Fallen EP-1 in Review – iPhone gaming can be scary as hell!

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Blood everywhere, blurred vision, mutilated corpses and only a steel bar in your hand. Where is everybody? Why do the dogs look like they’ve been turned inside out? What are these ugly pods hanging from the ceiling everywhere? What are there strange symbols drawn everywhere? Can escape this prison intact?

Roman Mendez was spending his last few months in jail, waiting for the day his debt to society would finally be repaid. Unfortunately prison is no resort and he was thrown in the isolation cells for having a “bad attitude”. As he wakes up one day, he senses that something isn’t right. Strange sounds come from the corridor, and peeking through the slit he finds that the door is unlocked and no one’s in sight. And here’s where you come in! Taking control of Roman it’s up to you to find out what the hell is going on.

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Fallen is a survival horror game which relies heavily on adventure elements. Although occasionally you have to despatch a dog or two and the ugly spitting whatever-they-are, most of the game is spent hunting for items and solving riddles.

A few words about the action stuff first. As I said earlier the only weapon available (at least in the first episode) is your trusty steel bar. The enemies in this episode are dogs, which run faster than you and some kind of icky spitting slugs, which though slow, shoot a nasty poisonous goo that freezes you in your tracks. Overall both of them can be overcome using the good old hit and run tactic. The only difficulty is facing the right way when hitting, but you’ll get a grip on it after a few tries. Overall the action sequences are not bad, but I did feel the devs could remove them altogether with little impact on the gameplay.

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The adventure element is done quite well. Puzzles are logical and there is no pixel-hunting involved. It’s quite easy to spot the required stuff in the close-ups and in the third-person view you’ll see a handy action button appear once you approach a hotspot, though the interface lacks an in-depth comment system. Sometimes it’s not clear if the door or cabinet is actually openable, or is it just a placeholder for future episodes. Fallen makes use of iPhone specific features – i.e. to break a window with a fire extinguisher you’ll have to select it and tilt your phone backwards and forward like your actually hitting the window with it.

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Fallen is 2.5D, meaning 3D characters on a 2D background. Speaking of backgrounds – they are simply beautiful and do an excellent job of conveying the atmosphere. The characters and monsters are not as good-looking unfortunately, but I’m not sure if they could’ve done better on the iPhone without suffering lag on older 2G and 3G models. The sound and music is excellent, though it would be nice to have voice-overs. This is definitely a game to play with headphones on or you’ll miss out on the atmosphere. And this is where Fallen really excels. I found shivers going up my spine even playing it in the subway with loads of people all around me.

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Fallen EP-1 is a rare experience that ends far too quickly leaving you hungry for more. I hope the devs will hurry up with the next episodes since the current one will take you about 1-2 hours to complete. It’s very easy to get completely immersed in the atmosphere of the game and shudder at the sudden appearance of the creatures. Even forgetting the excellent adventure and action aspects of the gameplay, this rare feat alone makes it worthy of attention. Fallen is definitely a must-have for fans of adventure games who have a penchant for horror!

With this I declare  Fallen EP-1 officially touched!

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App Summary
Title:Fallen EP-1Developer:YOUOCO.COM
Reviewed Ver:1.0Min OS Req:2.2.1
Price:$4.99 (On sale for 1.99)App Size:99.5 MB
  • Immersive and scary atmosphere
  • Excellent graphics and sound
  • Good balance between adventure and action
  • No pixel-hunting
  • Intriguing story
  • Very short (1-2 hours)
  • Lack of voiceovers

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