Full review at http://www.youtube.com/BrbteabreakTVhttp://youtu.be/Th0jSONPh7s
Developers are always trying to innovate genres in order to keep things fresh, for themselves and the consumer. A-Men is a side scrolling action-adventure puzzle game which requires you to scan the levels and plan out your actions before you begin. You could compare it to something like Lemmings except a lot more hardcore.
A-Men has all the bells and whistles of an action puzzle game except it has several hardcore features such as, you lose points when saving at a checkpoint, everything is an insta-kill, very low vision and only 1 shot at most puzzles. Now usually I’m into these hardcore style games, Dark Souls and Path of Exile are right up my alley. Now what differentiates those games to A-Men (besides genre) is the fact that A-Men feels very clunky, unresponsive and has one of the weirdest control schemes I’ve ever seen.
To its credit the levels are usually quite varied and have a decent number of backdrops which should keep you from getting eye strain. There’s a large variety of characters who all play differently and you need to switch between these characters in order to progress through most of the levels, it feels the hardcore niche it was aiming for while still having a variety of options.
The PC port isn’t terrible; you have the options of mouse and keyboard or gamepad, which are interchangeable in the options menu. Both are equally janky so don’t threat if you don’t have a gamepad. The UI shows all the keys you can press which actually helps a bunch if you decide to switch control schemes half way. It’ll show you the buttons you need to press to switch weapon, use an item or how to start a level. The options are lacking though but due to its simple design it shouldn’t really be an issue.
A-Men boast great replay value with each level containing a best time and high score tracker plus 4 sub-objectives. You’ll need to replay the levels at least twice in order to best all the sub-objectives. There’s tonnes of cosmetic changes you can make to your characters which just adds a bit of spice to the game and is a pseudo progression system. It also has a large variety of medals, which sadly don’t link to any Steam achievements which is a wasted opportunity. A lot of people pick up these small indie games just for the sake of getting more achievements, personally I couldn’t care less but that’s a large player base you miss out on for very little effort for implementation.
A-Men is a game that had me puzzled when I first saw it on Steam and after playing it for several hours I’m still puzzled. I’m trying to debate whether the puzzles were challenging and innovative, or they just seemed that way due to clunky movements and a janky control scheme creating a pseudo hardcore experience. It’s quite a shame really, there aren’t many hardcore action puzzle solving games, but maybe there’s a good reason for that.
Posted: February 3rd, 2014