as Iím aware, is fairly original and unique. It doesnít work out that well and itís very repetitive, but it was fun while it lasted. Although there are different enemy types, theyíre all still killed the same way. You only have to spam your units, especially the stronger ones, and eventually youíll win. Thereís very little, if any, strategy. Your units, when upgraded, can fire a grenade which is accomplished by clicking the icon above their head. You also get an airstrike you can use to weaken hordes of enemies. Useful until you decide to play extreme where it becomes not so useful.

There are 3 planets and 7 levels per planet. In each level you fight different enemies and in varying amounts, but nothing more. Once you beat the game, thatís it, nothing else. You can replay the missions to try to beat them as fast as possible and achieve 5 stars, but it doesnít accomplish anything except earn you more money. There is the extreme difficulty which does grant you more money upon beating levels.

What stops this game from being completely not worth your time is that it has a skill and upgrade shop. When you complete levels you get money to spend. You can also earn bonus money which I havenít figured out the mechanics of yet. You can upgrade the unit classes giving them more health and damage output, and upgrade your skills like how much extra money you earn at the end of a mission. This is useful in the beginning but once you get into the higher levels of upgrades the cost in money is so insanely high and the reward so small that itís not worth it. Cheating for money (after I beat the game of course) is about the only way to prepare yourself for the 3rd planet on insane, and even then good luck. The legit way is to grind for forever to earn money which got boring fast. The higher skills for units and such should have had some special bonuses to make earning them worthwhile and provide variance to the gameplay.

Beating the game on normal took me about 3-4 hours and those were fun hours. And then it got boring. I wanted my units to be higher level but the price is high and the payoff so small. However after you beat the game thereís no reason to continue playing. Thereís no survival mode or anything like that.

The game is fun for a few hours or so, and then you get bored. The game currently sells for $10 and I recommend you wait until a sale for it to go below 5. Thereís not enough substance here and the gameplay alone isnít good enough to keep replaying like it is for the Alien Shooter games. The main problem is the lack of direct player action. There are a lot of places they can improve the game in a sequel if they make one, and I kind of hope they do. They have a great concept, but the execution is poor. Luckily thereís a demo so if you arenít sure about the basic gameplay, check it out.

Posted 6-10-12
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