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Game Info:

Arrow Heads
Developed By: OddBird
Published By: OddBird
Released: September 21, 2017
Available On: PC
Genre: Action
ESRB Rating: N/A
Number of Players: 1 - 4 offline, 2 - 4 online
Price: $14.99

Thank you OddBird for sending us a copy of this game to review.

Arrow Heads is a pretty multiplayer game about shooting your friends with arrows and was made as a student project at a college. This was the best project submitted and got the honor to be further developed into a full game. This game is all about high paced, chaotic multiplayer mayhem. It is that aspect that hurts the game the most.

Arrow Heads is a game built around playing with friends in either couch or online play in the game’s main arena mode. In this mode you and some friends get to choose your loadout and battle each other on the game’s wide assortment of levels. The action in this game is pretty wacky and fun. Your goal is to kill all of the other players, but when a player dies that doesn’t mean the game is over. They can still flop their body over to the other players and hit them with their not so lifeless corpse. While playing this mode you can unlock bird seed which allows you to purchase many different kinds of cosmetic changes for your character and different types of “arrows” for your bow.

The problem with this gamemode is that this game’s playerbase is basically dead for online play. I’ve sat in a lobby by myself waiting for another person to join me so I could really experience this mode and nobody joined. I did a little research and found out that the most players this game has had playing it ai one time in the last month was six. That really limits your chance of being able to play this mode. Thankfully, the game offers a survival mode that can be played solo. Unfortunately, it appears that none of the stuff that can be unlocked in the multiplayer mode is available to be used and you don’t collect any bird seed. This mode however was pretty fun the few times I played it. In this mode you get put onto a randomly selected level and must fight against waves of bears that are coming to attack you. The variety of the enemies here is really good with a decent number of the enemies you’ll encounter being nuisances more than being a lethal threat. This was the mode that I spent the most time playing.

Arrow Heads
Highlights:

Strong Points: Nice, but repetitive soundtrack; visuals are pretty; interesting enemies.
Weak Points: Very simple gameplay; some funky controls; some very oddly designed levels; a practically dead multiplayer scene.
Moral Warnings: Game has you either trying to kill other players or bears; some slightly crude things said by the announcer.

The gameplay of this game is pretty simple. In it you shoot arrows from your bow, but all of the arrows get shot in an arc. You must hold down the shoot key to be able to charge up a shot, increasing its range and giving it a straighter trajectory. If you hold down the fire key for too long your aim will start to bounce around. At first I thought the game was having a problem with aiming but this feature seems to be intended. After it bounces for a bit, the arrow will just fire off and you’ll start charging a new one. When standing still, you also get the ability to deflect an incoming shot, but I personally found that there was too much going on to ever stop moving.

The arrow shooting mechanic is pretty solid until you add in the art style the game went for. The game bills itself as an isometric game and it uses 2D art in what feels more like a 3D world. This leads to a weird thing where the hitbox for the enemies in this game tends to be near their legs. I’ve had many times where I aimed for where the enemy was only for the arrow to fly by behind their heads. It also doesn’t help that where you aim isn’t exactly where the arrow goes. The arrow actually goes a bit above where the indicator is at. I found it to be really hard to manage to hit things in this game especially since most of the things I’ve fought were so mobile. Another issue I had was there are some special abilities in this game. You get them after you have collected enough of a resource that drops when you kill something. When you collect enough, it spins a wheel to decide which special ability you get. This freezes your player in place, but it just slows down time for everybody else. One time I got a special and while it was choosing what ability to give me, I got to watch an enemy line up a shot on my character. That enemy instantly killed me once it finally gave me my ability.

The art also has led me to not like some of the levels. The levels look very nice and pretty but look a little bit more like something that would be in a 2D game. One of the levels I played on had a ramp that you could go up, but that ramp was at a weird angle so it was really easy to walk off. Once you walked off, you were in a hole under the ramp. Your only way to get out was to go up close to the bottom of the screen, behind the UI, and then go over to the ramp where you had to jump up over the ramp to be able to walk back up. That whole level was a bit trippy too. Something just feels off about the depth and verticality of the levels.

Arrow Heads
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 56%
Gameplay - 9/20
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 2/5
Controls - 3/5

Morality Score - 87%
Violence - 6.5/10
Language - 8.5/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8.5/10

This game has a pretty cartoony art style and this is heavily represented in the character design. In the survival mode, the basic enemies are these little bears that jump at you to stun you. They are about half the height of your character and look like little cubes. They are pretty adorable. This game also has a pretty decent soundtrack. The music is very cartoony feeling and wasn’t bad to listen to. I also thought what little voice acting it had with the little announcer dude was nicely done.

The stability for this game is pretty poor. Many times when I launched the game it would just go to a black screen and lock up my computer. I’d have to restart my computer in order to fix it. It took me a while to find out what caused this. Apparently, if you try and launch this game with another program open on your computer it might cause this. That is pretty annoying. I also had one experience when I loaded the game where I couldn’t move my mouse onto the right side of the screen. 

The morality of this game was pretty good. The game is a little violent with you trying to kill your friends or bears, but it all done in a very cartoony style. Game did have a few crude things said by the announcer, but they didn’t say anything that bad. There were a couple gross jokes and the guy encouraging you to go kill the bears, but I didn’t ever hear a curse word. This game feels like it was intended to be enjoyed by children. Most of the jokes seem like something a little kid might like.

My final thoughts are that the game is okay. There are some problems I had with the art style and the way levels are designed and I am not happy about the stability problems, but if you really like this type of game it is, you’d probably like it. The main thing that would really prevent me from recommending it is the fact that the online multiplayer is basically dead. If you have friends you can play it with in person it would probably be okay. From a moral perspective, I’d say it would probably be okay to let a kid play it. I’d maybe give it a rating of E 10+ for some of the violence, but I don’t think it is anything that will offend anybody. It is just a pretty looking, okay, dead multiplayer game.

--Paul Barnard (Betuor)

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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