First-person shooters have muscularly overdeveloped space marines out for revenge, role-playing games have the angsty, orphaned teen who grows up to save the world, and adventure games have the wisecracking, quirky-but-lovable loser who stumbles into victory at the last minute. To say comedy is a staple of the adventure genre would be an understatement. Fortunately Ben Chandler, creator of Annie Android: Automated Affection, decided to take a different tack on the genre.
Heed is an adventure game without jokes. There are no sidekicks or rubber chickens, just a game that plays it straight. The game starts when you see a mysterious fly enter the screen. You can walk over to it, only to have it fly away. You'll spend the rest of the game chasing down the truth like an errant fly.
Heed simplifies the adventure genre by only presenting the user with a mouse cursor. When you click, it then determines if you just look, or if other actions are available, which it presents you with via a menu. There's no inventory, and you can't move about at all between screens. Each screen is a little, self-contained scene, which keeps the puzzles simple yet engaging. The puzzles aren't the meatiest, however they are meaningful to the story and the characters.
The graphics are surreal and beautiful, though very low res. The music is an odd mix of 1900s ragtime slowed down and distorted – it provides an eerie sense of calm. The entire game feels contemplative. There's never any hurry or complex puzzles, but plenty of odd beauty and fuzzy concepts to chew on. It's a game for sipping, drawing in slowly, and enjoying.
Why You Should Check This Out: Heed is a contemplative adventure game that is meant to be enjoyed. It's short and easy, but a great experience if you sit back and take it all in. A unique story with several refreshing takes on adventure game mechanics, it's definitely something different.