HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 in Review – A “Half-decent” adventure worth its weight in gold…

Sadly, the adventure game genre on the App Store is far from being heavily populated. In fact each and every release, be it even a sub-par one, is a welcome addition. Most of them are ports of PC titles with a few rare but superb exceptions – 1112 episode 01, 1112 episode 02 (TMA Review), 1112 episode 02 HD and Fallen EP-1 (TMA Review). And out of the blue a new underdog just popped onto the scene: HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1. In the best traditions of Sam & Max, developers Straandlooper send Detective Inspector Hector  – their last and only line of defence against crime – to stop the sniper terrorizing downtown.

HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 is so far back to the golden age of classic adventure games, that it’s almost impossible to believe it has been made in 2010. When an unknown marksman takes hostages in the centre of Clappers Wreake only one man… cop… being… can stop him. Because all other hostage negotiators are dead. Enter Hector – the half-decent Detective Inspector who has no choice but to try and meet the strange demands of the terrorist to defuse the situation.

As I already noted – Hector is a throwback to the golden era of 3rd person point’n’click adventure games. You’ve got a dozen and a half locations, lots of items and nonsensical puzzles. Throw in the dialogues and you’ve got yourself all the hallmarks of the genre. The puzzles are mostly well-thought out and all done with a fair bit of dirty humour. This is definitely NOT a game for kids (think – sex, drugs and rock’n’roll without the latter) The overall difficulty is not especially high, but some puzzles will definitely cause you to run around all available locations twice or thrice.

One of the most notable features of Hector are the graphics and design. Done by Straandlooper – the professional animation studio in Northern Ireland – they are some of the best I’ve seen on the platform. And the atmosphere, humour and dialogues are on par with the legendary Sam & Max classic. What can I say about a game which involves collapsing a sex shop with dildos? And, amazingly enough for an indie project, the developers have been able to do complete voiceovers as well!

The interface is touch-based and does take some getting used to (i.e. the swipe to move is not widely used in adventure games) but doesn’t get in the way of enjoying the game. I did have some response issues, but that’s probably due to the old iPhone 3G I’m using. For the poor sods, who like me are way behind on the hardware side, I would recommend to reboot the iDevice before playing for optimal gameplay.

HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 is a welcome addition to the adventure game genre. The excellent atmospheric graphics, crude but witty humour, excellently balanced and thought out puzzles, memorable characters and hilarious writing make it a definite must have for any iAdventurer. And the minor interface issues as well as the rather short gameplay length of about 3 hours don’t manage to make even the slightest dent in the overall experience. Despite the author’s claims of a “half-decent” adventure game, it is actually one of the best games I’ve ever played on the iOS. And I’m NOT talking just about adventure games.

With this I declare HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 officially touched!

Note: TMA’s walkthrough of the game can be found here.

App Summary
Title: HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 Developer: Straandlooper
Reviewed Ver: 1.1.1 Min OS Req: 3.1
Price: $3.99 App Size: 197 MB
  • Superb graphics design and writing
  • Funny and atmospheric
  • Repair a clock tower, find 20k for charity, shut down a sex shop – all in a day’s work
  • Some interface issues
  • Only takes about 3 hours to complete


Fancy adventure games on the iDevice do ya? We’ve got more that should keep you plenty busy:

A project manager in a major telecommunications supplier, an iPhone junkie and lately - a TMA editor. Love long walks on the beach and my wife, who is the most beautiful girl on the face of this planet. You can also follow me on twitter for all things iPhone and project management (and some personal stuff as well): http://twitter.com/ChiffaNe

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