An Environmental Puzzle Game About Family, Grit, and Survival. Grays roam the land, largely in the absence of human interference. These aren't your typical Zed -- theirs is a very different sort of apocalypse. Animals spontaneously transform into twisted, violent beings. The earth decays, collapsing into a network of abysses.
User reviews: Mostly Negative (66 reviews) - 27% of the 66 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 18, 2013

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About This Game

An Environmental Puzzle Game About Family, Grit, and Survival.

Grays roam the land, largely in the absence of human interference. These aren't your typical Zed -- theirs is a very different sort of apocalypse. Animals spontaneously transform into twisted, violent beings. The earth decays, collapsing into a network of abysses. The wilderness thickens.

It has been nine years since That Day when it all started. Pockets of humanity still exist, but are ignorant of one another. Within these isolated havens people try to live as best they can -- for even in a world so broken and dark, daily life must go on.

Darrell and Mary Williams were able to build such a life inside a five-acre fenced yard out in the country. They were even secure enough in their isolated compound that they had a daughter five years after the zombie-like grays appeared.

Life carried on as normally as it could, until another refugee on the run is killed during a nearby attack. Her son is saved and taken in by the Williamses -- who do not realize that this kind action will destroy their home and threaten their entire family. They find themselves caught in the midst of a struggle between two eldritch horrors, and the path to survival is anything but clear.

Key Features

  • Solve environmental puzzles under pressure. Figure out how to use the tools, traps, and weapons in each level to clear all the Grays.
  • Nearly 100 hand-crafted levels with multiple difficulty levels ranging between casual and hardcore, developed end to end by two experienced adventure level designers.
  • Complete bonus objectives for higher scores and gold markers.
  • Follow the story of Darrell and Mary as they try to save their family from a new and unexpected threat through in-game storytelling and painted-style cutscenes.
  • Guide different members of the Williams family through branching story paths that result in one of several endings. Depending on your actions, the story may end very poorly, happily, or anywhere in between.
  • Music and sound by composer Pablo Vega provides a chilling atmosphere for players to experience.
  • Included level editor: The same editor used to make the main adventure will let you make your own levels, cutscenes, or even entire adventures.
  • Local 2-player co-op. Using two gamepads, two players on the keyboard, or any combination of the above.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS:Windows XP SP2 or later
    • Processor:1.6Ghz CPU
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Graphics card must support 1024x1024 textures (most 32MB and up graphics cards do), 1024x768 or greater (32 bit color recommended)
    • Hard Drive:500 MB HD space
    • OS:Mac OSX Intel CPU and "Leopard" 10.5.8 or later
    • Processor:1.6Ghz Intel CPU
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Graphics card must support 1024x1024 textures (most 32MB and up graphics cards do), 1024x768 or greater (32 bit color recommended)
    • Hard Drive:500 MB HD space
    • OS:Ubuntu 10.10 or later, although other unsupported distros may very well work
    • Processor:1.6Ghz Intel CPU
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Graphics card must support 1024x1024 textures (most 32MB and up graphics cards do), 1024x768 or greater (32 bit color recommended)
    • Hard Drive:500 MB HD space
Helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
Arcen Games is one of those studios that I'm really glad exists, even if I don't rush out to buy every one of their games. Each of their titles is a unique mashup of incongruous mechanics and off-kilter storylines that, if nothing else, makes for a truly singular experience. And so it is with Shattered Haven, a zombie puzzle RPG that takes you through a strange and unpredictable tale of loss by making you kill monsters in inexplicably contrived levels. The catch is that this time, the aesthetic limitations and questionable design don't really carry the game.

Shattered Haven is presented from a top-down tiled view, not unlike indie roguelikes such as Tales of Maj'Eyal. You always play as a pair of survivors in the post-apocalyptic landscape, either in co-op with another player or with the second character following you around aimlessly. The world is an open series of static screens wherein you will find portals that transport you to puzzle screens. In these, you must kill all the Grays (exotic zombies weak to iron) using whatever you find lying around, from thumbtacks to bear traps. There are quite a few interesting item interactions, but most of these are ignored in favor of aggravatingly gimmicky levels like The One That's All Pits and The One That's A Hedge Maze.

There's a fair bit going on in the overworld, too, with additional foes to deal with, NPCs to speak to, and puzzles to solve. The story is some hackneyed garbage about losing your home and super zombies, and definitely wasn't enough to keep me playing. I went into this game pretty positive, being a fan of clever puzzles and off-beat games, but this doesn't really satisfy the urge for either. If the puzzles don't turn you off, the poor writing or eye-straining graphics will.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 6
The control scheme, lack of clarity ingame information let it down badly. The game's story does not stretch the limits of imagination as well.
This might be a game that takes a while to hit its stride, but what I played in 20minutes really didn't inspire me to keep going... :(
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72 of 90 people (80%) found this review helpful
16.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2013
A Paladin's Steam Review: Shattered Haven. Conflicted Feelings of Survival.
  • Genre: 2D Top Down Survival, RPG and Puzzle Solving.
  • Developed and Published by: Arcen Games.
  • Platform: Windows, Mac and Linux.
  • Copy supplied via press key from Arcen Games
The Shattered Haven experience overall has a feeling of confliction. Like like the dev(s) were uncertain of what they wanted to make until the last figurative minute. There are underpinnings of a really great game here but its execution feels schizophrenic at times. I have to wonder if there were multiple developers involved that weren't on the same page. The overall mechanics aren't bad on their own but when combined together, leaves a rushed or incomplete feeling. It doesn't mesh together as well as it should. The difficulty can spike between easy and insane in an instant which creates an aggravating experience.

Overall Gameplay
The graphics are ok for a 2D game, the music is pretty good but can be jarring at times when it switches style all of the sudden. Some tracks were apparently not done by Pablo, their regular soundtrack composer. Said tracks sound generic and completely out of place. Additionally, the control scheme isn't the best either. It doesn't feel intuitive though I find it difficult to describe why that is. I think if I had to point the blame at anything, it would be the weird inventory management system and wonky combat. Here's the problem with the combat: you have to get close to the monsters in order to kill/trap them. But those same monsters hurt you and knock you back if you get too close to them. Which can result in you getting knocked into a pitfall, other enemies or any other number of obstacles on the map. Which then probably results in death. It's incredibly aggravating to deal with during the game leading to the spikes in difficulty.

PC Settings and Options
All of the PC settings you expect for a 2D game are here and then some. Arcen is always fantastic at making sure that their games run extremely well. Additionally, this game comes with all of the settings needed. Separate volume sliders, custom controls, V-Sync, resolution options (though it should be noted that the art scales weirdly so you may experience black borders at certain resolutions) and the ability to change the Game Save Directory if you wish. It also has a level editor & the ability to mod the texture pack.

Final Thoughts
It's such an odd, clearly experimental game that I'm not sure which way I should go on this recommendation. It's's's good but it's bad....gahhh, I just don't know. I definitely think adding more months of polish with the ideas presented here would have gone a long way to making this game better. I'm only going to recommend it if you're looking for an experimental 2D RPGish puzzle survival game. But be aware that this game has a quirkiness to it that will cause frustration if you let it.

Read this review and more on A Paladin Without A Crusade
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46 of 59 people (78%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2014
So, a freebie from PC Gamer Mag. Yay!
Described within as "A zombie game for those who dislike Zombie games". I'm not the greatest fan of Survival horror, as most Zombie games tend to be, so I thought I'd give ths a shot.

It's... poor, to say the least. There is potentially a phenomenal story in there but the control scheme, lack of ingame information (or perhaps lack of clarity) and pre-8bit graphics let it down badly - to the point that, after a mere 45 minutes, I find myself not caring about the plot and just quitting without saving.

It's not difficult to start with but where the items you pick up change slots when you enter a new area (and re-aquire them, in the case of portals) means that your control keys change frequently and this adds frustration to an already underwhelming experience.

The concept behind the Greys is intriging however since they can only be hurt by iron. This means the things that you would typically find to use against a typical zombie horde don't actually do anything (like the steel axe). This unfortunately has the effect of starving the player of actual weapons, increasing the likelyhood of being touched (hurt) by the greys - a factor common in (and the primary reason I dislike) other Zombie games.

Other items that you would expect to use in a sensible manner are ill-concieved at best. The aformentioned Steel Axe for example. Good for smashing windows, bookshelves, tables and 'thin' trees.and... That's it. Wooden doors are immortal - as are other trees (despite being virtually the same thickness due to the low quality graphics). This lack of versatility grates somewhat, since you only get 4 inventory slots and they fill up faster than one expects.

I am glad PC gamer gave me a chance to test this. I wouldn't have even given it a second glance before and perhaps I would have missed out on something great. This is not great - it's barely even good. There are worse games out there, for sure but I don't think I'll be coming back to this one unless it gets a major interface, control and graphical overhaul.
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32 of 41 people (78%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2013
From the developers of AI: Fleet Command and A Valley Without Wind comes Shattered Haven. Shattered Haven is a zombie survival game where the player is presented a variety of scenarios to overcome. The story follows Mary and Darrel as they flee from their once safe haven in search for their lost children. Shattered Haven can be played as a single player game or cooperatively.

The player is put in an 'overworld' where the player must locate various portals that lead to individual challenges. The player must complete all challenges in a given region before proceeding to the next. The overworld provides a loose framework for these individual challenges and drives the overall progression of the game.

Arcen, the developers, a small five man shop have developed several games since 2009; much more than the average indie developer in my opinion. Shattered Haven, like many games by Arcen, lacks polish. I have played a number of Arcen's games and they all have Arcen's signature mark of lacking polish. Shattered Haven is plagued disjointed and often conflicting artstyle, poor sound effects, bad UI design, and minor but persistent bugs. I am beginning to wonder if Arcen actually knows how to bring a game to completion or if they simply get bored of developing it and release it to market before it's truly finished.

The premise of Shattered Haven is good, and I actually did enjoy many of the challenges it presented me and I was somewhat compelled to keep playing but the game's lack of polish caused it to miss the mark in my book. If Arcen had spent a little more time refining this game it could have been so much better.

Shattered Haven does support USB controllers although I noticed there are some bugs. Overall I won't recommend this, although if you enjoy action puzzle games you might enjoy this.

Score: 5.5/10
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