iPhone app game Fallen a creepy addition for survival horror fans

Dec 22, 2009
Games

The Fallen EP-1 iPhone app game ($1.99) marks one of the first iPhone entries into the survival horror genre. While long-form survival horror games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill have plenty of fans on home consoles, it remains to be seen how they’ll be received in shorter bursts on mobile devices. Fallen takes care of any […]

The Fallen EP-1 iPhone app game ($1.99) marks one of the first iPhone entries into the survival horror genre. While long-form survival horror games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill have plenty of fans on home consoles, it remains to be seen how they’ll be received in shorter bursts on mobile devices.

Fallen takes care of any potential length issue by offering up shorter, episodic chapters. While the iPhone app may only be $1.99 for the moment at the iTunes App Store, it only offers a few hours of play, so keep that in mind when making your purchase.

For a mobile survival horror title, Fallen: Episode 1 does a very good job of setting the right mood. The entire game is played with creepy noises occurring all over the background. And although the story (you’re trapped in a prison where something has gone horribly wrong) may be a bit murky, that’s nothing a few barking dogs covered in blood won’t fix.

The controls are fairly intuitive, thanks to on-screen buttons that let you move your character while another button is used for attacking. It doesn’t take long to get used to the formula of brief action followed by puzzles, followed by some more action.

Although I think the puzzles are a little on the strange side, they are at least challenging, especially for a first episode that is most likely intended to get gamers hooked.  The game also seems have a very fixed idea of how you can solve these puzzles. For example, you collect a set of keys and a lock pick-looking thing early on, and there’s a large fire extinguisher in the room you’re in, but none of the three will help you open a mysterious locker your character is certain is important.

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Visually, the game won’t wow anyone, but it is reminiscent in color and tone to a Resident Evil title and it fares best when you’re looking up close at specific items rather than viewing the room.

One more oddity worth mentioning – the game suffers from odd hiccups of English that read awkwardly during the story portions, and although I thought I read it wrong in the game, the iTunes App Store makes mention that “The prison is ruled by gangs of Afros, Hispanic and the Eagles” Which makes this feel a little racially insensitive. It could just be poor translating, but it was still baffling. 

If you’re dying for a survival horror title, Fallen might be worth checking out, but those who are only curious can probably pass until Episode 2 gets things moving a bit more.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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