Free Pack-in Game of the Month: Heidelberg 1693

Looking around is a fun en­deav­or for me. Previous months I have high­light­ed a lit­tle col­or­ful and fun free game, and a point and click ad­ven­ture birthed from a game jam that punch­es well above its weight. But those are not the only things on of­fer there. You can also find a lot of devs work­ing on games that might be priced in the fu­ture but are of­fer­ing game­play demos and snap­shots of their WIP for you to play and com­ment on now. Such is the cur­rent ob­ject of my ad­mi­ra­tion, Heidelberg 1693.

Heidelberg 1693 comes from Andrade Games, a German-based stu­dio with a few ti­tles un­der their belt. I haven’t played their pre­vi­ous ti­tles like 1917 — The Alien Invasion DX and SturmFront — The Mutant War be­fore, but I cer­tain­ly want to look into them now. Their in­spi­ra­tions are clear, and if you like retro-inspired ac­tion games with fic­tion­al his­to­ry twists, then this seems like the stu­dio for you.

Their cur­rent WIP has you play­ing as a mus­ke­teer in the late 15th cen­tu­ry, tasked by Louis XIV to take down his fic­tion­al ri­val the “Moonking”. The Moonking is at­tempt­ing to take over the Sun King’s em­pire, and it’s up to your rapi­er and mus­ket to stop him.

Heidelberg 1693 ends up play­ing like a more me­thod­i­cal plat­former along the lines of the old­er Prince of Persia games, rather than be­ing an action-filled blast fest like their pre­vi­ous ti­tles ap­pear to be. This plays very well with the na­ture of how gun­play works with a mus­ket, and the devs have worked very specif­i­cal­ly on the mus­ket me­chan­ics to make them feel right.

There is an in­ter­est­ing bal­ance go­ing on in the game be­cause you have a lim­it­ed num­ber of bul­lets, and the slow na­ture of re­load­ing, but you also must use your gun to ul­ti­mate­ly kill your en­e­mies. Just swish­ing your rapi­er at them will make them fall, but they will come back un­til you blast them.

The art­work is nice look­ing in a grim and dirty way that is very good at be­ing at­mos­pher­ic and is es­pe­cial­ly strik­ing when one is search­ing through the sea of what I will po­lite­ly call peo­ple’s test projects up on the free sec­tion of The mu­sic is very fit­ting and has a haunt­ing feel to it, as should be in a tense zom­bie shooter.

For the price of free, I don’t think you can go wrong spend­ing a bit of time in Heidelberg 1693. If you don’t mind more pa­tient game play then give the de­mo’s three stages a stab and a shot!

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Josh has worked in IT for over 15 years. Graduated Broadcasting school in 2012 with a fo­cus on A/V pro­duc­tion. Amateur pho­tog­ra­ph­er with a pas­sion to make things work… by any means nec­es­sary. Editor-in-Chief and do-er of tech things at SuperNerdLand

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