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Freeware Garden: Hets

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…

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Konstantinos Dimopoulos

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