At this year’s PAX South, I spoke with Carlos Rocha, the CEO and founder of Below the Game. Carlos founded the company in 2009 with a desire to make meaningful storytelling games.
With a passion for literature, he sought to combine his readings with games in an interactive way never seen before, and during an experimental project four years ago Haimrik was born.
Haimrik is a unique puzzle solving game where the story comes alive as the character progresses. The main character, who the game is named after, literally walks over words, interacting with some on his own accord to help his cause, while also automatically activating terror and despair along the way.
For example if you try to walk over the word fire it will burn you. However, prior to that if you activate the word rain, a soothing storm will put out the incoming fire. Haimrik is full of these action and adventure elements which make it feel vibrant.
This creates a stylized adventure game never seen before; a large interactive medieval story filled with magic, warriors, and dragons. Take Masamba, a lioness who is integral to the story. She helps the main character along by protecting him but on occasion will bite Haimrik, knowing that he’s immortal and will regrow the parts that she snacks on.
Haimrik contains this weird mix of funny gore. Carlos described it as “Game of Thrones meets Itchy and Scratchy from The Simpsons.” One can easily see the George R.R. Martin influence that’s conveyed in the surprises and the deaths.
The art style and music also convey this medieval world. The team based the design of the game on comics books like Charlie Brown and Snoopy, Calvin and Hobbes, and Tin Tin. Most of the world is conveyed in a sepia tone, however some elements such as fire, water, and blood are contrasted in color to make them jump off the page. The music adds a classical touch with the instrumental use of flutes, guitars, and drums.
In total, Haimrik is a game that will pleasantly surprise those looking for a fun and quirky interactive adventure.
It will be available May of this year, initially on PC through Steam, and following on PS4 and Xbox One. Find more on the game over at its official website.