Prophour23 is a fast-paced, replayable real-time strategy. It's designed for short, quick plays. A single playthrough will take you about 15 minutes, if you're good. But the next one will be different. And another one as well.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (50 reviews) - 78% of the 50 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 22, 2014

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Reviews

“Prophour23 is a compact yet fully-fleshed RTS game with character. (...) behind the strange facade is a brilliant game”
http://indiegames.com/2014/10/prophour23_is_a_compact_yet_fu.html

About This Game

Prophour23 is a fast-paced, replayable real-time strategy. It's designed for short, quick plays. A single playthrough will take you about 15 minutes, if you're good. But the next one will be different. And another one as well.

You build an organism out of various organs and try to come up against stacking odds. Organs can be connected in various ways, producing different results. Discover best combinations and watch your organism fall apart!

  • Full game experience in 15 minutes
  • Fast-paced strategy with deep mechanics
  • Randomized and replayable

Also available on Android!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP or later
    • Processor: 1.8GHz
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.1+
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • Processor: Dual Core 2GHz
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X 10.7+
    • Processor: 1.8GHz
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.1+
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • Processor: Dual Core 2GHz
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Linux (32 or 64 bit)
    • Processor: 1.8GHz
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.1+
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • Processor: Dual Core 2GHz
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mostly Positive (50 reviews)
Recently Posted
Mad Hatter
0.5 hrs
Posted: June 27
While the premise of the game sounds good in theory, in practice it is overly cumbersome and vague. Despite what appears to be a comprehensive tutorial at first glance, the workings and interactions of the game are more about randomness or “trial and error.”

Blessings/Buffs are not explained individually, requiring the player to waste them trying to figure out what they do. Body parts/towers randomly stop working or lose connections for no explained reason. Enemies can avoid almost every tower you place, leading to frustration and failure. Some enemies appear that are never explained, resulting in the player having no idea how to combat them.

There are many nuances that have to be learned through “trial and error” or simply dumb luck. Feedback about actions/choices or failure in general is almost non-existant. Which can be very difficult to learn from during the hectic click-fest the game devolves to in short order.

Overall there are just too many fine details, odd memorization, and “trial and error” required to make this game understandable, and therefor playable, leaving the player more frustrated than entertained.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Jennymarlv
14.4 hrs
Posted: June 11
I absolutlely love this game. Wierd and different!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Vividice
0.6 hrs
Posted: February 26
The game takes a unique spin on tower defense games and has a great art style.
But that was already everything positive I can say about this game.
While the hand drawn medical/biologic artworks combined with the kafkaesk feeling were promising but I am very disapointed with the gameplay which overshadows everything positive.

- The tutorial is one of the worstI have seen: It's far to quick, makes no pause for reading, explains little and especially not even explains all mechanics.
- There is no difficulty setting, there is no gamespeed setting.
- Certain mechanics feel like they were just added for artificial difficulty, espcially the darkness just makes the game harder without adding any deepness.
- The overall quality feels like that of a free flash game, not of a 10€ game.

I really want to like the game more :/
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[FR]poulet_a
0.4 hrs
Posted: December 25, 2015
... wow. How can it be more boring and ...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Miss.P
2.0 hrs
Posted: February 20, 2015
Odd game and funny!
Clearly,i belong the not smart guys,never make out 6 minutes. SO SAD
I will keep working on it :)
you should try, really.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
aerouge
0.7 hrs
Posted: February 19, 2015
What looks like a cool towerdefense is a hectic clicker that puts complexity above depth.

After finishing the tutorial the player is left alone with no clear goal, despite survival???

Overall, the game is only interesting due to its artstyle, not as much for it´s gameing parts.

Will be hard to find someone who played this more than a few hours, due to its non-existing content.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Jragghen
1.4 hrs
Posted: January 11, 2015
Prophour23 is a top-down Tower Defense game where you play as an organism attempting to fend off assault from insects. It is free-form, allowing enemies to attack from any angle, and allowing the organs to be moved about on-screen at any time. It is, by design, rather obtuse and difficult, with the intent that a single playthrough will take a very short amount of time, and the player is tasked with surviving long enough to win the game (after some indeterminate amount of time). As an organism, you are to protect your heart, and can grow various organs (stomach, lungs, eyes, etc) through the use of blood.

There is a rather comprehensive tutorial for teaching the basics of the game, but it doesn't get into every aspect of the game - some organs will periodically cease working, there are other insect types you need to worry about other than those which were originally described, etc.

The art style of the game is very interesting, looking like an olde anatomy textbook. However, I feel that the game falls just on the wrong side of the difficulty curve for what they are trying to achieve. In many other "short, but repeatable, hard difficulty" games, there is some degree of feedback which allows you to determine what mistake you made which caused death, and allows for personal progression in later runs of the game. Prophour23 lacks any such feedback loop, which makes successive playthroughs a bit frustrating, as it can feel that the reason for failure is out of the player's control - it feels difficult for the sake of being difficult. There is nothing wrong with that, necessarily, but it's a sensation which most players likely aren't looking for, so it becomes difficult to recommend.

For people where that sort of difficulty sounds like fun? Have at - it's well constructed mechanically, for what it is, and the aesthetics are very solid.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ZeroOne
2.1 hrs
Posted: January 7, 2015
The game looks exciting and I'd like to like it, but I can't help it. You grow organs in an illogical fashion: for example, lungs can be transformed into a stomach, or something like that, which is quite hard to learn. The plays also seem to turn into utter chaos really quickly for me. For no reason some organs may also suddenly stop working for a period of time, with a message like "Lung organs are numb". It just seems there are too many random elements and illogicalities for me to properly enjoy the game. Under the hood it must be pretty simple, but if it takes hours to learn a game that's supposed to be this simple, then I find there's something wrong with it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
DC PAK
3.8 hrs
Posted: January 3, 2015
It's a very good designed game. I mean at every field: visual, audio and gameplay.
Visually stylized art, looks like medieval engravings. I'd say we are dealing some alchemical book of living creatures.
Music accompanying is perfect. Dark drums in the background, a little nervous strings, and finally horns and trumpets once in a while. In menus it sounds like mystery, in game it sounds like threat, danger.
There is tutorial, that teaches basics, but still is leaving some advanced technics to be discovered by player himself. Or other kinds of enemies to be surprisingly spotted. Once again it has the spirit of medieval alchemical experiments with living creatures.
Then the gameplay itself. You may say it is some kind of RTS with very limited army slots. But I'd rather call it tower defense executed in a very unique way. There are no tracks for enemies, each kind of bugs that are attacking the heart of your creature acts differently. Most are in deed interested just to kill. But some are lonely voyagers, that actually reveal no interest in beating apparatus. Those might be even more dangerous than simple killers though.
Your task is to design a perfect creature, or better say organism, that will live against all threats attacking it. You use the blood that heart is providing to add organs, connect them, and tactically reposition them to where they are most needed at the moment.
Sounds easy? Yes, it is. It is the kind of easy to learn, hard to master game. Try to keep your creature alive for three days and you will see.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
PhantomFreak
0.5 hrs
Posted: December 26, 2014
The game is too big for me unplayable
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
77 of 81 people (95%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 11, 2015
Prophour23 is a top-down Tower Defense game where you play as an organism attempting to fend off assault from insects. It is free-form, allowing enemies to attack from any angle, and allowing the organs to be moved about on-screen at any time. It is, by design, rather obtuse and difficult, with the intent that a single playthrough will take a very short amount of time, and the player is tasked with surviving long enough to win the game (after some indeterminate amount of time). As an organism, you are to protect your heart, and can grow various organs (stomach, lungs, eyes, etc) through the use of blood.

There is a rather comprehensive tutorial for teaching the basics of the game, but it doesn't get into every aspect of the game - some organs will periodically cease working, there are other insect types you need to worry about other than those which were originally described, etc.

The art style of the game is very interesting, looking like an olde anatomy textbook. However, I feel that the game falls just on the wrong side of the difficulty curve for what they are trying to achieve. In many other "short, but repeatable, hard difficulty" games, there is some degree of feedback which allows you to determine what mistake you made which caused death, and allows for personal progression in later runs of the game. Prophour23 lacks any such feedback loop, which makes successive playthroughs a bit frustrating, as it can feel that the reason for failure is out of the player's control - it feels difficult for the sake of being difficult. There is nothing wrong with that, necessarily, but it's a sensation which most players likely aren't looking for, so it becomes difficult to recommend.

For people where that sort of difficulty sounds like fun? Have at - it's well constructed mechanically, for what it is, and the aesthetics are very solid.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
66 of 73 people (90%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2014
With a hand drawn art style and setting so out there and different, a soundtrack so maniacally obscure it's hard not to have your curiosity at least a little piqued. Amidst the droves of mundane and same-y indie games exists Prophour 23, a chaotic creation from the mind of a single madman and the only strategy game capable of effectively making your skin crawl. Strange, cryptic, surreal, and damn challenging. Aside from the hidden messages and symbolism of the oncoming and unknown forces of nature that lie within this tale of insanity, the concept is simple; protect your still-bleeding heart from the swarming masses of flesh-hungry insects.

A bizarre concoction of deep strategy and biological horror, Prophour 23 is an affair of critical thinking that requires more than a little bit of patience. Those looking to hop right in and start crushing bugs will be shocked to find their beating heart swarmed with the creepy little critters and devoured within minutes. Only a complete understanding of your body and the organs which keep you alive will be enough to maintain a healthy heart.

Your goal is simply to survive as many nights as possible throughout the infestation, and employing the use of different organs will be the determining factor. Scream organs and thorns connect to muscles and hands to create thorny barriers, while the boney rib-cages you can sprout create hardened lines of bone to redirect the swarming insects. Hands act as connectors for the organ to function while muscles give them their power to operate. It all sounds complicated, and it kind of is, but it's exactly the kind of game you have to "feel" out to really understand and that just makes each outcome of your terror filled nights of survival all the more surprising, strange and satisfying.

Placement is as crucial as managing the order you create organs in, not only will you think hard about where to situate your defenses, but whether to spend precious blood on stomachs to pump more blood or lungs to catch the blood and alleviate some of the pressure created by clicking droplets that spill from your pumping heart. The antagonistic insects crowd you from all sides at any given moment and the player is kept on alert at all times, with a warning arrow giving you time to adjust your strategy. As night falls, however, visibility is lost and the arrow is no longer seen.

Bugs begin to sneak in past the darkness and into your heart, the only remedy being the eyeball organs you'll purchase which when powered light up an arc in front of them. These are only a small handful of the organs you'll use at your discretion in this open-ended struggle of tactics and defense, and they offer a near limitless supply of possibilities in your strategy for each attempt. Every body part has a purpose, and thrives off of the existence of another body part. You'll quickly be constructing your meticulously drawn and pulsating ecosystem of bodily defenses with ease once you learn the delicate rules of how your organs react to each other.

Prophour 23 explores new territories untouched by the strategy genre that are strange, cold, and maybe even a little uncomfortable. The challenge remains spontaneous and unpredictable with new twists thrown at you each passing night, keeping the suspense and mystery high. The odd array of body parts fighting in tandem against the grotesque squirming parade of blackened insects that seek only to infest your organs is a sight I never expected to fixate my gaze on while deep in tactical thought, and it's effective in its gruesome distraction.

If you're tired of the usual fantasy and sci-fi tropes of strategy and tower defense titles, and want something that goes above and beyond the current offerings in the genre this is one worth checking out. When it comes to strategy titles with a penchant for detailed hand-drawn art and an intense and brooding soundtrack, nothing really comes to mind before discovering Prophour 23 making it, if anything, a totally original idea. Not only is Prophour 23 unique and original in design, but its strange mechanics and frustratingly cryptic difficulty keep you sufficiently puzzled and coming back again and again.
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52 of 74 people (70%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: October 23, 2014
( Disclaimer : Review copy supplied by the developer )

The heart pumps the blood, blood feeds the muscles, muscles provide the strength to go on, the strength that gives voice to power, or the strength to breathe air, muscles are the fiber that connects and powers the organs, yet alone the organs are vulnerable. Thorns are the
metaphor for the immune system, and the bone walls the defenses that the body builds up over time to such attacks on the body.

When one wants to examine games as a potentiate for an artform, and this isn't me being all highbrow here, this is a good place to make a case study. It's -very- thoughtful. As a tower defence game it's good, there's some complexities here that will catch people unaware, true. A good case in point is the eyes. They - counterintuitively - must be connected to the muscles, not the other way around, to get the benefit they offer, thorns can be connected to the shout to duplicate the shouts effect, that's a useful trick as well. Placement and reaction plays a significant part, and at night time it becomes a hurried defensive scramble, trying to make it to the relative safety of the next day.

The game itself is split into two game forms, story, which takes place over three days and three nights, and sandbox, which is a more generalised "survive as long as you can". Both of which can be seen as a metaphor for the human body fighting off infection and disease. The former being a specific case where you're fighting to recover, the latter being "How long can you hold out". Both forms play exceptionally well, with the former rewarding a specific objective based approach, and the sandbox rewarding exploration to begin with, and testing out strategies for long term maintenance.

There's an extensive tutorial too, which I -strongly- recommend you delve into, because this game necessitates thorough study, it does away with a lot of the standard tower defence conventions and replaces them with a visual style and set of cues that you'll have to actively learn, as well as a build and upgrade system that operates in a world of it's own as well. Upgrades are less upgrades and more "evolutions" to different organs, each with their own distinct function. You'll need different organ combinations to perform different tasks and so you end up thinking more laterally than vertically.

Position is entirely fluid, with you able to reposition organs at will, with the heart at the center, and links being repositioned dynamically between connected organs (beware, they cannot reconnect if another connection or organ is in the way), so you'll need to think in terms of shapes and spatial connectivity. Setting up clusters that serve as defensive beacons for specific areas and ensuring that the heart is kept safe is order of the day, and there's an approach that will for a time help serve this function, but you'll be constantly improvising and adapting based on the messages relayed by the various maladies you'll suffer.

This is important because enemies -will- attack, from just about every possible direction, so you have to be able to reposition quickly and effectively, to be able to counter and adjust to their position relative to the heart (there's an organ that allows you to draw them elsewhere, but that will only mean that they make a beeline for THAT organ instead, you'll still have to defend that organ, or they'll munch that first, then they'll go for the heart right after).

The day and night cycle too, makes a vast difference, during the day, you have an arrow indicating where the next spawns will come from, during the night, that arrow is shrouded in darkness, and unless you have eyes connected to muscles (and muscles connected to eyes, in that order, to keep them powered), you're not going to see anything that's not directly around the organs themselves, and fighting blind is a very effective way to get killed in short order. Furthermore, the position of certain organs will directly influence what they actually -do-, the eyes are a particular example of this, with their position relative to the muscle they are linked to defining the "cone" they are able to see.

So. Yes. Do the tutorials, or you will be all at sea and you will die horribly.

In terms of presentation, the game is luscious for what it conveys, hand drawn illustrations on paper backgrounds giving the sense of a living book dealing with the anatomy under attack from infection and a representation of the various organs at work, with blood trickling down over the pages, it gives it a rather rustic charm that works exceptionally well. It's not the kind of graphics that will tax a system, and you can easily expect this to run on a simple laptop, but it does look easy on the eye, and it is easy on the ear.

As a metaphor for the stresses and strains of the human body - that's where this one stands out in particular, it's "more than" a game, in that sense. What you get from Prophour is going to be directly proportionate to what you put in, if you come to this game with an open mind, and a willingness to learn what it has to teach you, you'll come away with one of the most unique experiences on Steam to go with Take on Mars. It has taken a place in my curation list specifically because of the fact that as a unique experience, it deserves attention, and if you're willing to invest the time to listen to what the game has to teach, you'll get something very special from it.
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19 of 21 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2014
It's maybe tower defense at its core, but its done in such a unique fashion that it honestly never feels like that's what I'm playing. In fact, it feels completely different than anything I've played before.

There's a heart at the center, and then there's all the gross baddies trying to invade it. You're tasked with creating and connecting organs together in order to fend them off. Connect this organ to that one, now you've got a wall. That one to this one, now you've got a thorny ring of defense. The type of organs connected and even the direction you connect them from will result in different creations. Experimentation is key.

In fact with the "learn by experimentation" mechanics and overall presentation this game feels quite a lot like some creepy old science experiment you've gotten yourself into.

Tutorials are available, but there's much to learn beyond them, and at least personally I feel like finding out how all the organs interact with each other is a big draw of the experience. I'd recommend avoiding them as long as you can. (I found the sandbox mode actually worked great as a less stressful playground for finding out how things work.)

The game is frantic and fast. I die a lot, and quickly. But each time I learn more about how things work, and that coupled with the quick nature of it makes it very easy to fall into the "Just one more!" loop.

It's all a bit strange, a little creepy perhaps, and very engaging.
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18 of 22 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 24, 2014
I cannae doo eet!

No really, this game is mighty good fun. It sports some innovative tower defence mechanics and gets frantic fast. No matter what you try, this game will mess with your strategy, but in a good way. It's quick to learn, and hard to master. Don't imagine that you know all the mechanics this game has to offer once you complete the tutorial. There's more to discover and some of it is nowhere near straightforward. Finding out how you can have the organs cooperate in innovative ways is really exciting.

Do yourself a favour and try to discover these hidden mechanics on your own. On your journey to understand how your body works, and how it can deal most effectively with all kinds of increasingly vile horrors, you will invariably die. A lot. You will die quickly, and you will die hard, and all the time you will be met by a completion factor of 0,00%. Seriously, I've played this for a day, and I'm still on 0,00%.

EDIT: After 13 hours and a bit I was finally able to beat this game for the first time, heart a-pounding, palms sweaty. Want to try and beat my score? PM me and I'll gift you the game. First come first take.

Disclaimer: I was provided with the game by the developer to playtest.
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16 of 19 people (84%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 7, 2015
The game looks exciting and I'd like to like it, but I can't help it. You grow organs in an illogical fashion: for example, lungs can be transformed into a stomach, or something like that, which is quite hard to learn. The plays also seem to turn into utter chaos really quickly for me. For no reason some organs may also suddenly stop working for a period of time, with a message like "Lung organs are numb". It just seems there are too many random elements and illogicalities for me to properly enjoy the game. Under the hood it must be pretty simple, but if it takes hours to learn a game that's supposed to be this simple, then I find there's something wrong with it.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.2 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: October 28, 2014
Prophour23 got me curious with the unusual/morbid art style. It's a tower defense game where the tower is your heart but the mechanics variate a little. The whole point is to protect your heart using defensive systems, your body. I think the way the different body parts are used in the game is very clever: to make a certain organ work you need a muscle providing energy, to create a muscle you need blood drops. It's challenging, original and very clever.
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9 of 14 people (64%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 19, 2015
What looks like a cool towerdefense is a hectic clicker that puts complexity above depth.

After finishing the tutorial the player is left alone with no clear goal, despite survival???

Overall, the game is only interesting due to its artstyle, not as much for it´s gameing parts.

Will be hard to find someone who played this more than a few hours, due to its non-existing content.
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12 of 20 people (60%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
12.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
It is painfully obvious that there was not enough time devoted to play testing this game.

The controls are a mess. I don't exaggerate when I say that they are some of the most unresponsive I have ever seen in a strategy game, and they are a never-ending frustration. Free flash games on the internet have higher quality standards than this. There are also many random objectives and events that are entirely dependent on luck, and punish the player through no fault of their own. Units and power ups are poorly balanced, and the game seems to be more of a test of how well you can micromanage your units in a mess of crisscrossing lines without losing your temper than a test of strategy.

The one area where the game shines in its atmosphere. The music, visuals, and gameplay perfectly capture the feeling of loneliness and vulnerability from being under siege by an unfeeling force of nature.

Prophour 23 needs a patch to rebalance and fix the many issues with the controls, and I'm sad that it probably won't get one. There is a really good game in here somewhere, but it's dragged down by amateurish design and execution, and despite the great atmosphere and original concept, I cannot recommend this game as anything other than a weird novelty. If you want a satisfying gaming experience, then keep looking.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
While the premise of the game sounds good in theory, in practice it is overly cumbersome and vague. Despite what appears to be a comprehensive tutorial at first glance, the workings and interactions of the game are more about randomness or “trial and error.”

Blessings/Buffs are not explained individually, requiring the player to waste them trying to figure out what they do. Body parts/towers randomly stop working or lose connections for no explained reason. Enemies can avoid almost every tower you place, leading to frustration and failure. Some enemies appear that are never explained, resulting in the player having no idea how to combat them.

There are many nuances that have to be learned through “trial and error” or simply dumb luck. Feedback about actions/choices or failure in general is almost non-existant. Which can be very difficult to learn from during the hectic click-fest the game devolves to in short order.

Overall there are just too many fine details, odd memorization, and “trial and error” required to make this game understandable, and therefor playable, leaving the player more frustrated than entertained.
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