Say Hello to 'Hiversaires,' A Dark, Head-Scratching Puzzle Game
More often than not, a game comes out for the iOS that leaves you confused, angry, and generally disillusioned with the entire game-making process. "Pay for engery!?" you might shout angrily at your phone, halfway to hurling it across the room. "Upgrade to run!?"
Hivarsaires is not that game.
It's very rare to find an engaging experience on mobile platforms these days, especially ones that pay attention to immersion and ambiance. Hivarsaires drops you into the middle of an almost-abstract environment and expects you to figure out what to do with it. I spent the first few minutes fumbling about in the world, confused and a little turned off. But when I started to realize that the confusion was the point of the game--that nobody was going to tell me what to get out of it--I started to become intrigued. My own curiosity propelled me through the bleak environment, and it eventually dawned on me that there was more to it than dumbly touching anything that looked mildly interesting. In fact, Hiversaires got so complex that, at one point, I eventually started taking notes on my goals. It's a game you can't exactly play while you're waiting for your burger; Hiversaires is something that you have to which you're expected to devote some serious time and brainpower.
Hiversaires employs some truly gripping design work and a spectacular soundtrack that is woefully uncommon in handheld games. The overall atmosphere is bleak, but not quite depressing. Game developer Devine Lu Linvega explains to the Verge that the lack of direction is supposed to be the primary motivator in Hiversaires. "I wanted the game to be alien. I wanted it to be clear from the start that the game doesn't take you by the hand, and that you are left alone in this world."
In a growing sea of copy-cat puzzle games, Hiversaires is a perfect example of how mobile platforms can truly shine.