Freeware Garden: Hets

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on July 31st, 2014 at 11:00 am.

Freeware Garden searches the corners of the internet to highlight one free game every day.

I take it hets isn’t a reference to the Argentinean Querandí mountain tribe of the Pampas. It probably isn’t even aware of Bergman’s 1944 short movie either, though there’s definitely something sadistic to it. I mean, teasing a “very evil final boss” really isn’t such a nice thing to do, especially considering I’ll never get to meet the thing. So, yeah, sadism and thus also a unique kind of pleasure.

hets is unashamedly, brutally and in a way wisely hard. Or, at the very least, it does feel so to me.

It also is a very fun, very procedural run-and-gun platformer that’s on average 2.32 times faster than the typical genre offering and comes complete with 13 upgrades, 12 kinds of baddies and some rather atmospheric, abstract pixel art. Numbers or difficulty, of course, don’t make good games by themselves and hets, if you have to know, is really, really good. The controls are spot on, the pace relentless and, crucially, every death feels like it could have been avoided if only you were a bit more patient/careful/precise. If only you were a bit better at navigating its psychedelic platforms.

Oh, and thankfully each level is followed by a short interlude where you get to choose a new upgrade, either get mocked or encouraged for your choice, and get some much needed respite in order to prepare for the task ahead. Possibly to even chat with that strange, panicked man who asked you to destroy all those statues.

Seriously though, who would destroy a work of art with a rifle, let alone with a fully upgraded one that shoots multiple bouncing bullets? A pixelated man with a cause I suppose, but chances are I’ll only find out by reaching and beating that very evil final boss…

, , , , , , , .

19 Comments »

  1. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    Hets means “a state of agitation”, sort of. Often with a component of physical stress, as in you dart around a lot trying to accomplish something. Alternatively, it can be the action of agitating against something or someone, in a more rhethorical sense.

    The name seems apt.

  2. dittomat says:

    This feels crazy! Thank you so much for the article! Beautifuly written, I’ll have to check up those confusing references…

    Now get to that final boss, you won’t be disappointed! ;D

    Thanks again! If someone has any questions, write me either here or on twitter: @dittomat

    • Niko says:

      Really like the game! I guess the only thing it lacks is gamepad support (for some reason direction buttons work in the menu, though).

      • dittomat says:

        Haha, oh wow, I actually tried using gamepad during development. I couldn’t find a way to lay out the controls to make it possible to run and shoot upwards while also feeling good though, so I scrapped it entirely. Must’ve forgot to remove the menu controls though. Sorry about that! :P Am currently working on some minor additions to the game(optional screenshake, healthbars and some other small fixes), will see if I can revisit the gamepad controls while I’m at it! Thanks for playing the game!

        • Niko says:

          Seeing as you can run and gun, maybe a control scheme similar to Contra’s and the like might work? (Not that I’m opposed to playing it with a keyboard, though!)

    • Konstantinos Dimopoulos says:

      Please do ignore the references. They are completely and utterly silly.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        What, they’re not silly at all, especially not the Bergman reference. Bergman wasn’t known for being silly. Also, Mr Dimopoulos should know that Hets (1944) isn’t a short movie. As one can see here it’s 101 minutes long, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036914.

        • dittomat says:

          One could think that I should know of a wellknown movie by a Swedish writer.. :( Cool stuff! :D

        • Konstantinos Dimopoulos says:

          They are silly in the sense that they are totally out of context.

  3. Trif says:

    Damn, it’s incredible how brutal the complete lack of invincibility frames is. I like it though. Just that little detail makes your approach to enemies very different.

    • dittomat says:

      I know right? To be perfectly honest there are 5 frames of invincibility. Just enough for you not to notice it! Some situations are just silly though, where you get stuck and die instantly, but that’s kind of the charm of the game if you ask me!

  4. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    So, I gather this only available for Windows, right?

  5. Phasma Felis says:

    My first runthrough, I got a friendly Murder Fairy to keep me company on my journeys. Then I died. Without her the world is lonely and cold. :(

    Four runs later I wound up with three Murder Fairies and beat the game. At that point you barely need to come out from behind cover; your tiny winged brute squad delivers beatdowns to go. The boss is indeed a bitch, but I showed him what-for with 3 HP left (out of 9). 5th run, 24:07. Great game!

    (Game designers, take note: if your game gives me the option of owning a fully autonomous murder buddy, I will take that option regardless of what else is on offer. Please make sure it is awesome, like this, and not stupid, like some games I could mention. Thank you.)

    • dittomat says:

      Hahaha, sounds awesome! :D It’s nice to lean on the fairies, but I really like playing speedy instead, using more offensive upgrades, my runs often end in ~10 minutes!

      Thanks a millions of playing! :D